Thursday, 6 August 2009

Praying Mantis Live @ Purple Turtle

The Purple Turtle is a tiny pub that would be rammed with 300 in it, but alas there were barely a 100 or so old fogies with a few youngsters interspersed at last night's Praying Mantis gig. Now I am not the world's biggest Mantishead but the new album is a phenomenally good piece of work and when I found out about this gig I quickly purchased a ticket and attended rather hastily.

First up were this Swedish band I'd never heard of called Core of Nation. Wow they surprised the hell out of me! These guys can and should be much bigger than they are. They are like the bastard chiild of Candlemass and Black Sabbath from the RJD period. A very cool mix indeed. These guys have great big stomping riffs travelling from mid-pace to rampant Sabbath gallop. The singer is also very charismatic indeed with cool stage moves and a decent voice. I was so impressed with these guys that I bought their cd there and then. I haven't had a chance to play it yet but I am expecting big things, as live they really rocked hard.

Next up was Fury UK, a bright and very young new band from Manchester. I have heard their myspace tunes before and to be honest I wasn't overly impressed. Live, they were ok but again I wasn't massively taken with their songs but their actual performance was excellent for a power trio. Frontman and singer/guitarist Chris played some blistering solos too although his vocals are a bit average for me. Fury UK are a cool band live but I'm just not quite won over with their music.

Finally at the very late start time of 10.30, the Mantis guys took to the stage. They played well and look liked they were enjoying themselves although they complained about how sweltering it was up on stage and I can believe it cause I was sweating like a pig in that little pub myself! The basically all new Mantis line up did a sterling job up there and although the attendance was fairly poor they played with conviction and heart. I particularly wanted to hear new material from new album, Sanctuary and the couple of tracks aired were splendid indeed although the live sound robbed the songs of some of their sheen and polish, they were still highly enjoyable. Halfway during the set Tino Troy's guitar amp fucked up and the set had to be curtailed until it was fixed, actually by Fury UK man Chris and finally the guys got going again playing until 11.30.

It was good to see the band finally and although the setlist and playing time was quite short the few punters that turned up were more or less happy with their short but sweet set. They played mainly classics from yesteryear and songs I am not massively familiar with but the hooks were undeniable as with all Mantis tunes - they just have knack for killer melodies. Personally I would like to have heard songs from the Tony O'Hora fronted albums of the late 90s and also the classic Journeyman but it wasn't to be as time was so short on this occasion.

Finally, it was good to discover this new band Core of Nation. Overall a decent night's melodic metal music and at only 6 quid a ticket you can't really go wrong can you!


Hank - the drummer said...

Thank you so much for the great review. Hope you'll like the CD although it's with our old line-up. The photos are awsome, would it be possible to copy them for our site?

Pirage said...

Sure no problem Hank. You know I was wondering why the singer sounded different on myspace than the one I saw live. I still haven't got round to playing the CD. It's a shame the new singer didn't record the CD. He's an awesome singer for me. Anyway I will listen to the CD soon. Maybe you should make a little ep or something with re-records of say 3 of your favourite tracks with the new singer and 2 new songs. Why not eh!

Hank said...

Yes, their voices are quite different. We will probably enter the studio later this year to record some new material.

Hank said...

Would it be possible to have the photos of us sent to Would be so great. We'll of course write credits to you when using them.