Alestorm + Sabaton @ Kentish Town Forum, London

Spread the metal:

Alestorm + Sabaton Co-Headline

Kentish Town Forum, London

10th March, 2016

Review & Pictures by Billy Edmonds

A rather cold night at hand, two of the world’s greatest themed metal bands are about to play one of England’s iconic venues. It is pretty evident how everyone around me feels about the moment and the tour, non-stop talking about how amazing it is too see such a massive line up.
The last time I saw Alestorm play was in a very tiny venue in the south-west of Germany, it’s going to be very interesting to see how they cope with such a large venue. As for Sabaton, I haven’t myself ever seen them before, but I have heard nothing but good words.

Bloodbound

Formed in 2004 fresh out of Sweden, this power metal 6 piece are a perfect fit to open for the monsters that are Alestorm and Sabaton. After 6 Studio albums and countless tours you’d think these guys would be pretty well known, something that doesn’t seem true as noticeably there aren’t too many people wearing Bloodbound’s merch, but the second these guys come onto the stage the room opens up into a frenzy of screaming and more devil horns than hell itself!

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All of the band are incredibly talented but being able to see Fredrick Bergh (keys) play live is somewhat stunning. His interaction with not only the band but also the crowd is somewhat incredible; I have never seen someone who plays the keyboard and can also get the crowd as pumped up as he does!

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As Bloodbound smash their way through the set the room is filling up more and more. Stage presence is somewhat an art- form, it’s very rare that a band who are first on can get the crowd as wild as they are tonight, and that’s something that this band has without a doubt mastered. Certainly a band worth seeing.

Alestorm

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To my surprise, Alestorm are second on. Sabaton are more well known but I myself am rather shocked that they wouldn’t headline the London show being the only British band on the tour. In true Alestorm fashion the bar-kit is loaded to the stage filled with the magical essences that are gin, rum and vodka. Last year was a major blow for Alestorm as Dani Evans (ex-lead guitar) decided he would leave the band. As much as this sucks he hasn’t been replaced by anyone who couldn’t fill his void; Mate Bodor is Dani’s successor and he seriously knows how to do it; his skill with a 6 string is something which cannot be underestimated and he has managed to blend in with Alestorm impeccably.

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Alestorm are probably one of the only pirate metal bands that have ever truly made it successfully. Halfway through the show Chris asks for silence and starts to “Tell a tale” about how the giant duck came out, “we as band sat down and debated buying a  fully working pirate ship (with working cannons) but as we were steaming drunk we went for the 7 foot inflatable duck instead”, now there re not many metal bands that could pull off having this kind of thing on their stage but for some reason Alestorm manage it.

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The crowd don’t seem to mind the duck and neither do I. I actually feel it really fits in with Alestorm’s “I don’t care what anyone thinks” attitude, which let’s be honest is rather pirate like. 3/4 of the way through the show, Mate’s guitar tech joins the stage with an acoustic guitar to play “Hangover” (Originally written by Taio Cruz & Flo-Rider). As the song kicks in, the tour manager joins the stage dressed as Flo-Rider- comically brilliant. Without a doubt this was the most well-known song played this evening with even the majority of the security joining in. Chris also didn’t know what day of the week it was, when he was informed it was a Thursday he appeared to be rather shocked that everyone seemed to be having such an immense time and that a Thursday show in London had actually sold out!

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Alestorm are a band that you do not want to miss, take my advice and check them out immediately!

Alestorm Setlist

1. Keelhauled
2. Over The Seas
3. Magnetic North
4. Shipwrecked
5. Surf Squid Warfare
6. Nacy The Tavern Wench
7. Walk The Plank
8. The Suck’n Norwegain
9. Drink
10. 1741 (The Battle Of Caragena)
11. Hang Over
12. Captain Morgan’s Revenge
13. Rum

Sabaton

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One thing instantly noticeable about these guys and that is that they are all genuinely good friends! I don’t think I saw once these guys look sad, just constant smiles and happiness because they  are doing what they love doing. Something else I have noticed this evening  is the vast amount of different nationalities here tonight by the brightly coloured barrier which has become a massive flagpole. Sabaton’s centre piece for this evening is a rather beautifully made 4 ton tank which has been adapted to be able to shoot pyros from the cannons; it is also where the drums are situated which is a pretty incredible feat of engineering!

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Sabaton are renowned for their militaristic style and this is something which comes off the second they come on stage, Even the roadies tonight are dressed in full military gear. Sabaton’s show also seem like some form of theatrical show- not only a musical one. During the 4th song Joakim (vocals) asked for Thobbe’s (lead uitar) guitar. After stating that it is a 2 year tradition for this to be apart of the show,Thobbe proudly says he is sick of Joakim taking it and tells him to leave the stage. After he leaves, Hannes asks “What do we do now?” to which Thobbe replies “Well if we sing a song in Swedish they won’t know if we f*ck up the lyrics!” then the battle of guitars and drums kicks in for the infamous ‘Gott Mitt Uns’.

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Half way through the set and a top gets thrown onto the stage, to which it is said they have started to collect tops during this tour due to the massive amount that have been thrown to them. As the night draws older the band’s energy doesn’t seem to dissipate at all, it’s as if they have done 5 creates of Red Bull each. The sheer amount of bouncing coming from all of them is incredible!

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I really feel that it isn’t fair that Alestorm had no encore and Sabaton did, was this not meant to be a CO-HEADLINE tour? It does feel as if Sabaton were the true headliners tonight with the vast amount of people here but even so, it is meant to be a co-headline show, which means each headline band should get the exact same treatment; nevertheless, as Sabaton come back onto the stage to a mix of air-raid sirens and explosions they open with the song that more than likely got them to where they are today ‘Primo Victoria’. The floors and walls all begin to shake with the mass of jumping, the pit is like one giant frenzy of fire ants with people moving in every direction.

Sabaton are an immense band to see live and another one of those bands that shouldn’t be missed if you get the chance to see them.

This tour has been a really solid package, and  if you do have a chance to see this line-up at a future date, take it

Sabaton set list

  1. Ghost Division
  2. Far from the frame
  3. Uprising
  4. Midway
  5. Gott Mitt Uns
  6. Resist and Bite
  7. Carlous Rex
  8. Swedish Pagans
  9. Attero Dominatus
  10. Soldier Of 3 Armies
  11. The art Of war
  12. Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life Cover (Thobbe Solo)
  13. To Hell And Back
  14. Night Wiches
  15. Primo Victoria
  16. Metal Crue