Rock City Nottingham 16.10.15
The tours are now coming thick and fast and tonight is a special one as Cradle of Filth haven’t toured the UK extensively like this since 2001. Truth is, they have a very good reason to and it’s called “Hammers of the Witches” which is their latest album and it is brutal!
The Filth brought with them to Nottingham’s Rock City tonight, two equally brutal support bands that were well suited for tonight’s witch hunt, of sorts!
Billed as “Support 1” I first thought what a lame ass band name but it wasn’t until I saw the stage times in the venue that I actually discovered the first band on tonight were called “She Must Burn” who are from London. As six ghostly figures took to the stage (there’s an irony here, as the band are actually signed to Ghost Music) I could tell from their appearance these guys were gonna border on the extreme and I was right, to an extent. The vocalist virtually screamed, growled or grunted every word, yet between tracks and whilst addressing the crowd, their location became clear, as he had a broad cockney accent. If I was to liken this band to anyone, I’d have to say Rotting Christ or Carcass, but these guys have a twist, as their (rather attractive) female keyboardist doubles up as a second vocalist and produces some rather nice, clean vocals. This, I feel, will make this band more accessible for some. Other than finding out these guys have just released their self titled EP, which is available everywhere, I can’t find an awful lot else out about them.
However, I do know most of the band stood to the side of the stage to witness their tour mates perform, which says an awful lot about their character and how excited they must be to be touring with both Cradle of Filth and Ne Obliviscaris, who were up next.
These guys had travelled an extremely long way to be here tonight – over 10,000 miles in fact, as they are from Melbourne Australia, but I’m glad they made the trip, as I loved them! For a band from Australia, a place that isn’t well known for producing metal bands, they’ve done very well to amass a following nearly 60,000 strong. These guys have gone that extra mile to include an array of genre busting styles within the music they produce, which helps to set these guys apart from the rest. Thanks to a very talented and diverse bunch of musicians who makes up Ne Obliviscaris, in 2012 their debut album “Portal Of I” got released onto the world and quickly made these guys an underground favourite and the metal fraternity welcomed their unique style with open arms. Tonight, I too got to see this creative genius and energetic live show first hand!
A lively bunch on stage with half of the band looking as though they should be in a metal band, while the other half chose to dress more conservatively, most noticeably was Tim Charles, the bands clean vocalist and violinist, yes, you heard right kids, a metal violinist! It’s not a common metal instrument which you’d expect to see, but it did in fact work very well for these guys. The bands other and more extreme vocalist Xen, who also writes all the lyrics, certainly looked more suited for his part and I soon felt slightly inferior as this guy is one hell of a good looking humanoid, however, he hid his good looks throughout most of the set with his hair, as if to hide his vanity, to which I am grateful for as being killed by a stampede of screaming young girls isn’t how I envisaged my parting from this earth!
Being killed by fire, now that’s a much more appealing way to go and Cradle of Filth bought a truck load along with them for tonight’s opening to their “Inquisitional Tourture” tour, well they had to start with a bang didn’t they! Obviously covering any opening night of a tour has to get the band maximum exposure so people become interested in the rest of the dates around the country etc and I’m pretty confident the images we’ve released via our social media outlets have done that, as the activity they’ve produced has been phenomenal – it also tells me how popular this band actually are. Although a modest gathering tonight, I’d love to see what the crowds are like for the remaining UK dates, which are Glasgow, Manchester and finally London, KOKO, in Camden. What a gig that’s going to be, I love that venue.
I don’t need to digest a Thesaurus to describe how good this band are, or have an English degree to write about them either, as they are quite simply one of the most original metal acts this country has ever produced. If you ask any of the greatest bands around, what’s been their greatest achievement in their musical career, the answer is usually “we found our own style” and this I feel, rings true with Cradle of Filth. Yes, some find Danny Filth’s persistent screech a little grating but I on the other hand, see it as a characteristic that embellishes Filth’s identity. This has been well demonstrated on Cradle of Filth’s new album “Hammer of the Witches” which we’re genuinely enjoying immensely. My favourite track off this album so far, has been “Blackest Magick In Practice” and is a testament to this bands creativity. To still be able to produce such a unique sounding track that stands separately to anything already produced in their extensive back catalogue, which consists of eleven studio albums, is quite remarkable really!
Creative mastermind and vocalist Dani Filth, dressed like a demon lord, showed us why he’s one of the best front men around tonight! When addressing the crowd between tracks, he’s funny, entertaining and also a visual wonderment to behold throughout the entire set. Early into the set, Danny states “It’s been fucking ages since I was last in Nottingham, the last time I was here, it was for a dwarf wedding and it wasn’t my own!” funny, here’s a guy who doesn’t take life too seriously and I’ve also heard he’s one of the nicest guys in metal! ALL HAIL CRADLE OF FILTH, I just wish I could be at the KOKO gig as I’m sure that’s going to be an absolute belter. Catch um there, as they set off for Europe soon after and who knows when these guys will tour again next!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)