One band that should need no introduction are the mighty Orange Goblin. London’s, and indeed the UK’s, finest purveyors of stoner rock wizardry. Through their twenty four year, nine album career they have risen to the top of the pile, the cream of the British stoner rock crop.
Following the release of their latest opus, ninth studio album ‘The Wolf Bites Back’, they have scheduled a short U.K. tour to support it and have brought scene stalwarts Pist along for the ride.
Tonight’s venue is a new one, KK’s Steelmill in Wolverhampton is a brand new venture the brainchild of former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing. The factory turned boxing club turned musical arena is quite the location. Down a back alley behind Homebase lies the room adorned with genuine Judas Priest stage backdrops from yesteryear and KK’s very own beer on draft. It would seem the ultimate heavy metal venue.
The evening starts with a handful of local bands opening the bill. Eyes of the Raven have been on the Black Country scene for many a year and give the evening the kick start it needs. A combination of stoner rock and groove metal that warms your cockles in a venue lacking heating on this freezing cold night. A cacophony of wonderous guitars and Dave’s majestically gruff beer soaked vocals give this band an edge. We’ll be crossing paths again with them soon when we cover HRH metal, so look out for this band again!
Hostile are local lads done good having supported thrash titans Megadeth on a Russian run of dates not so long ago, it’s great to welcome the boys back home. However the bill they slot into is quite surprising, they are an out and out metal band, thrashy, in your face aggression, quite different from the three stoner bands also appearing tonight. But little does that deter them and the three hundred people on hand are keen to lap up the goods on offer. Their sound, reminiscent of their heroes Pantera, is pure groove laden heavy metal with a good thrash mix. The sheer brutality of songs like Lamb to the Slaughter and the self-titled Hostile are brutality personified and show the potential this band has.
Pist are the ideal openers for Orange Goblin, their style, sound and charisma perfectly suits the main act to follow. Much like their aptly titled album ‘Rhythm & Booze’; that is exactly what they deliver. Fuelled by beer; the bands dirty, rhythmic riffs fill the room, Rowland’s vocals create a wall of sound beautifully befitting the evenings bill. The Mancunians have perfected their craft, deliver their music perfectly and put on one hell of a show to warm up this rather cold crowd.
Ultimately there is only one reason we are here today, as AC/DC’s ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ rings out we
know the time is near. The towering figure of Ben Ward enters the stage and his booming voice lets rip ‘We’re Orange Fuckin’ Goblin Baby!’
The vintage guitar riffs of Joe Hoare kick us off as they plough through ‘Turbo Effalunt’ and ‘Son’s Of Salem’. The band on stage produce a sound and an atmosphere like few others. There is an auroa around them, it envelops the gig goer, warms their soul and drags them into the ether of an Orange Goblin show.
Ben’s huge frame looks down upon the crowd as he introduces the old number ‘Saruman’s Wish’. This is a show to simply bang your head and pump your fist too. Hard rocking tunes driven by the heavy sounds of bass, drums and guitar melding so well together.
From their early career, astral escapism themed songs they move through the horror movie inspired songs, ‘The Fog’, a chill inducing slow tempo’d number, to the wonderous sing-a-long that is zombie inspired ‘They Come Back. Fan favourite ‘Quincy The Pigboy’ never fails to put a smile on my face as the set tops out with the ultimate trio of ‘Scorpionica’, ‘The Devil’s Whip’ and ‘Red Tide Rising’.
If you are an Orange Goblin fan, you know full well their show will never fail to deliver. For the casual fan, this was an magical trip into dirty riffs, thunderous beats and the ultimate in showman ship. They were Orange fuckin’ Goblin baby!