Live Review: Evil Scarecrow at The Electric Ballroom, London (26/01/19)

We here at Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life consider ourselves big fans of the wacky, often hilarious and musically sound metal unit that is Evil Scarecrow. Our first experience seeing them was at their infamous 2016 Bloodstock performance where just about everybody there had a dance and a scuttle.

Since then we’ve caught them a few more times but only as a support band, never as a headliner so expectation was high for this show. That being said there was very little doubt that they would let us down because their latest album, Chapter IV: Antartarctica is their best work yet. You can read our review here.

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You can also hear our chat with the legendary guitarist of Evil Scarecrow, Brother Pain below.

While the Electric Ballroom is one of our favourite London venues for music thanks to its layout, it is annoying that this show happening on a Saturday night means very early doors. The Ballroom has a club night after the gig so everyone needs to be out by 9:45 which sees Scarecrow off stage at 9:30. That doesn’t prove to be much of a problem for them but it does see a criminally small crowd in attendance for support band, Ten Foot Wizard.

A powerful blend of blues, stoner rock and tongue in cheek humour, Ten Foot Wizard do a great job of warming up the crowd though. Their energy is infectious and they make a really good showing of what they are capable of. They’re a band to have a beer and a head-bang with for sure.

They go down great but there is no doubt that this is an Evil Scarecrow gig as the floor begins to fill up. It never gets packed (and we’ve been at many a packed Electric Ballroom gig) but it’s a united and strong in voice crowd. No-one has wandered in off the street to see the band, everyone here is a fan.

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They arrive on stage to an absolute deafening roar of approval milking in the adulation in their own unique style. The mood is so positive and the energy is high as anything kicking into Way to Die before a couple of armoured beasties arrive on stage for Skulls of Our Enemies.

Well know for having a stage show, it’s nice to see just how evolved the band has become compared to what they used too do. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it looks cheap as hell but now it feels on purpose. Like cheesy sci-fi B-movie effects. It’s all about inventiveness as End Level Boss shows. A banger of track, we get two female Links (The Legend of Zelda) appear on stage and spend most of it facing off and pretend fighting.

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It’s a lot of fun to watch but it also sounds fantastic. Here’s the important thing about Evil Scarecrow…yes, they’re a comedy band. Yes, they are silly and cheesy and play up to that every chance they get. However, they are also really talented musicians and have written many great tracks that are either infectiously catchy or head-banging gold. The Ballad of Brother Pain shouldn’t work but live it sounds even better then it does on record.

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Then of course we get plenty of grin-inducing moments that are the staples of an Evil Scarecrow show. Robot dancing in Robototron, spinning in circles for Hurricando, zero gravity moshing in Space Dementia and of course, scuttling in Crabulon. There are very few people inside not taking part in each silly moment, that is how infectious it is. Hell, we even get an onstage proposal!

If there is one negative to be mentioned it is with the track Antartarctica. The title track of the new album is one of the most grown up tracks the band have ever done and is excellent on record. Live though? It’s a bit too long and you can see the crowd begin to wilt as it goes on.

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It’s the one blemish on Evil Scarecrow’s triumphant headline show and even the early finish/desperation for security to get everyone outside afterwards can’t take away from that. Roll on Bloodstock 2019 where they return as conquers. Get practising your moves now.

Evil Scarecrow at The Electric Ballroom, London (26/01/19)
  • The Final Score - 8.5/10
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