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Concerts I've seen


4.5/5 Sabaton The Garage
2.5/5 Panic Cell 13th December 2009
1.5/5 Malefice

Sabaton advert Sabaton ticket

Review to follow.


4/5 W.A.S.P. Shepherds Bush Empire
2.5/5 Glitterati 2nd December 2009

W.A.S.P. ticket

Review to follow.


Femme Metal Festival The Peel
4/5 Sirenia 6th October 2009
2.5/5 Soulgrind
3/5 Apparition
3.5/5 Scarecrown
???/5 Triaxis
2/5 Sanity Falls
???/5 Solsikk
???/5 Crimson Tears

Femme Metal Festival advert Femme Metal Festival advert Femme Metal Festival ticket

Review to follow.


3.5/5 Ensiferum The Scala
2.5/5 Metsatöll 6th October 2009
2.5/5 Tracedawn

Ensiferum ticket

Tracedawn struck me as being very similar to Children Of Bodom, albeit a bit more melodic, with twin guitar harmonies very much in evidence. The harsh vocals were OK, but the parts where the singer used a clean voice were noticably better. Metsatöll are almost certainly the first Estonian band I've seen. They played what is now becoming an increasingly common form of folk metal. Of note were the variety of wierd and wonderful instruments on display. But for me, they were nothing more than average. I've seen Ensiferum several times now, and they have yet to put on a bad show. Highlights tonight were "Little dreamer", "Treacherous gods" and "Iron". In truth, despite enjoying the show, I'd have to say that this wasn't one of their better performances. But it was still a decent way to end the night.


2.5/5 Diablo Swing Orchestra The Purple Turtle
4/5 Triaxis 2nd October 2009

Diablo Swing Orchestra ticket

Review to follow.


4/5 Primal Fear The Garage
4/5 Brainstorm 25th September 2009

Primal Fear ticket

Review to follow.


Bloodstock Open Air Catton Hall
3/5 Europe 16th August 2009
3.5/5 Eden's Curse
3/5 Satyricon
???/5 Tribe
???/5 Darkness Dynamite
3.5/5 Nya
2/5 Amon Amarth
4/5 Into The Woods
2/5 Anterior
2.5/5 Moonspell
3.5/5 Nightmare World
3/5 Beholder
2.5/5 Biomortal
3.5/5 Turisas
1/5 Sower
3/5 Primitive Graven Image
2.5/5 Anathema
3.5/5 Into The Woods
3/5 Long Time Dead
3/5 Equilibrium
3.5/5 Triaxis
2.5/5 Anwwn
2.5/5 Girlschool
2/5 Agonyst
4.5/5 Sabaton
3.5/5 Eibon La Furies
4/5 Beholder

Bloodstock ticket Beholder photo Eibon La Furies photo Sabaton photo The Agonyst photo Girlschool photo Anwwn photo Triaxis photo Equilibrium photo Long Time Dead photo Into The Woods acoustic photo Anathema photo Primitive Graven Image photo Sower photo Turisas photo Biomortal photo Beholder acoustic photo Nightmare World photo Moonspell photo Anterior photo Into The Woods photo Amon Amarth photo Nya photo Darkness Dynamite photo Satyricon photo Eden's Curse photo Europe photo Photos

Review to follow.


Bloodstock Open Air Catton Hall
3/5 Cradle Of Filth 15th August 2009
???/5 The Rotted
4.5/5 Blind Guardian
???/5 Abgott
3/5 Godsized
3.5/5 Arthemis
0.5/5 Severed Heaven
4/5 Apocalyptica
3.5/5 Hunted
3.5/5 Celesty
3/5 Solsikk
4/5 Kreator
???/5 OMT
2.5/5 Enslaved
2.5/5 Inner Eden
3/5 Sanctorum
3/5 Candlemass
1.5/5 Internal Conflict
1/5 Entombed
???/5 Switchblade Sky
???/5 Niyah Sky
2/5 The Haunted
???/5 Nefarious
4/5 Wolf
???/5 They Will Rise
???/5 Battlelore
???/5 Uncle Rotter

Bloodstock ticket Wolf photo The Haunted photo Entombed photo Internal Conflict photo Candlemass photo Sanctorum photo Inner Eden photo Enslaved photo Kreator photo Solsikk photo Celesty photo Hunted photo Apocalyptica photo Severed Heaven photo Arthemis photo Godsized photo Blind Guardian photo Cradle Of Filth photo Photos

Review to follow.


3.5/5 Lacuna Coil Shepherds Bush Empire
1.5/5 Cancer Bats 31st July 2009
2.5/5 Dead By April
1.5/5 The Defiled

Lacuna Coil ticket

Review to follow.


3.5/5 Falconer The Underworld
2.5/5 Dragonland 17th July 2009

Falconer advert Falconer ticket

Review to follow.


Damsels Of Destruction Bridge House 2
1.5/5 Hand 6th June 2009
4/5 Liquid Sky
4/5 Hanging Doll
2.5/5 Reign Of Sirius
???/5 Tainted Grace
4/5 Triaxis
2/5 Crimson Tears
3/5 Apparition
3.5/5 Achilla
3.5/5 Winter Storm

Damsels Of Destruction advert Achilla photo Apparition photo Crimson Tears photo Triaxis photo Reign Of Sirius photo Hanging Doll photo Liquid Sky photo Hand photo Photos

Review to follow.


4/5 Ultravox The Roundhouse
2.5/5 Anne-Marie Helder 30th April 2009
Ultravox advert Ultravox advert Ultravox ticket

Review to follow.


4/5 Ultravox Hammersmith Apollo
2/5 Paul Claxton 24th April 2009
Ultravox advert Ultravox ticket

Paul Claxton played some acoustic songs. Just him and a guitar. He was competent enough, but ultimately, quite dull. He played a cover of AC/DC's "Up to my neck in you", but I'd never have known had he not announced it to the crowd beforehand. Ultravox had been the favourite band of my formative years. I'd last seen them at Wembley 23 years earlier, and so naturally, I jumped at the chance to see them on this, their reunion tour. To be honest, I was doubtful they could still put on a decent live performance, after all these years, and I wasn't expecting much. I was extremely pleased to be proven wrong. The lights dimmed, and the familiar "tink, tink, tink" of "Astradyne" came through the PA. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and I knew it was going to be good. Astoundingly, Midge still has a great voice, even now. He also brought a smile to my face when he said "I don't know what this place is called these days, but to us it'll always be the Hammersmith Odeon", a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. In addition to their nominal native drums, bass and guitar, Warren, Chris and Midge all had their own synths on stage, in addition to Billy's synths. Highlights for me were the aforementioned "Astradyne", plus "Passing strangers", "Hymn" and an end of set "The voice", complete with all four members on drums, just like on the cover of "Monument", which incidentally was recorded in this very venue over a quarter of a century earlier.


4/5 Saxon The Forum
4/5 Doro 23rd April 2009
3/5 Sweet Savage
Saxon advert Saxon advert Saxon ticket

Review to follow.


3/5 The Green River Project The Underworld
2.5/5 Nemhain 2nd April 2009
3.5/5 The Mercy House
???/5 Achilla
The Green River Project advert

Review to follow.


3.5/5 Kamelot Islington Academy
3.5/5 Dream Evil 29th March 2009
3.5/5 Amberian Dawn
Kamelot advert Kamelot ticket

Review to follow.


3.5/5 Amberian Dawn The Underworld
3.5/5 Pythia 28th March 2009
Amberian Dawn advert Amberian Dawn ticket

Review to follow.


2/5 Haken The Peel
4/5 Season's End 21st March 2009
Haken / Season's End advert Season's End photo Season's End photo Haken photo Haken photo

Review to follow.


3.5/5 Adoration The Underworld
3.5/5 Moth Complex 6th March 2009
2/5 Tranquil Fury
1/5 Wake
Adoration advert Adoration ticket

Review to follow.


3.5/5 Hammerfall Islington Academy
4.5/5 Sabaton 1st March 2009
3.5/5 Bullet
Hammerfall ticket

Review to follow.


4/5 Judas Priest Wembley Arena
4.5/5 Megadeth 21st February 2009
2.5/5 Testament
Judas Priest ticket Testament photo Megadeth photo Judas Priest photo Photos

I'd been impressed by Testament at Bloodstock, and was looking forward to this show. Sadly, it just wasn't working. I can't put a finger on where it went wrong, but where at Bloodstock they were engaging and entertaining, here they seemed to largely just be going through the motions. That's not to say there weren't high points, like "Practice what you preach". But overall, it was a disappointing performance. The same could not be said of Megadeth. Strangely, although they've put on some reasonable shows, their live shows have always seemed a bit lacking. Not tonight, though, and they put on a great show. The band were as tight as I've ever seen them, they seemed to be enjoying themselves, and they rattled through a strong setlist. My picks would be "Hangar 18", "À tout le monde" and a spine tingling "Symphony of destruction", but they really didn't go far wrong throughout the set. A few years ago, Judas Priest had released possibly the best comeback album of all time in the form of "Angel of retribution", and had put on a correspondingly good live show at Hammersmith. Then they bizarrely decided to throw it all away by releasing the comparatively weak concept album, "Nostradamus". So I wasn't sure what to expect from this show. Fortunately, they peppered the set with enough classics to keep everyone happy, and even the new material came over reasonably well live. Every time I've seen him, Halford seems to be lacking in confidence at the start of the show before getting into the swing of things, and tonight was no exception. "The hellion" and "electric eye" are always going to go down well, and "Painkiller" was right up there as well, along with a somewhat surprising "Angel", which worked remarkably well. A good showing from Priest, then, but for me, Megadeth just edged them out for my band of the evening.


3.5/5 Edguy Islington Academy
3/5 Andre Matos 10th January 2009
???/5 H.E.A.T.
Edguy ticket

I'd come straight from work, but didn't arrive in time to see H.E.A.T. Andre Matos had left Angra some years ago, and embarked on a solo career. He's still got a decent voice, and put on a reasonably good performance, but I feel something's lacking in the songwriting department, and apart from a rendition of Angra's "Lisbon", nothing much stood out. Edguy have long been a strong live band, so I was expecing big things. But for whatever reason, they just weren't on form tonight. Partly, that was a poor choice of setlist. For example, we didn't hear "Tears of a mandrake" or "Mysteria" tonight, both of which were very much missed. "King of fools" was the highlight, but overall, an off night for Edguy.


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