Lordi @ The Garage, London

with Kaledon and Hostile
12th May 2013
Review by by Victoria Fenbane
Photography by Michelle Murphy

Eurovision Song Contest 2006 winners are back in London, just under a week before the event which made them a household name, their first since their Halloween 2009 performance at Islington O2.

Tonight’s gig has been downgraded from The Forum to the 650 capacity Garage and is very busy, yet not sold out. Hopefully this is not a sign that Eurovision fame is losing its influence and instead a symptom of having covered 5 other UK cites in preceding days.

Opening tonight are Midlands based youngsters Hostile.

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A band with a head-start on most others in terms of opportunities; Bassist Alex is the son of Judas Priest’s Ian Hill, while K.K Downing produced their debut album ‘Eve Of Destruction’ and wrote the song ‘Addiction’.

Despite all this backing from high profile individuals they did not make a great impact music wise, but still invoked a great deal of crowd participation for an opening act.

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Best described as heavy metal with an overall modern punk vibe and dual male vocal, they have all the aggression and anger expected of a young metal act.

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Dedicating their last song to ‘fallen soldiers’ of metal, probably won them a few fans from those undecided, especially with the timing of the death of Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman.

With influential people backing them they are probably one to keep an eye on, but also overhyped…depends of the kind of metal which floats your boat really.

Italians Kaledon market themselves as a power metal act, however tonight they come across more heavy metal.

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Probably due to them not playing tightly enough, resulting in coming across a little discordant.

Vocalist Marco certainly acts like he’s in a power metal act, making a grand entrance sometime after the musicians, blowing kisses to the crowd and tossing about his dark curly hair.

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They did however manage to maintain the attention of the crowd and were rewarded with audience participation. The front man’s repeated introduction of fellow band members (at least 3 times throughout the set) hinted at a possible over indulgence of booze on the last night of the tour.

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Whatever the sobriety levels of the band, the high-pitched vocals combined with a discordant sound made them an uncomfortable experience.
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The crowd are ecstatic as Lordi take to the stage!

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There is quite a mix here tonight, from young ‘spooky kids’ to father and son heavy metal fans. All know all the words, even the newer material.

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One cannot mention Lordi without commenting on their outfits!
Tonight’s change of venue provides a opportunity to get up close, and be blown away by, the sheer amount of thought and detail which has gone into the outfits of Mr Lordi and co.

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The 3 hours it takes frontman and mastermind to apply his makeup pays off.
Even at close proximity you can believe the band are monsters.

The moulded rubber mimics putrid deformed skin, while the band members stay in beastly character throughout.

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Keyboardist Hella is particularly unnerving with her pupil-less eyes and zombie mannerisms.

Great sound engineering enables Lordi to storm through a pretty much CD perfect rendition of their hits (there are more than most expect) and highlights from the new album.

The live sound, which is more synth in places, is in no way a bad thing.
A note perfect performance from a band in sweaty outfits hints at the talent of those beneath the masks.

A 19 song set is padded out further with a lot of chat from Mr Lordi, giving fans more than value for their money. The biggest cheers unexpectedly got to favourites from ‘The Arockalypse’.

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Even before the headliners took to the stage, it had gotten pretty warm in the usually well air conditioned Garage, making the audience shared a little of the sweatiness of the band…

Even Mr Lordi comments on the heat, something you would not expect from a performer used to performing in costume.

At one point he informs the crowd his balls have been sweated off and are ‘coming to get you’…in the rather tame nature of Lordi’s horror!
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Each song comes with its own entertainment and props, aided by extra performers including rubber-clad angle-grinding girls and beheadings.

Some antics loose their impact on a smaller stage but Lordi give the audience all they have paid for, being the professionals they are, but that’s just a start… Mr Lordi dons an evil sandman hat and bag of gold glitter sleep-dust to accompany. ‘Blood Red Sandman’.
‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is welcomed with a muted response by the audience, while ‘Snows in Hell’ gets nearly all singing along and see a smoking skulls (which smell of actual burning).

A drum solo from new member Mana is an opportunity to admire his outfit. He twitches while standing to receive applause always in character like the others. Despite the heat, Mr Lordi supplements his outfit with an apron and gruesome bald mask for ‘Supermonstars’ covering the front rows with blood emitted from a spinning saw.

The forementioned rubber-clad ladies adorn Mr Lordi with a tiara, sash and flowers during ‘I’m the Best’ – making him rather cute but still no beauty queen!

The final addition to the Mr Lordi norm is a rather nasty looking metal mask for ‘They Only Come Out at Night’.

The famous wings unfurl during ‘The Devil is a Looser’, seemingly from nowhere.

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Despite being so close they still have great stage magic, the wings themselves move seemingly without manual control.

There is some messing about with a long encore, the band are off stage just long enough for a quick cool down before launching into a four song encore, including hardcore fan favourite ‘Hulking Dynamo’.

Even at this late point in the evening the props are still appearing.

Mr Lordi holds aloft a flashing red light adorned battle-axe, which doubles as a mike stand for Eurovision hit ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’.

Beating Bucks Fizz and their skirt pulling antics, we’re left hanging on for the final song by ‘Sincerely With Love’, which is precedence by a rant about assholes, warming the crowd up for shouting ‘Fuck You Asshole’ and concludes with welcome blast of cooling smoke, giving us all a second wind to enjoy ‘Would You Love a Monsterman’.

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The night ends in a sparkle of gold ticket-tape emitted from the rather nasty looking plastic doll Mr Lordi has been singing too. A happy crowd disperse into the night and fill Highbury and Islington station with an unaccustomed cheer.

Lordi are often taken to be a gimmick laden ‘comedy’ outfit, but there is more talent to Lordi than the designs of its frontman, personally I despise overuse of antics but Lordi would not be Lordi without their fantastic antics.

More a well-done theatrical show than a gig tonight, and a refreshing change at that!

Intro (God Of Thunder)
SCG6: Otus’ Butcher Clinic
We’re Not Bad For The Kids (We’re Worse)
Bringing Back the Balls to Rock
The Riff
Who’s Your Daddy?
Girls Go Chopping
Blood Red Sandman
Schizo Doll
Something Wicked This Way Comes
It Snows in Hell
Drum Solo
Supermonstars (The Anthem of the Phantoms)
I’m the Best
Guitar Solo
They Only Come Out at Night
Devil Is a Loser

Hulking Dynamo
Hard Rock Hallelujah
Sincerely With Love
Would You Love a Monsterman?