Doro Pesch @ The Garage
Highbury & Islington, London
November 22nd, 2015
Words: Ann Sulaiman
Photos: Inty Malcolm
A week after Europe and the UK were shaken by previous news of terror in France at the Bataclan concert hall, venues in London chose to carry on with hosting live music shows. It was thus fitting that one of these would be Heavy Metal Queen Doro Pesch at The Garage in Highbury & Islington, for the London leg of her European tour. Having styled herself as a champion for freedom and love through the genre, it can be said that Doro was a symbol of hope for this reporter, while also being a symbol of the 80’s for her better known Warlock days.
The Garage’s main room filled with old school metalheads and part-time rockers who brought their spouses along “for old times’ sake”, before opening Californian trio ARCHER came onstage. While young and plucky in their eagerness to play, the youngsters stuck to a mostly comfortable style of jaunty hard rock and metal.
American Southern-tinged warbles and blues swaggered rhythms were performed decently enough, and while the idea of a shredded guitar solo (as played on song ’Belief’) seems impressive enough to the youth, in a live setting it needed something of an extra push to help the band stand out.
Nonetheless, ARCHER’s laid back spirit was still welcome to see; they interacted in friendly banter with the crowd, sharing excitement when they recognized someone from SoCal had flown all the way to London for the show.
This helped set the tone for what was to be a laid back and intimate show from Doro herself, which is always a joy to see in the metal world.
Hell in A Handbag
Hurl The Cross
King For a Day
World of One
Culling of the Weak
Day That Never Came
Dawn of Dilution
Tornado of Souls (Megadeth cover)
It was to much applause from fans young and old that Doro and her band strode across the stage, tearing right into opening track ‘Touch of Evil’.
There clearly wasn’t much need for introductions beforehand, as everyone in the audience pumped their fists and sang along with great enthusiasm.
Even those who weren’t so keen or familiar with the lyrics were encouraged by to join in, testament in a way to the Metal Queen’s previous comments about seeing fans as her family.
It had been years since Doro was able to perform with her former band Warlock due to corporate disputes, yet with or without them it was clear that its legacy was strong even in her career as a solo musician.
Many songs from the Warlock days featured throughout the set, from ‘I Rule The Ruins’ to the aggressively upbeat ‘Burning the Witches’ and slow rock ballad ‘Without You’.
While the stronger of her material that night, they didn’t go unaccompanied without catchier music from her more recent solo albums.
‘Raise Your Fist’ and ‘The Night of the Warlock’ may be considered easier to digest for people outside of heavy metal, yet it’s fair to note that they were still written in the old school heavy metal spirit that Doro passionately portrays as personality and performer.
Even the decision to include the relatively infamous Waken Hymne ‘We Are the Metalheads’ and a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’ – though from that band’s more commercial album – is a reminder of that.
Touch of Evil
I Rule the Ruins
Burning the Witches
Fight for Rock
Raise Your Fist (solo album)
The Night of the Warlock (solo album)
Bad Blood (solo album)
Chained (solo album)
Waken Hymne: ‘We Are The Metalheads’ (Skyline cover)
Breaking the Law (Judas Priest cover)
East Meets West