The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell , The Earls of Mars, Desert Storm
@ O2 Academy Islington
15th February 2013
Review by Anna Dumpe
Photography & Video by Jo Blackened
On the 15th of February we were given the opportunity to spend a Friday night watching Orange Goblin headline the O2 Academy Islington in London. It was the last show of their UK & Ireland 2013 tour in support of their latest album A Eulogy for the Damned. We knew it is going to be an epic night of brutal riffage, giant grooves and quite a lot of beer, but still the show turned out to be full of great surprises and lived up to our every expectation.
The first band to kick things off tonight is Desert Storm.
Despite an early start and the venue that appears to be half-empty, Desert Storm deliver a set of quality stoner rock combining chugging sludge riffs and classic blues grooves.
Blasting out giant riffs supported by Matt Ryan’s growling vocals, Desert Storm present themselves as a bunch of determined musicians with a great future in the music business.
They take the best example from bands like Clutch, Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and even Orange Goblin and mix it up in their own unique way.
Their performance is convincing and by the end of the set the audience is left wanting for more.
The 2nd band to perform tonight is The Earls of Mars.
It’s clear from the very first minute that these guys are not your every other average rock band. Replacing the usual bass guitar with an electric contrabass and adding electric guitar, keyboards and drums, the band put on a show of music that’s ambient, yet heavy and intriguing.
With an impressive stage presence The Earls of Mars deliver a performance that’s strange, yet utterly attractive and unpredictable. The front-man Harry Armstrong is a charismatic performer and his theatrical approach represents the band’s image to the max. With that said, he also comes across as an absolute nutter and a lot of fun to watch.
Mixing elements of Prog with some moody riffs and tinkling piano, The Earls of Mars live show might seem a bit chaotic, but that’s exactly what these chaps are going for.
They deliver a performance that is so weird that you are not completely sure if you like what you’re seeing, but you just can’t look away. Whatever the hell it is these guys are doing, you know it’s great.
For some people The Earls of Mars might have left an impression of four weirdos making music together,but they’re definitely the best surprise of the night and a band to check out if you like your music done differently.
The 3rd band on tonight is The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and they take the stage rocking the sideburns and retro haircuts that would make Liam Gallagher overly jealous.
The band represent the times when space rock and dirty grooves was the way forward and bands like Sir Lord Baltimore and Blue Cheer gave birth to what we know as heavy metal.
The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell delivers an intense performance of trippy and groovy songs off their debut album Don’t Hear It… Fear It, and the emphasis on their old-school image makes the performance even more exciting.
The band seem to own the crowd within seconds and the energy in the room is pumping.
Tonight The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell prove themselves as one of the most exciting retro-rock bands from UK!
Definitely one for fans of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, MC5 and everything else retro should keep an eye on these guys in the future.
When it’s time for Orange Goblin to take the stage, O2 Academy Islington is packed out and the energy in the room is beyond dynamic.
The second Orange Goblin hit the stage, what was supposed to be a gig, turns into a massive party and all hell breaks loose. After all, it’s a Friday night and everyone in the building is ready to get messy.
Orange Goblin appear to be in great shape and high spirits, as they’re playing the last show of the UK & Ireland tour in their hometown London.
Orange Goblin deliver an ass-kicking and booze-fuelled performance without letting the energy drop until the last note.
They are real crowd pleasers and a definite live band that seem to know exactly what everyone’s here for. Orange Goblin have been doing this for over 18 years and it seems like nothing in the world could stop this groove machine from going on and getting even better.
A great surprise for all is when Harry Armstrong from The Earls of Mars joins Orange Goblin on stage to perform “Turbo Effalunt (Elephant)” together and classic songs like “Your World Will Hate This,” “They Come Back (Harvest of Skulls)” and “Blue Snow” shakes up the crowd and gets everyone singing.
Yet there’s always that one moment when a certain performance reaches its pinnacle and you know that it just doesn’t get any better.
Tonight “Some You Win, Some You Lose” marks the point when everything and everyone goes simply apeshit. There are human bodies flying around, the band seems to be having the time of their lives and the whole place just turns into a friendly chaos.
The band are called back on stage for an encore of some of the most anticipated songs, like “The Ballad Of Solomon Eagle” and “Red Tide Rising,” which is a song off their newest album A Eulogy for the Damned, yet has already become an absolute classic.
Tonight we came to see one of the greatest live acts in UK and we left satisfied and slightly drunk. We salute to Orange Goblin – a band that knows what having a good time is all about.