This gig was originally billed as a Coldspell headline show with support from Lawless. House of Lords were then added to the bill as a result of their own headline shows getting cancelled due to poor sales I guess. Anyway with the HoL addition to the bill, I had to bite the dust and get a ticket for this one. Unfortunately even with 3 bands now on the bill the attendance for the gig was not great by any means. Maybe somewhere around the 100 mark or a little more. It seems melodic rock just doesn't draw big here in the UK. People like it more metallic. Not to say that both the co headliners aren't heavy bands as they proved consistently throughout their sets.
First up were Stoke's melodic metallers Lawless. I really like their Rock Savage album from last year. It's a nice melodic rock album with plenty of upfront guitars and nice vocals. Live they were ok but they only played to about 20 of us as the crowd wasn't too bothered yet. They were ok as I said and have an amiable front man with a nice melodic voice. A couple of nifty tunes helped a passable 30 minutes from Lawless indeed but they weren't amazing or anything. The lead guitarist played a few decent solos with feeling as well.
Next up were original headliners Coldspell from Sweden and their brand of hard hitting edgy melodic metal. They started opening track Heroes unfortunately the guitarist hadn't even plugged in yet lol! They back tracked with much Swedish mirth and finally launched into Heroes. It sounded heavy and super chunky as expected. Their very diminutive front man's voice got rather lost here and there in the stupendously loud Underworld sound mix(still deaf a bit now). The band has got some serious tunes though and have a great guitar and bass tandem going. The bass player is typical shape and face pulling Swedish dude. The band played songs from both their albums and varied the pace from tasty riff fests to more more brooding mid paced stompers to allow the punters to lock on to the groove. An enjoyable set from the guys and it was always cool to watch the antics of the bassist.
My second time seeing House of Lords as they finally took to the stage sans James Christian and I wondering where he was as they launched to a song I didn't recognise with the bass player singing! His voice was actually not bad funnily enough, but what songs were they? They played 3 songs before James finally came out. Very weird indeed. The drummer said something about testing out monitors and then getting James out to start the House of Lords set proper. Okey doke but it's the first time in my gigging history I recall a band playing 3 songs before their front man actually joined them to begin the set proper. There was a reason but I missed it whatever it was lol!
Anyway a shades wearing James finally joined his band mates and they sped headlong into the first HoL tune and I must admit they sounded pretty good. James explained the need for sunglasses as there was something wrong with his eyes and he was protecting us from a gory sight or something though I didn't quite catch what he said to be honest. The guitar sound from Jimi Bell was super heavy and crunchy and blew everyone's ears off. They guy was playing some awesome riffs too with a few tasty pinch harmonic squeals here and there. They played 3 or 4 songs off the new album Precious Metal which were super heavy as well. The groovy Permission to Die was very heavy indeed and the guitar melted brains. Lead single and pace filled Battle sounded very good too and James screamed the high notes pretty well.
The band was in pretty fine form and Jimi Bell was ripping riffs and solos with great ease on stage left. I think they were probably a little disappointed at the turnout is my guess but hey you've gotta live with it and still put in a show for those that have bothered at all. Don't forget their own headline shows with Rock Beck, James' wife had to be cancelled completely. Overall I would have liked to hear more songs from Come to My Kingdom than just the title track, but that's my own trip, although it was still the song of the night in my opinion anyway.. The set list featured some of their earliest classics of course which I guess they must play at all HoL gigs. The show finally ended at 11pm and for £10 we certainly got our money's worth in the end. Not an amazing night by any means but it was fun nevertheless though I'm not sure I would go and see HoL again to be honest.