Freedom Call, A New Tomorrow, Neverworld
22 March 2014
Review by Rowena Lamb
Photography by Nikki Ryan
One of the things about this evening that I find most bizarre is that somehow despite living in London for the amount of time I have, I’ve never been to a gig at the Barfly in Camden. How this has occurred I have no idea, but there’s a first time for everything and as first times go, this was a definite classic.
The Barfly is a really small venue, no two ways about it and upon our arrival it was already pretty damn busy. Given its layout if you’re a bit of a short arse then you’d better find some way towards the front or you’ve got no hope. Luckily for me I live on hope and so got a cracking view of all three bands.
First up on the list was Neverworld and one of the lasting memories of the evening is the party atmosphere from both the stage and the crowd. This was not so much a determination to have a good time, more of an absolute certainty. Though (due to unavoidable reasons) I only managed to arrive a couple of songs into their set, the venue as already nearly full and Neverworld had already managed to whip up the party atmosphere.
‘Spin the Wheel of Misfortune’ has a slow rhythm, using layers and increasing volume to give build as well as nice high guitar lines. ‘This Fire’ (EP) is a good place to start if you’ve never listened to Neverworld before. It combines a lot of elements; beginning with slow vocals, really amped up, then turns in on itself, becoming slow again. There are lots of changes in tone, rhythm and vocals throughout this song which keeps your ears constantly working and alert, as well as an ending that reminded me a bit of Dire Straits. Their debut album ‘Visions of Another World’ is out to buy now so go check it out.
To the crowds’ disappointment they ran out of time and couldn’t play the last song they had on their set list, which was a shame as everyone was obviously enjoying it and why not. The crowd enjoyed their set but also their ability to engage with the audience who were more than happy to banter back. So….so far, so good.
The party atmosphere continues with A New Tomorrow who are welcomed to the stage with loud applause. This was my first time watching each of the band’s tonight and from the audience’s reaction alone I was questioning where the hell I could have been to miss them.
There were several times throughout their set where I thought ‘this song is my favourite’ only for them to bring out another even better song. ‘Fade Your Shadow has a steady rock sound to it, and though it is not a slow song, it’s got a laidback edge to it with a dash of good old power influences in the chorus. It goes well with the old fashioned microphone (always loved those).
‘A New Tomorrow is dedicated to everyone in the room that has a dream and the tone and emphasis of it really matches this and the image of struggling to achieve your dream; with the determined rhythm and feel of the chorus clashing with the slightly weary tone of the verse.
‘Brighter Than The Sun’ was their first single on YouTube; its similar to its predecessors but has a lighter feel and a relaxed rock vibe. Listening again to their recording it doesn’t do real justice to the live version which can often be the case, but you do get a sense of how good this sounded on the night, especially in such a party ready venue.
- Like A Rolling (apologies I neither heard nor could find the rest of the song title)
- Fade Your Shadow
- A New Tomorrow
- Mother Earth
- What They Can’t Steal From You
- Brighter Than The Sun
- Damn You
Now throughout the night I’d heard shouts of ‘heavy metal party’ and it was obvious to all that a damn good time was being had and that there was more to come so it was no surprise at all to hear the very loud cheers as Freedom Call set foot on the stage.
I’d listened to their opening offer ‘Union of the Strong’ earlier that day and though I’d enjoyed it, it was by far better live (especially as I knew some of the words by then) and it was a great way to call the audience to attention. Not that they needed it really as they were more than ready for this. ‘We Are One’ was next and a smooth transition, providing more energy and a fast rhythm (almost like holding onto a speeding train…only slightly less dangerous….and with beer).
Now if you’ve seen the video for ‘Union of the Strong’ then you would have seen the abundance of drums on display, though sadly you couldn’t fit that many onto the Barfly’s stage but that didn’t stop Ramy Ali from pounding the crap out of the drums that were there. ‘Tears of Taragon’ brought a lovely jungle style beat and a cat like slow swing. It also gave a good opportunity to watch Ramy ‘s energetic and committed drumming; throwing his head forward with the hits, and even managing a cheeky smile. Even later managing to put a hole through the bass drum much to everyone’s amusement. I’ve never been asked at a gig if anyone has a bass drum with them before. Thanks go to Connor the tech guy for producing another and letting the party continue.
‘Farewell’ is probably the happiest song I’ve ever heard at any gig and it would be hard not to have a little dance about to it – so several of us didn’t bother to even try to resist. This was a party after all, and what’s a party without a little singing, with ‘Beyond’ drawing out the audiences’ lung power to join in with arms raised. ‘Land of Light’ continued the action and you could feel the floor move underneath you.
There were several more songs on the set list, but rules are rules according to the venue and so despite the crowd airing their disappointment the night had to end. Well the music did at any rate as it took a fair while of soaking up the applause for before all of the band left the stage, and why not! They played a cracking set and between them and the audience it had indeed been one hell of a heavy metal party.
If I ever see that Freedom Call are doing another gig in London then I’m definitely buying my ticket as you truly are guaranteed to have a party, and as described on their Facebook page, this really is happy metal. This is music to be enjoyed and shared and can only leave you in the best of moods and feeling energised. I am damn glad I put my name down to review this gig – thank you for a top night and one hell of a party.
- Union of the Strong
- We Are One
- Age of the Phoenix
- Hero Nation
- Tears of Taragon
- The Quest
- Warriors of Light
- Heart of a Warrior
- Power & Glory
- Come on home
- Tears of Babylon
- Freedom Call
- Land of Light