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Friday, 14 September 2012

Live & Dangerous: Firewind and Leaves Eyes

Firewind and Leaves Eyes, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

I'll be honest I missed most of Leaves Eyes and as I arrived I'm glad I did as the last three songs were enough to let me get an idea of their sound live, there was a lot of orchestral backing tapes, thrashy riffage, gruff male vocals and warbling female vocals from front woman Liv Kristine. The band are well trained but not very exciting coming across as a budget Nightwish rather than a big concern, not my cup of tea I'm afraid. 5/10

So this was the band I had come to see however by the looks of the crowd they had other ideas as many left after Leaves Eyes leaving the headliners with a much smaller crowd, however as the first chords of Wall Of Sound hit the 100 or so that remained were head banging along. The band focussed a lot on their last three albums much like they had done at Donnington with newest disc Few Against Many bringing the majority of the set, with tracks like Head Up High, Few Against Many, World On Fire, Losing My MindMercenary Man (which still sounds like a Gary Moore song) and Glorious the band ran through a hit filled set complied from the most recent discs with the occasional classic like Destination Forever, Insanity and I Am The Anger thrown in for good measure. The band as usual were stunning with band leader Gus G playing his heart out with every note, make no mistake Firewind is his band so it is quite right that his guitar playing would take center stage, however he humbly lets the equally talented keyboardist/guitarist Bob Katsionis take some solos before having a duel in the instrumental The Fire And The Fury. This meant that vocalist Apollo, whose voice improves throughout after shaky start, is given the job of head cheerleader leading the crowd in cheers and sing-alongs. The main set finishes with Tyranny then after a short break they return for the encore and bring with them Liv from Leaves Eyes, after a rendition of the rarely played Breaking The Silence (on which Apollo drowns out his co-vocalist) the band finish with the Apollo-era classic Falling To Pieces leaving the crowd on a high. A great set from a great band, however I would like to note one thing, Firewind had not played Cardiff since 2006 meaning that this should have been packed, as it was there less than 100 people by the end of their set. If fans want the bands to play Cardiff then they should make an effort to turn up. It's only by buying the tickets that theses band know what the demand is so if you want to see them make sure you go. For those of us that did we were treated to a night of sublime power metal. 9/10 

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