Review and Photography by Graham Hilling
14th September 2014
Edguy, German Gods of Powermetal return to London for their first club dates in 3 Years and for a Sunday night early start, the Islington Academy is surprisingly full for openers, The Wild Lies. These guys play fairly standard rocky with some nice lead work complimenting the songs, if you needed to draw a comparison it would be Heavens Basement meets Guns ‘n’ Roses I suspect. The vocals of Matt James are certainly impressive with a very good range.
Sadly the songs are a little bit hookless for a first listen in a live environment with nothing really grabbing the ears. “Masons Vial” is almost Hendrixy in its feel and shows off the lead work nicely. In addition, the Academy PA seems to be louder than normal too!
James engages the audience on the closer, “Magpie” with some success and theres a bit of crowd participation going on. All in all, pretty well received and a fair start to the evening.
The Wild Lies Setlist
Skarlett Riot are up next, all the way from Scunthorpe. Female vocals over a more metal/punky backdrop. They are well practiced and have a tight sound, in particular the rhythm section of Luke on drums and Martin Shepherd on bass drive things forward very nicely. It’s a solid rhythm section for sure.
They’re quite heavy as well, gone are the blistering solos from the previous band, replaced by chunky riffing and punctuated drumming. The odd solo is in evidence but not quite in like Wild Lies, more punky and this fits the music perfectly. Despite the heavy music, the vocals of Skarlett harmonize well and make the whole thing sound lighter than it might otherwise. It’s quite an intoxicating combination.
There’s some audience banter, seeing who is loudest – blokes or the women. Truth is, the PA wins everytime tonight, the sound is still blisteringly loud.
“Broken Wings” shows off the vocals very well and has an immediate appeal. In truth, all the songs are well put together, with enough variety to hold interest. Closer “Tear Me Down” starts with thumping drumming before launching into a blistering attack which see the set finishing with Shepherd playing his bass while standing on the bar. Nice one!
Skarlett Riot Setlist
So it is left to Edguy from Germany to close the evening off on the best way possible with a huge dollop of (cheesey) powermetal and a the exhuberance of the German football team! Clearly very happy to be back in London (apparently 3 years since the last club tour) they are all grinning like the cat that got the cream.
Tobias Sammet is a proper showman, it takes no time at all for his rapport with the crowd to be fully cemented, everyone thinks he’s there newest, bestest friend. And he has some amusing anocdotes to share between the songs that keep everything well oiled and slick.
As you’d expect, a large portion of the set is taken from the latest album, “Space Police: Defenders of the Crown”, including “Love Tyger”, “Space Police” and “Rock Me Amadeus”. “England” sees Sammet playing a grand piano (which takes up a large piece of the stage and has him sitting almost with his back to the audience!).
This song is particuularly well received with loads of audience participation on the classic line “But nothing compares to you, England, Cause England’s got Steve Harris”. There is even an unconfirmed rumour going round the Steve Harris is in the audience!
“Defenders of the Crown” is introduced as proper heavy metal and Sammet almost drops a clanger by referring to Germany as the “Motherland of football” amidst some playful booing. He redeems himself by saying that “England is the motherland of heavy metal”! Cue much applause!
Musically, you know what you are going to get with Edguy and are not encouraged to look too deeply. This is a fun band, out to encourage their audience to have a fun night out. Not too much thinking required thank you!
As such, this is a complete success and I suspect that by the time they get to closer “King of Fools” from the 2004 album “Hellfire Club” their aren’t very many people who feel short changed. A fine evening for pickle with the cheese…..