The Astoria, London
3rd October 2008
All pics and live review by HannTu
Tonight’s not a night for doom and gloom, it’s a night for donning silly face paint and fake animal hair, raising your battle-axes (plastic) and your drinking horns (plastic), and rocking out with all the gusto you can manage. Yup, it’s Turisas and Dragonforce, two sold out nights at the London Astoria.
Fresh from the Paganfest tour in North America, Turisas bring their fresh faced version of folk ‘battle metal’ back to the UK, having headlined here only about 6 months ago, and then again two months ago. Obviously they get a shorter set time tonight, but hopefully they make the most of it.
Unfortunately not. They start off with the rocking ‘Battle Metal’, which surprises a lot of people seeing as it’s usually their closing song. No matter, they’re off to a good start, and it only gets better with the second song ‘A Portage to the Unknown’. Mathias then breaks up the momentum with a long rant about big venues in England, land of fine ales and bitters, serving their foreign entertainers “piss”. It must really get on his tits, seeing as he made the same speech back in the Electric Ballroom some months ago.
No matter, ‘One More’ gets the crowd participating with the roared chorus, a great sight and an even greater sound! ‘The Court of Jarisleif’ sees the entire madcap circus kick the nutty levels up a notch. Among the guilty offenders are Olli their violinist, who invites the entirely adorable Netta Skog, their accordian player with the dazzling smile, to go faster and faster. Meanwhile Matthias and bassist Hanu are capering and whirling around each other like madcap jesters. Utterly entertaining, and its actually a joy to watch performers enjoying themselves on stage, playing with smiles on their faces (Netta, that’s you…!)
Another interruption, this time for a long pre-recorded rant about the guitar solo (“Fuck the guitar solo!”, resulting in Olli showing us the elements of a good guitar solo (illusion [??], aggression and speed) can be reproduced with greater effect on a violin. I can’t remember if they played ‘The Dnieper Rapids’, it might actually have been ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.
Closing with the ever-dependable Boney M cover ‘Rasputin’ and ‘To Holmgard and Beyond’, Turisas definitely bring new meaning to the word “silly”. But they do it so inoffensively, so charmingly and with so much fun, it’s easy to forgive them and forget yourself. If you’ve done that, their mission is achieved. On Friday, mission was achieved indeed.
A Portage to the Unknown
The Court of Jarisleif
Dnieper Rapids (?)
To Holmgard and Beyond
With the stage set up with all the paraphernalia of a Dragonforce show – trampolines, ramps, extra platforms with fans underneath, beer holders on the microphone stands, and shitloads of picks – Dragonforce came out with guns ablazing.
It was an unfamiliar looking setlist, with a lot of songs from their latest album, ULTRA BEATDOWN. Unfortunately I haven’t listened to it yet, as I was not expecting to stay for Dragonforce. I managed to shoot the first three songs, and then had to leave. They sounded good for that duration, and they really are a wonderful band to photograph: clear beautiful white lights and loads of action going on all the while.
Heroes of Our Time
Operation Ground and Pound
Reasons to Live
Fury of the Storm
The Warrior Inside
Soldiers of the Wasteland
The Last Journey Home
My Spirit Will Go On
Thanks to Sarah Lees at Century Media for the photo pass!