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Live Reviews : Alestorm (Melbourne) – 19/06/2010

By on June 24, 2010

w/ Claim The Throne and Be’lakor
Corner Hotel, Melbourne – 19th June 2010

More photos in this gallery.

Who ever thought the mighty Alestorm would hit our shores? I sure as hell didn’t. Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise, and a night I was really looking forward to. I knew it was going to be a great night, but what I didn’t expect, was the amount of other people who thought the same.

After waiting in quite a line, I grabbed a quick ale and headed to the stage to get a good spot for a personal favourite of mine; Be’lakor. Making the most of their short set, the band powered through their set to a crowd which far surpassed the standout turnout for that early in the night. Their brand of melodic death metal seemed to sit well with the crowd, and I’m sure long-time fans were extremely happy to hear “A Natural Apostasy” returning to their set. The sound was superb and, as usual for these guys, their performance was hard to fault.

National support Claim The Throne, who as far as I know have never made their way over to the east coast (they’re from Perth), really kicked the theme up a notch; a perfect choice of support. Starting things off with an acoustic number and a tamborine, the band were an instant hit with a crowd that was obviously full of folk-metal fans (and those who enjoy a beer bong or two). Inspired by the likes of Turisas and Ensiferum, in both sound and costume, Claim The Throne put on a performance that truly hit 10 on the fun scale. Just like their European brethren, the combination of drunken lyrics and catchy tunes created an atmosphere that was hard not to be absorbed in. There was certainly no lack of variety with the sound ranging from fast, ballsy riffing through to folky acoustic numbers. It’s quite astonishing to see an Australian metal band playing that sort of themed music, and still coming off as authentic as possible. I am already waiting in anticipation for my next chance to hear the likes of “Set Sail On Ale”, “Fable From An Oaken Table” and “Two Pints of Honey & A Barrel Full of Beer” once again.

When the Steel Panther that was entertaining us during the break finally died down, it was time to get our pirate on. To put it bluntly, Scotland’s Alestorm are one of the most genuinely fun bands I have ever seen. Every single song of their set (which was a nice mix of material from both albums) was a sing-a-long that was impossible to ignore, and it’s always an added bonus when the band looks as authentically joyful as they did. Vocalist/keytarist Chris Bowes and guitarist Dani Evans were constantly making their way back and forth across the stage, locking eyes with the crowd and keeping the energy alive. Despite not dressing like pirates (which Chris thinks would be quite gay), the band kept the pirate theme alive with a bottle of the aptly named Captain Morgan’s Rum making its way around the stage, and into the mouths of some of the front row. The crowd really got involved with this show as well, with a stack of people managing to find their way onto to the stage toward the end of the set, and more than a handful of crowd surfers. As far as the technical side of things; the band sounded as great as expected with a nice balanced mix where everything was audible. The only complaint I have about their entire performance is the fact that “Nancy the Tavern Wench” was definitely too early in the set, which really isn’t important on the grand scale of things. Alestorm are an impeccable live band, and I have every digit crossed that the very impressive crowd will ensure more folk-ish metal bands will be on our shores in the near future.

Guys, hurry up and record your next album so you can come back!

Setlist (I think):
The Quest
Wenches & Mead
That Famous Ol’ Spiced
Heavy Metal Pirates
Nancy The Tavern Wench
Black Sails at Midnight
No Quarter
Over the Seas
Set Sail and Conquer
The Huntmaster
Captain Morgan’s Revenge
Wolves of the Sea

Photos by Anwar Rizk


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.