Is there a place in 2014 for cheesy German power metal? Well, obviously. Here’s how Edguy confirmed it on a Sunday night in Islington…
Edguy, live in London
Venue: Islington O2 Academy
Support: Skarlett Riot, The Wild Lies
Sunday night’s alright for fighting
Even though we’d heard that a number of these Edguy UK dates were selling out, it didn’t quite prepare Hammer for the seething mass of people filling the Islington Academy this fair Sunday evening. Even tonight’s first support, cock rock Brits The Wild Lies, face down a tumult. Their shtick, despite not being clever, is definitely big enough to win tens of power metal devotees to this young band’s cause.
Playing on the stage is for amateurs
Skarlett Riot don’t quite emulate the reception of their successors, despite delivering a flawless set. They play like the Devil himself is hammering their fretboards, but their radio-ready rock sits awkwardly between two bands who rely on the ton-heavy clang of every note. Never in danger of fading away quietly, Skarlett Riot ratchet it up a notch again as their lead guitarist clambers onto the bar at the side of the stage, headbanging and gurning to a crowd of people hastily reaching for their iPhones. This blatant recklessness is received by delighted applause.
Edguy have been away too long
Tonight is a celebration. It’s written across the faces of the audience. It’s on the tongue of everyone present. ED-GUY clap clap clap ED-GUY clap clap clap The band, when they finally emerge, seem delighted by the hospitality of the UK, and it’s amazing that it’s been about three years since they played a show like this on British soil. Not being a group for over-emoting, they instead let us know what this means to them through the lyrics of new track England: “I may like New York, Bavaria or Paris//But nothing compares to you, England/'Cause England's got Steve Harris.” Fucking aye.
Only cover Falco if you’re sure you can get away with it
Seeing as this is ‘Space Police World Tour’, we get more than a few tracks off their latest album. Lucky for us (and them), Space Police – Defenders Of The Crown has some certified roisterers tucked away in there. Amongst them is a cover of Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus, which sounds gloriously glitzy and flamboyantly outrageous in the hands of these masterful bizarrists. In fact, everything is executed with such gusto (even the often maligned drum solo), that the night remains on a blazing high.
Posers be damned
‘Power metal’ is rarely used in the same lifetime, let alone the same breath, as the word ‘cool’. If style were any consideration this evening, the crowd wouldn’t be made up of a variety of different ages, hair styles and belt lines. Edguy, whose last album cover features an interstellar law enforcer in the clutches of a space scorpion, are hardly limited by temporal conceptions of style. Thank CHRIST metal music doesn’t impose these limitations on its artists or audience. One of the gigging highlights of the year has to be pounding the air and howling along to the ludicrous, glorious staccato licks of Lavatory Love Machine. It’s unburdening. It’s magnificent. It’s Edguy.