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Sunday, 20 November 2016

A View From The Back Of The Room: Lordi

Lordi, The Scene Club Swansea

Myself and Brett left Cardiff at 7 ready for a slightly later arrival than normal. Both us have never seen Lordi live, despite my love of them since Get Heavy and Brett's penchant for anything the slightest bit ostentatious and grizzly (mainly GWAR). So we were both a little excited, however we became less so when we arrived at the venue and saw the enormous queue that stretched around the block, meaning the show was starting late (little did we know).

First up was Silver Dust (7) a bunch of Victorian Steampunk vampires playing industrial metal. They definitely had the look, but the music was a little lackluster and after a few songs, the throbbing bass riffs all sounded a bit samey, still the capacity crowd lapped up every minute of it. Myself and Captain Wales debunked to the pub next door for a pint and waited for the second band of the evening. The second band were Shiraz Lane (6), I didn't have too much to say in my review of their debut album earlier this year and on this bill they were the obvious odd band out. A glam tinged hard rock band complete with pretty boy, high voiced singer, part Skid Row, part Steel Panther (but without the humour) replete with big hair, posturing and the twirling scarves. They did very little for me on record and live they were about the same, although the frontman's vocals are less annoying live (due to the fact you couldn't hardly hear them)

As the pretty boys wrapped up we moved nearer the stage and then we waited... and waited... and waited. The crowd rapidly began turning nasty calling the band out, finally an hour after Shiraz Lane had left the stage, KISS's God Of Thunder blasted out of the speakers and with that the mighty Skeletor introduced us to the Finnish Mon-Stars who kicked the set off with Let's Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be The Beast-Man In The Master's Of The Universe) as Ox and Amen cranked out the riffs the timing faux-par was all but forgotten as the crowd bounced along to one of the band's most recent songs (one of three from their new record). 

After the first song we got the explanation for the wait, a dodgy curry the culprit, Mr Lordi the victim, rookie error made and apology accepted, it was then time to dive into the metallic Babez For Breakfast with Mr Lordi prowling the stage and snarling the lyrics with his gritty vocals and was inciting the fans to pump their fists, throw their horns, clap and scream like a demonic ring master, he had everyone under his spell as they cranked out The Riff (an ode to the basis of all great rock songs). Despite this being a tour in support of their latest album, most of the setlist came from their debut record Get Heavy, they even played deep cuts like Hellbender Turbulence which if I'm honest showed it's age with it's simplicity. 

So here's where things get a bit weird, for a band already late they kept in all the solo spots, now some like Ox's bass solo were actually quite good as they featured schlock horror theatrical elements but most including the drum and keyboard solo were superfluous and added very little, they were however mercifully short and we got back on track with nasty Bite It Like A Bulldog which had Mana bashing away with power. Then for the old school fans in the crowd the inclusion of Icon Of Dominance proved to be a big hit Hella's keys leading the charge as Mr Lordi crooned. Despite their rock credentials and sheer force live, they have always been a band that can slow the pace with a horror-themed ballad and It Snows In Hell/Children Of The Night medley displayed this skill well getting the near-sold out crowd singing along with every line. 

Down With The Devil served as the change the set needed, from here it was time for the more well known songs in the bands catalogue, we got Blood Red Sandman, Hard Rock Hallelujah (their Eurovision winners song), Devil Is A Loser, Who's Your Daddy (possibly the most misogynistic song imaginable, yet sung with gusto by the corset wearing ladies in the front row) and then the closed out as usual with the awesome Would You Love A Monsterman? With a glut of anthemic songs and a heavy as hell delivery and a great visual show featuring Nun disemboweling, Priest defiling and the still impressive demon wings, Lordi (8) lived up to my expectations and then some, next time though try a pre-gig sandwich or something yeah?     

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