with Primitai and The Heretic Order
@ The Underworld, Camden
8 February 2015
Review by Rowena Lamb
Photographs by Jo Blackened
Having been a fan of Wolf since I first saw them at Bloodstock in 2009 I was more than ready for their return to the UK and one of my favourite London venues; The Underworld, Camden. With it’s dark, intensely close atmosphere it’s a terrific venue for high energy and engaging bands such as the ones on the bill that evening.
It wasn’t until I rocked up to the venue that evening that I discovered who the first band of the evening was to be, and I can honestly saw I was delighted. Yet another band I saw live for the first time at Bloodstock, so it was beginning to feel like a bit of a festival reunion. Having only played one show before their set on the Jaegermeister stage at Bloodstock I more than impressed with their style. Needless to say that I was looking forward to seeing what they could deliver in this contrasting venue with more fire power behind them.
With the red lighting directed towards the ceiling providing a perfect dingy looking backdrop, The Heretic Order kicked the show off arriving to the strains of a delicate instrumental which suited the visual really well.
Having gently lulled you into paying attention they slap you in the face with the first song which was a complete reversal from the melodic intro.
One benefit to seeing The Heretic Order at The Underworld over the tiny Jaegermeister stage at BOA is that you can better see how the bands interacts with each other as well as the crowd. Not to mention being able to see the drummer, who in the smokey grey lights and hooded top looked very monk like; completely at odds with the smashing of the drums.
‘Balie’ has a really catchy, groove of a guitar riff in it, but my favourite riff has to belong to ‘Burn Witch’ which has a lovely creepy, Hammer House vibe. Looking around it was good to see the audience clearly getting into the set.
If you haven’t yet managed to see The Heretic Order before I really recommend that you do. Still a new band on the block, they offer more in their live shows than just the hint of a strong future; it’s a promise.
Rot In Hell
Death Ride Blues
Earlier in the evening someone had asked me if I had seen Primitai before, and I have to admit I wasn’t sure, though I really thought I had. However, within a very short space of time it was obvious that that was just not the case because if I had seen this band before there is no doubt whatsoever that I would have remembered with certainty.
When reviewing I like to stand back, watch and analyse and I’ll admit, though I love watching live music it’s not every band that can make me close that analytical side of my brain and put away any thoughts of note taking.
Primitai however made that easy as they are so easily likeable from the music to their stage presence. It was clear early on that they had a strong fan base in the audience and I could clearly see why, as by the end of their first song I was a complete convert.
Each song is the same in the way it catches you up in it’s energy and I was more than happy to stand there and be caught. The energy extended to their stage presence as it seemed that whenever Guy Miller wasn’t singing, he was moving about the stage, interacting with the audience or mimicking the other band members. Not one minute did he seem to stand still. The connection throughout the band looked easy and added much to their likability. Plus who doesn’t like a musical pyramid (yes I said pyramid) on stage.
It was one of those sets that seemed to be over not long after it had begun. ‘The Line of Fire’ has a lovely guitar solo in the second half, with ‘Sin City’ bringing the energy and intent right back up with a song that seemed destined to have you rocking your head and moving your ass.
‘Rockin’ In Hell’ offered a nice little contradiction with a low, steady tone for the verse whereas ‘Scream When You See Us’ was a whole new beast, offering lovely deep, rapid fire bass drums.
First impressions count for a lot and I think it’s fair to say that they made a damn good first impression. Bring on the next show is all I can say!
Fortune Favours the Brave
The Line of Fire
Rockin’ In Hell
Scream When You See Us
Now was the time for the main event, and I had been waiting for Wolf to come back to London for some time. Part of that reason is that this is another band that is just so damn likeable.
We all know that there’s nothing quite like those moments where you’re so completely caught up in the music and band, but there’s those even better moments when you look up and see that the band are right there with you.
Every time I’ve seen Wolf play you get those moments as they so obviously love very single second on stage and are opening feeding off the crowd and their responses. Which turn feeds the crowd. They have never disappointed whenever I’ve seen them live and tonight was no exception.
After a great intro they blasted into the first song, which was a cracking choice to begin with. Kicking right in with one of their harder style songs is something that you expect from a Wolf set; they want to start exactly as they mean to go on. Credit also has to be given to singer Niklas Stålvind who despite having a throat infection did a cracking job on vocals and from an audience perspective you really wouldn’t have known.
‘My Demon’ is Wolf’s version of a love song apparently, and it has that tone and rocky groove that would really suit the kind of rougher more earthy venue that still has saw dust on the floor. Asking us a while later if we wanted to hear something faster, ‘Night Stalker’ was certainly different and yes, yes it was fast, and with a damn cheeky ending too.
In my opinion you cannot have a Wolf gig without playing a few favourites such as ‘Voodoo’, ‘Speed On’ and Hail Caesar’ and as any Wolf fan would be I was delighted to hear each song begin and was shouting and singing away with the rest of them. Voodoo!
‘Full Moon Possession’ has solid, sexy drumming going on and ‘Skull Crusher’ does what it suggests by calling to your very head and neck, making them move all on their own. Though more cheers were yet to come as Anders Modd decended off stage into the crowd with his bass for a proper walkabout, much to everyone’s delight. Well why not, after all a bit of exercise never did anyone any harm.
After an extremely short wait for the en core, ‘Genocide’ showed no mercy in blowing away any measure of tiredness you many have been feeling and really was the perfect antidote to the Sunday evening blues. The last song of the evening was ‘Killing Floor’ and what can only be described as a boob jiggler of a song; with the bouncing rhythm and guitar riffs, it was a great choice.
It really was a shame that this was a Sunday evening as after this gig I felt energised and was in the mood to stay out and enjoy life and have to not think about getting home before work the next day. I would however happily live with that disappointment every week if it meant having a Sunday night like this. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this gig – thank you!
I Will Kill Again
Full Moon Possession