Power of Metal.dk Live Review

Location: ‘The Electric Ballroom’, London, England
24 October, 2014
 Alestorm, Lagerstein, Red Rum, Rainbowdragoneyes
 Piratefest Tour MMXIV

You really had to be there to fully appreciate the party vibe that dominated all corners of ‘The Electric Ballroom’. Several punters tuned up in full pirate costume, or at least donning a traditional pirate hat, and the enthusiasm and ebullience was both vocal and physical. As the name itself suggests, Piratefest was a tour of bands with a fascination with pirates, alcohol or both. Mainly both.

Tonight was the penultimate date of the tour - one of several to be sold out, which is quite impressive for bands who are all quite young.

Some transport cock-ups meant I missed the first band (Rainbowdragoneyes) and only saw the last couple of songs of Red Rum’s show. Out of respect for these 2 bands I didn’t feel it would have been right to ignore them. So after the gig I asked each some quick questions, with their answers published in this write-up.

Anyhoo, avast me hearties….join me for a night of aural plunder, rum and bountiful wenches. (Yeah, you’re going to read quite a few pirate clichés in this review!)

Rainbowdragoneyes (www.Rainbowdragoneyes.com)

Judging from some random encounters at the venue, there seems to have been a mixed reaction to Rainbowdragoneyes. The man that is Rainbowdragoneyes describes his music as Extreme Chiptune Dance Metal and in fact a lot of it lies in Dance music territory. 

Rainbowdragoneyes offered some insight into his music and the tour..... 

What is the meaning of the band name? 

Rainbowdragoneyes is as Rainbowdragoneyes does. Nothing I can think of makes any sense, until it does. The outrageously ridiculous name is a reflection of truly outrageously ridiculous music. It's best not to question it, that never got anybody anywhere before. 

Your music is quite different from that of your touring mates and yet the attitude is somewhat similar. Do you think the Piratefest tour has earned you new fans? 

Piracy comes in all shapes and sizes. My music is always quite different from everyone I've ever played or toured with, such is the nature of what I do, so I'm used to being the odd man out at all times and I embrace that. I dare say stowing away on a vessel and voyaging around the country confusing the ever living hell out of people is an act of piracy in itself. 

Alestorm is the kind of metal band that has a sense of humour and fun, so they attract fans with similar tastes in humour and fun, which is why touring with them works on some strange level. 

Piratefest was a great opportunity for me and I definitely made a bunch of new fans, as well as getting to meet in person some of the ones I already had, many of whom never thought they'd get the chance to see me live, was a great experience. Definitely got to come back soon!

What do you have planned for the immediate future? 

More tours, more parties! Just finished a short CA/AZ run with Nekrogoblikon, starting a West coast  tour on the 6th of December with the pirates of The Dread Crew of Oddwood (who will also be appearing alongside myself and Alestorm for Piratefest USA in February). Also working on some new music, booking some one-offs around the country, working on some covers, a music video or two, hailing some Satan, and teaching people how to write music on a GameBoy just like me. There's other stuff too but I'll bore you some other time. 

TNG intro
The Blade Chose Me
Creatures Ov Deception
The Secret Mirror
The Rift
The Primordial Booze
Cruise Bit Terror (Swashbuckle cover)
Fortress Ov Frost

Rating: N/A

Red Rum (www.redrummetal.com)

Red Rum are from the East Midlands area of England (a place not linked with any sea, I suspiciously note) and the band describes their music as Neoclassical Pirate Metal. With the benefit of hindsight, here’s what Bekkie Brumby, the band’s 8 and 7 string guitarist  had to say about the gig and the tour: 

Could you summarise your experience of this year’s Piratefest both onstage and offstage?

To summarize, the Piratefest 'adventure' was like a voyage consisting entirely of accents, petrol stations, smelly people, alcohol (occasionally chugged from footwear), motorways and fantastic audiences.

A few dates were sold out which suggests the event was quite successful. In your opinion what factors contributed to such an outcome?

Many dates were sold out, I believe the first factor is down to Alestorm's success with their recent release 'Sunset On The Golden Age', and the second factor is that 'Pirates' seem to be becoming more popular in mainstream culture, potentially due to films such as 'Pirates Of The Caribbean', and so on.

It’s safe to say Red Rum has a linking for alcohol and pirates. Tankard and Running Wild were probably the first to make alcohol (the former) and pirates (the latter) an integral part of the music. Are these 2 bands you look up to?

Not at all, Red Rum hasn't always been solely a Pirate Metal band; it began simply as a neo-classical metal duo (Sam Wood and Sam Bradford being the founders of the band). The Pirate theme began dripping into the lyrics once a vocalist was found. As far as bands we look up to, mostly keyboard and guitar orientated bands such as Children Of Bodom and Dream Theater.

What are the touring plans for 2015?

We do have plans, but nothing we can confirm at this moment in time. We are making an appearance at Hammerfest in Wales in March, but that's all we can say for now!

Booze And Glory
Dragged Out With The Tide
Elixir Of Death
Taking The Hobbits To Isengard
Make Port Drink Port
Rise From The Deep

Rating: N/A

Lagerstein (www.lagerstein.com)

With a name like ‘Lagerstein’, you could hardly be surprised that alcohol featured prominently in the band’s show. And I’m not just talking about the band’s lyrics. You had band members drinking from a pirate’s shoe, stage props such as a tavern table on which were tankards and a range of alcoholic drinks such as beer and rum and cider. 

Clad in pirate regalia the Aussies had a tight set, were incredibly entertaining and ran about on stage like inebriated...well...pirates. I also spotted members of Alestorm and Rainbowdragoneyes on stage who joined Lagerstein towards the end of their set. 

Before tonight I wasn’t familiar with Lagerstein’s material but it was easy to get hooked on their songs. Even a hip-hop number sung by bass player The Immobilizer didn’t sound out of place. Although, with all the zaniness it was hard for anything to be out of place. 

Do check this band out if they plunder a venue nearby as the fun they can have is very infectious. 

Rating: 95/100

Alestorm (www.alestorm.net)

Continuing the party atmosphere, Alestorm delivered a first-class performance, helped in no small amount by a highly supportive audience. The outside of Peter Alcorn’s drum kit was set up like a bar (see photo), which band members and crew resorted to during the show. 

The set-list covered all Alestorm’s releases, including the recent “Sunset on the Golden Age”. From this album ‘1741 (The Battle Of Cartagena)’ went down particularly well and was preceded by a brief explanation by lead vocalist/keyboardist Christopher Bowes. ‘Magnetic North’ was another tune which went down a storm. 

Other sources of mirth included guitar battles, drinking dares and an ebullient Bowes. One bizarre but hilarious moment was when Bowes got the audience to chant ‘Fuck you Gary Monkeybastard’ while holding up a sock-puppet monkey and then proceed to play the next song (which, if my memory doesn’t fail me, was ‘Midget Saw’) with ‘Gary’ impaled on the keyboard neck. It wasn’t just juvenile fun, though, and band guitarist Dani Evans had a particularly good night. 

As in the case of other bands before them, Alestorm were joined on stage by members of the other bands on the bill, further attesting the convivial atmosphere. 

Bottoms up to a great show. Canadian and U.S.A. readers might not want to miss the North American leg of this tour in January and February of 2015. 

Intro (‘Monkey Island’)
Walk the Plank
The Sunk’n Norwegian
Magnetic North
Back Through Time
Nancy the Tavern Wench
Midget Saw
Pirate Song
Wooden Leg!
Wenches And Mead
1741 (The Battle Of Cartagena)
Captain Morgan’s Revenge
Outro (‘Questing Upon The Poop Deck’) 

Rating: 92/100

Attending: Chris Galea