It’s been nothing short of amazing to witness the rise of Volbeat in the UK. They’ve been hot property in Europe for many years playing at the very top of such festivals as Rock Am Ring. In 2011 they opened the main stage of Sonisphere. UK fans just don’t seem to get the appeal…finally though, this seems to be changing.
The Roundhouse in Camden, London is sold out although you wouldn’t know it when Hatebreed hit the stage after doors have been open almost an hour. Hatebreed are a marmite band & are a seemingly strange support act for the rockabilly-country style of Volbeat. Frontman & singer, Jamey Jasta even acknowledges this on stage with a ‘we’re all under the same banner here, heavy music’ comment.
Hatebreed are here to warm the crowd up & they do a wonderful job of it although 45 minutes is about as much as I can take. The crowd are appreciate but most are here for the main act & by time Volbeat take the stage the place is thoroughly packed out.
Opening with a triple header of 3 songs from Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood, Hallelujah Goat, Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood & Maybellene I Hofteholder it doesn’t take long to get everyone moving in the crowd. The band sound perfect & Michael Poulsen’s voice is as good live as it is on record. We are then treated to a little bit of country & tribute to Johnny Cash with Sad Man’s Tongue; it’s a crowd sing-along & a clear fan-favourite.
2 of my favourite Volbeat songs are then jammed together & played in quick succession, Heaven nor Hell & A Warrior’s Call with the latter serving as a rallying call for those who are standing still with their arms folded (there are a few).
Surprisingly it isn’t until the 7th song in that Volbeat play a song from their latest release, Lola Montez is one of the best off the Shady Ladies album & it sounds huge here. Poulsen’s voice really is something out of this world & backed up by ex-Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano nowadays we’re seeing a band at their best.
The rest of the set isn’t a major surprise with a lot more songs played off the latest record, a Dusty Springfield cover (I Only Want To Be With You) & Barney (Napalm Death) assisting with vocals during Evelyn.
It’s over as soon as it began & the band don’t keep the fans waiting long for an encore. A huge & welcome surprise is a snippet of a new song that sounds incredibly heavy. We then get Pool of Booze, Booze, Booza & Radio Girl before the show is brought to a close with a huge Still Counting. It’s a great song to close out & sung loudly by those who have stayed to see the show to the end.
As sets go it was missing a few of my favourites but with such a strong back-catalogue it’s nice to see the band varying what they play. Volbeat have come a long way over the last few years in the UK & after this show I’m convinced their just going to get even bigger.
Volbeat @ The Roundhouse, Camden, London (17/11/14)
The Final Score - 8/10
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