Lordi / Kaledon / Hostile UK Hot

Added by James Gaden     September 03, 2013    
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Lordi / Kaledon / Hostile UK - HMV Ritz, Manchester (UK) - 8 May

It was an early start for the opening band of this triple bill. Sometimes the name of the band gives an indication of what is in store. But then again… Sadly, this time, worst expectations were realised, despite their recently released debut album ‘Eve Of Destruction’ being produced by KK Downing. This was a very, very loud performance from a band with a roaring vocalist that reached its nadir with ‘I Don’t Give A Fuck’. Apart from worrying about my ears, nor did I…

Veteran Italian power metallers Kaledon were a different proposition. Seven (admittedly quite obscure) thematically-linked albums and fifteen years into their career, they had retained a stable line-up recently, so when the band’s six members ambled onto the stage to an intro tape featuring operatic female vocals I expected an accomplished performance: and apart from the sound balance being initially rather bass heavy, and some of the vocals sounding a little wayward, this was high energy stuff and included some impressive harmonies. As their set progressed their performance grew in stature, but I was concerned that I couldn’t see keyboardist Daniele Fuligni, so went and had a closer look. It transpired that the keyboard parts were on tape, and afterwards I was told “he had been unable to travel with the band”. As it happens, this was code for “he’s left the band” as new keyboardist Paolo Campitelli has now been unveiled. Songs from right across the discography were featured, including ‘Surprise Impact’, ‘Steel Maker’, ‘The God Beyond The Man’ and culminating with ‘In Search Of Kaledon’ from the debut. This was a technically proficient and most enjoyable set, and I would have snapped up their entire discography for £75 had I not been impecunious!

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Lordi’s arrival on stage was over ten minutes later than planned and impacted upon their encore, as they battled the excellent venue’s 11pm curfew, anxious messages being passed around. A Lordi show is as much about the theatrics as the music of course, and we were treated to a highly entertaining 90 minute performance from Mr Lordi and his ugly cohorts Amen, Ox and new recruits Hella and Mana on keyboards and drums respectively. Lordi’s sixth album ‘To Beast Or Not To Beast’ had recently been released and it was no surprise that the lead off number tonight was the opening song ‘We’re Not Bad For The Kids (We’re Worse)’ quickly followed by one of the best songs on ‘The Arockalypse’ – ‘Bringing Back The Balls To Rock’. Further tracks from the latest album were ‘The Riff’ (cue small person on stage), ‘Schizo Doll’ featuring a deranged Mana being beheaded, ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ (and it did!) and ‘I’m The Best’, which included one of several rants from Mr Lordi, this one being about “being fucking proud of who you are”. He also had a lot to say about “assholes”…

I retain many abiding memories of this eccentric and really rather amusing monster show, but putting the theatrics aside, Lordi really do have many wonderfully melodic, sing-along rock songs in their repertoire and ‘Who’s Your Daddy’, ‘Devil Is A Loser’ and ‘This Is Heavy Metal’ exemplified the point during the main part of the show as did ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ and ‘Would You Love A Monsterman’ in the encore.

This was a strange Wednesday night in Manchester: but that was exactly what we all wanted to see!

Paul Jerome Smith

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