It’s a chilly autumn evening and lining up outside Manchester’s Student Union/Music Venues are a bunch of your usual metalheads. Although what’s different is that amongst band t-shirts there are people dressed up in armour and similar types of costumes. I have a vague idea of what to expect from the night but it’s mainly Beast in Black that I have come for due to seeing them before supporting Nightwish in December.
About an hour after doors, where fans had rushed downstairs to the jam-packed room, I finally obtained my photo pass which unfortunately meant missing all but one song by Wind Rose, that I wasn’t allowed to photograph. The photo pit had decreased in size and the room was shoulder-to-shoulder, so after I’d squeezed through, I finally saw a Viking Metal band that looked like they had stepped out of history to roar in your face. There were fur and armour, punches in the air and the crowd shouting for more.
Next, were what I feel the band most people had been waiting for, Beast in Black. Instantly the crowd was bouncing and cheering from the first note. In between hair flipping, there are no words for the smiles these Finns had on their faces as they took in the joy from everyone in that room. The music this band produce is music that you could easily dance to in any way you wish, we had a lot of different dance moves around us just like a party. I counted about 3 or 4 times throughout the set that ‘Beast in Black’ was chanted between songs for the hunger of this beast grew stronger, we all wanted more. It was often that Greek Vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos gives off a high-pitched squeal that sends the audience roaring, along with the signature synced up headbanging on stage. The band ended with ‘End of the World’ as Club Academy’s headcount raised their hands in the air like we were praising them.
A cardboard cutout of Tom Jones is placed on the stage as ‘Delilah’ played, I’ve no idea what is going on, but I see a few balloons and a unicorn floating around, is this another version of my experience last month with ‘Lagerstein’? Our party continues as
Gloryhammer arrive to the stage. The band haven’t been to Manchester for about 3 years, so it makes sense how the crowd reacts, it’s going to be a special moment. Quite a similar vibe this band have in comparison to Wind Rose, we still see fur and armour, but with a futuristic twist of sci-fi induced visors. The singer later gets given a large hammer; well I guess that was always going to happen, and he waves and slams it around like a maniac. The music sounds more pirate-like compared to Wind Rose and the crowd cheer like shipmates all around, which was the entirety of the night.
Despite the venue’s hiccup at the start of the night, this has been an unforgettable show and all the other fans there unmistakably share that exact thought.
All photos © Shannon Landers Photography