A fantastic night of gothic rock descended upon Nottingham’s oldest pub last Friday night. Three great bands from all of the country put on one hell of a show, and we were lucky enough to head down to review and interview!
First up were the local support band, Flirting with Corpses. Their unique blend of doom and more gothic sounds made them an interesting band right from the get go. The band also had their image down perfectly, between the face-paint and the gothic clothing they definitely looked the part! Their music is great and the band make it sound good live. They can definitely play. The only slight disadvantage they had were that they were alongside two bands that consider the show to be just as important as the playing. Between them just getting up there and playing and the slight technical difficulties, they didn’t stand out as much as the other two bands.
Next up were the theatric rock band, Death Ingloria. This is a band that knows exactly what style and brand they want to put out for themselves. Their entire image, from the way they dressed and the way their music sounded, to their merch and even their videos onstage, it all meshed perfectly. And their music is fantastic, which is a big plus. Their last two EPs have been consecutive concepts about an impending extinction of humanity. The weight of the topic and message is not lost live either, with anime-style videos being played in the background throughout their set, and even voiceovers recorded for in between. The art of the stage show is something truly missing in the rock world these days, but not with bands like this!
Then we reached the headliners, Ward XVI. I was familiar with the band after a fantastic set at Hard Rock Hell last year, and yet they somehow managed to top that again here. Again, they put on one hell of a show, as was to be expected, with plenty of props to help them tell the story of their Metamorphosis album. Between their outfits, the bed on stage, and the actors they had come on and through the crowd in various different outfits, it was a set to behold.
They played an incredible set of crowd favourite songs to a white-hot mob of people. And they closed on crowd favourite (and my personal favourite too), Toy Box. How reggae-goth-metal exists I don’t know but we need so much more of it in the world! The band are on the cusp of MASSIVE things, and I for one cannot wait to see what the band do with a bigger fanbase and a bigger stage to perform on.
We even had the opportunity after their set to sit down with the band for a quick chat, which you can read or watch below!
So Firstly, how was the gig?
Amazing! Really really good. Very warm! Yeah, very warm, very small! The atmosphere was there. If I was to give Nottingham a rating it would be a 10/10.
Did you guys always plan on being so theatrical or did it come with the songs?
I’d (Psychoberrie) always wanted to but it was always something that was only really me that wanted to do it in the beginning. Then we had a few line-up changes and the perspective changed…
She sacked everybody that didn’t want to do it! We’re just the idiots that put up with it!
It evolved, especially when we were touring with the first album, we started to bolt on different theatrical elements to the show. But it was still more like a gimmick per song so it didn’t really tie the whole concept of the album together. Then when we wrote this album we consciously wrote the stage show along with it. Then it still evolved a little bit! I think the vision was there and it’s probably a little bigger than we anticipated! The first gig back that we did after we launched the album was Bloodstock, so we built the stage show for the scale of Bloodstock and then we had to try and find a way to fit it onto smaller stages.
We also have the fun of trying to rehearse it in a living room and then getting onto the Bloodstock stage and thinking ‘I’ll come on at this bit’ and then realising oh no, the whole stage is about thirty paces long so we had to sprint it. There’s one point where I came off the wrong side of the stage and I just had to run the length of the backstage, Gail was sat in a wheelchair and my vocals were just about to start so I just ran on with her in this wheelchair. Then I realised I had to start singing and just let go, she just kept rolling! We just sent her into David’s pedals!
Do you guys prefer to write the song first and then come up with a cool stage show idea or vice versa?
We come up with concept of the album and then while we’re building the songs we’re thinking about the stage show so we can add in elements as we go.
Yeah, it’s trying to find elements of narrative to build into it. You’ve got the concept and the storyline and the music and you go ‘okay what are the beats of the song and what can we do theatrically without taking away from the music’. We did a lot of planning for it while we were shielding.
That’s the line you have to walk. You don’t want to make it a rock show with a few little theatrical bits, but you also don’t want to make it where it’s just theatrics and the musicians are practically non-existent, it’s trying to get that level.
How’s the re-launch of the album been?
It’s weird because we were all hyped up to do it. I think for the people watching it’s still kinda new to them but to us it’s become old. When we first came out with it for me it was hard to be as enthusiastic as if we’d just done it straight away.
We were meant to have done the launch gig a couple of months after and I think if we’d have done it then we would have rushed it. We’d have rushed the props and it would have been a lot smaller scale, I don’t think we’d have been as ambitious. So I think from a perspective of the scale and how we did it, it was a benefit, having all that time. What was a shock is how much effort it became to move things from gig to gig. In the past we could get away with putting stuff in the car, now it’s a big van in the car! We went from quite small to HUGE. It’s been a bitt of a baptism by fire. Tonight was one of the first times I’ve really closed my eyes and enjoyed it on stage.
It takes a while though. When you first start gigging it in you’re head, you’re singing the song but thinking ‘that props over there, I’ve got to be over there during this bit…’, but after a while it just becomes natural.
There’s always slight tweaks you have to make with each venue, going ‘right, how are we going to be able to tweak this to fit in here’. It’d just be nice not to walk into a venue and look at the stage and go ‘for god sake’.
Are you guys planning another album already?
We’ve started putting bits together, musically. We’ve got the concept in place. It’s going to be a trilogy, and the first two albums are there. And in September it would have been two years. After this tour we have a couple of festivals but then we’re not going to do any more gigs so we can get the album done. Then hopefully that’ll tie into being able to gig it at the time of release. That’d be nice! The aim is to hopefully go into the studio early next year and record it, then late next year release it.
As a dream tour, any ideas?
If anyone knows anyone in Alice Coopers camp, we would very much like for him to come and open for us, if he can fit us in!
Ward XVI, Ghost, Avatar.
Igorrr and Tool!
And there we have it folks! Three awesome bands and one great night of rock music. I would highly recommend checking out all three of these bands and seeing them live ASAP. All are going to be huge very soon!