All posts by music224.com

The Mission

Fields Of The Nephilim

  O2 Academy, Birmingham, 17th December 2013.

 

The Mission

 

The Mission

The double-header of The Mission and Fields Of The Nephilim was always going to be an awesome gig of two great halves of classic vintage gothic rock. The Mission were formed by two ex-members of The Sisters of Mercy – Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams, with the band proving to be amongst the most popular to emerge from England’s Goth rock scene during the late 1980’s. Tonight in Birmingham they opened with the first track from the latest album ‘The Brightest Light’, the slow building, ‘Black Cat Bone’. There may be less pure black clad Goth folk in the audience than in the early days, but the full house crowd were no less hungry for Mr Hussey and co. The newer material from this nearly original line-up of Wayne Hussey, Simon Hinkler and Craig Adams fared well. New tunes ‘Everything But The Squeal’ and the single ‘Swan Song’ all went down well. But it will always be the classics that will generate the most excitement and emotion. ‘Hands Across The Ocean’, ‘Beyond The Pale’, ‘Butterfly on a Wheel’ and ‘Deliverance’ are the Mission’s signature tunes which ignite a unique passion amongst their dedicated followers. This was shown in full with the crowd being pulled into plenty of sing-a-long’s. The combination of Wayne Hussey’s melodramatic vocals, Simon Hinkler’s eerie guitar sounds and Craig Adams’ fine bass work should ensure that The Mission continue to give a hell of a solid Goth rock performance for many more years to come.

The Mission
The Mission

 

The Mission

 

Fields of the Nephilim

 

Fields of the Nephilim

Fields of the Nephilim formed in 1984, out of a dark, alternative underground scene. The Goth movement was in its beginnings and it wasn’t long before the Nephilim were tagged firmly with this label. Lead singer Carl McCoy is currently the only surviving member of the original line-up. They may not release many albums or play many gigs, but they still have the same distant, slightly ethereal, aura that has always set them apart from their peers. ‘Dead But Dreaming’ from the 1990 ‘Elizium’ album opened the set with McCoy appearing onstage out of the dark smoke laden gloom to a rapturous response. The Nephilim’s frontman’s impressive guttural roar and stage presence is something you are not easily going to forget. The weather-beaten, dishevelled clothing combined with effects-laden guitar and pounding tribal drums makes for a tremendous celebration within this temporary dark gothic metal temple. The audience responded enormously to the classic songs such as ‘Watchmen’, ‘Moonchild’, and the psychedelic and trance inducing ‘Psychonaut’ with its full load of brooding atmospherics. Young and old Goths, together with bare-chested balding blokes climbing onto each other’s shoulders, all worshipped at this Gothic alter tonight showing that the Nephilim are still very much a relevant band today.

Fields of the Nephilim
Fields of the Nephilim

 

Fields of the Nephilim

 

See the full picture sets here:

The Mission

Fields of the Nephilim

Words and pictures by Stephen Turner.

 

Tarja

Tarja

London and Nottingham gigs confirmed for February 10th and 12th

February UK concerts confirmed following rave reviews of new solo album colours in the dark – Supreme Symphonic metal artist Tarja Turunen has lined up two UK concerts in February -her first UK shows since 2010 – in the wake of a slew of rave reviews for her third solo album, ‘Colours In The Dark’, released on earMUSIC / Edel, in August 2013. Dates are:-

10th February – LONDON 02 Islington Academy. Tickets are £25 via ticketweb.co.uk.
12th February – NOTTINGHAM Rock City. Tickets are £22.50 via all-tickets.co.uk

HERE’S THE DIRECT LINK FOR THE NOTTINGHAM SHOW

Select album review quotes:-

“The marriage of classical stylings with rock/metal makes for an interesting genre, of which Finnish soprano Tarja Turunen is something of a First Lady. On this, her third solo effort, she builds on her illustrious reputation with compellingly gothic material, not to mention wide-ranging, beautifully executed operatic vocals. Its varying shades provide consistent intrigue. ‘Lucid Dreamer’ throws in two minutes of mystical water effects, wind chimes and new-agey samples; ‘Neverlight’ leaps straight in with intense fuzzed guitar, and ‘Deliverance’ generates an ambient goth-metal feel before swelling into orchestral strains. High point ‘Medusa’ moves tantalisingly between haunting choral harmonies, eerie passages and punching metal chops. An electrifying close. 7/10”.
Polly Glass, Classic Rock, August 2013.

“Arguably the most instantly recognisable female artist in rock and metal circles, Tarja Turunen returns with ‘Colours In The Dark’, her third full-length release of original material as a solo artist, the sound of a very talented artist at the top of her game. A varied album that, whilst rooted in the dark of rock and metal, seeks to incorporate colourful influences from across the musical spectrum. It is by far and away the finest Tarja has sounded for the best part of a decade. 9/10”. Matt Spall, Powerplay, August 2013.

“‘Colours In The Dark’ is more fluid, more coherent and even more dramatic than anything she’s previously produced on her own. On progressive opener ‘Victim Of Ritual’, marching rhythms part to reveal the symphonic metal sound the soprano has been associated with for the best part of three decades. The pop element she has flirted with has been polished up by producer Tim Palmer, whose credentials include Bowie’s Tin Machine, Robert Plant, and Turunen’s previous album. This one is packed with rock anthems (the galloping ‘Never Enough’ and ‘Neverlight’) and twists through grandiose orchestral arrangements, driving metal riffs and piano-led ditties soaked in rich atmospheres. ‘Colours In The Dark’ must surely be Tarja’s strongest solo release to date.”
Natasha Scharf, Prog Magazine, August 2013.

No other voice and artist influenced and basically created the female fronted symphonic metal genre as much as Tarja Turunen. A pioneer in goth and symphonic metal, the classically trained Finn rose to fame with the metal outfit Nightwish, whose face and voice she had been for 9 years. With a vocal range of a lyrical soprano, Turunen started her solo career in 2004. Releasing two very successful metal rock solo albums (2007 and 2010), awarded gold and platinum in multiple countries, Tarja Turunen has been constantly touring the world with her live band. Adored by many fans as their “Goddess”, the Finnish Soprano has the skill to carry her fans away just by her presence – probably more than any other female artist in this genre. When classical meets rock and heavy metal, it inevitably leads to Tarja.

Placebo

With Support from Toy

O2 Academy, Birmingham, 12th December 2013.

 

Placebo

Alt-rock champions Placebo have been invigorating the angsty emo-types with their ever-present passion and awesome musicianship since 1994. After nearly two decades and seven studio albums, they are still selling out shows to their loyal mix of youthful fans and aging rockers. On stage, Brian Molko’s vocals are distinctive and immediately recognisable, with the first track of tonight’s show ‘B3? sending shivers down your spine. The set-list drew heavily from the latest album ‘Loud Like Love’ but a few bonafide classics like ‘Every Me, Every You’, ‘Meds’ and ‘Special K’ were thrown in to leave everyone feeling nostalgic and completely satisfied.

Placebo
Placebo

Although the banter with the audience was kept to a bare minimum, the trio of Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal and Steve Forrest oozed self-assured charisma and had the whole lively crowd in the palm of their hands throughout the gig. The anthem ‘Teenage Angst’ launched the encore which also included a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’. Most notably missing from the set-list were two of Placebo’s most defining tracks, ‘Nancy Boy’ and ‘Pure Morning’. However this can be forgiven as Placebo will always be one of the most exciting and brilliant bands to witness live on stage.

Placebo

 

Toy

Toy have only been around since 2010 but have already supported the Horrors on their 2011 tour. Not a bad start to their career. Tonight, on a dimly lit stage and standing in a uniform line, Toy took us through an unpredictable warm up set. Their krautrock influences stood out with electro-psychedelic wails and ultra reverb. Combined with incredible bursts of heavy guitar riffs and layers of beautiful harmonies, Toy provided a great ambient atmosphere of shoe-gazing hanging hair with cranked up volume.

Toy

 See the full picture sets here:

Placebo

Toy

Words and pictures by Stephen Turner