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Thursday 31 January 2013

The View From The Back Of The Room: Orange Goblin

Orange Goblin, Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell, The Earls Of Mars & Lifer: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, 30/01/2013


Into the Clwb we go for another night of metal. Heavy Welsh metallers were first with a sound not to dissimilar to the headliners along with lots of Sabbath and Pantera doom/groove. The last couple of times I've seen them they have been impressive but haven't really fulfilled their potential. This time however this time they were far better. They had lots of groove and mixed it up with big chugging breakdowns and some thrashy riffage. The last few times there have been sound problems but everything here was nice and loud showing off the vocals and shredding guitars. The local boys drew a big crowd from the off and were the perfect powerful opener for Goblin. The local boys impressed this time. 7/10

The Earls Of Mars

Next were the excellently named Earls Of Mars who peddle Avant-guard eerie-keyboard filled doom rock and a storming upright bass. Imagine Hawkwind if they were covering Sleep songs with some jazz thrown in just for added weirdness. They had a delightfully mad singer/keyboardist who had a schizophrenic delivery which made for a trippy mind expanding noise based upon the jangly guitars, pulsing bass and jazz drumming. With only a few songs these were drawn out into expanding progressive, dreamy, doomy madness. The Earls Of Mars have a very good first impression from a young band that managed to both slow the pace and keep the crowd. 7/10

Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell

ASCS picked up the pace again with some Cockney, mutton chopped, retro rock. The power trio bring the Groundhogs/Budgie style proto-metal assault full of fuzzed up guitars and rough and ready vocals. They have all of the 60's meat and potatoes hallmarks in place running through their album with songs such as Mark Of The Beast, Devil's Island and the trippy Red Admiral, Black Sunrise all being warmly received by the now packed and raucous crowd. This was a good first showing for the Admiral who managed to give a strong showing to a partisan crowd and win a lot of them over (based on merch sales alone!) ASCS are a fast and furious freak out machine for the lovers of metal, beer and 'medicine' worth catching. 8/10

Orange Goblin

So finally it was time for the main event with Orange Goblin hitting the stage. The headliners had chosen some strong support so they had to deliver the goods and deliver they did! The London destroyers mixed new and old with a full spectrum of their discography from the psych of their first two albums to the balls out riff age of their last three and everything in between. Things kicked off with a short intro song before launching into one of the new albums best songs The Filthy & The Few before going back to The Big Black which was followed by Acid Trial and the not often played Made Of Rats before creeping doom of The Fog. The sound from the venue was spot on meaning you could hear every single booming note from Mad Man Mountain Ben who was at his best conjuring head banging and shout-alongs. The rhythm section was locked in tight to every groove and guitarist Joe Hoare was so versatile that he could do the job of four men never mind two (as he does on the early tracks). With the main set ending with the Zombie loving They Come Back (Harvest Of Skulls) and the classic Quincy The Pig Boy. A brief pause and rest bite for the baying throng before the encore of the Sabbath alike Blue Snow new album opener Red Tide Rising and the old school belter Scorpionica which sent the crowd home, very happy (and very inebriated by this point). Still one of the best live bands on the circuit it's nice to see them in this kind of close environment in a crowd full of the faithful. Very good start to the year! 10/10

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