After a long time with no posts and the usual gig free summer months, I break my duck with two gigs in three days at the Camden Barfly no less Firstly Voyager quickly followed by Kobra and the Lotus, two bands whom I am seeing for the very first time which always makes the gig a little more interesting for me. The Camden Barfly is a small venue I have yet to frequent but one I will be getting to know well pretty soon as I have yet another gig lined up here next week as well with the Swedish AOR band Houston.
I digress however so on with the review for the Monday night gig with Voyager with support from UK prog metallers Aeon Zen and a local band called Agent. I love Voyager on record so I was looking forward to this gig as soon as I heard it was happening. Aeon Zen's new album is also real heavy, so a great double whammy of melodic prog metal was in store.
First up were Agent who are a local band I guess but I've never heard of them. They entertained the sparse Barfly crowd with beefy heavy riffs but lacked tunes and despite some decent grooves left me an a handful of early punters a little cold if I'm honest. The overall attendance on this Monday night barely reached a 100 or so in the end which is a bit low, but considering the venue probably only holds 200 or 250 max it wasn't too bad in the end.
Next up were Aeon Zen who are real powerhouse of UK melodic prog. They were much more palatable than Agent in every way shape and form. With a much stronger and beefier sound and a cool melodic singer to boot. The songs sound complex and yet still maintained a melodic edge thanks to the memorable delivery of the front man. Rise up from the new album was my favourite song of the night as far as they were concerned. The crowd was slowly filling out a bit more now and Aeon Zen were a solid warm up act for the Aussie progsters and got a fine response indeed.
Finally it was time for the smiling Aussies to take to the tiny Barfly stage and mesmerize us with their heavy melodic prog metal. Front man was grinning and smiling his way throughout the show as the band switched between super heavy riffs and huge singalong choruses in most of the songs. The keyboards seemed somewhat lost in the sound mix at times as did the vocals which is a shame as they are a major part of the band. Nevertheless they delivered a crunching yet super melodic 70 minute set based on their biggest hits as well as their very fun 80s medley which is perhaps even a highlight of the whole set.
Of course it's the new album which contains huge songs like Hyperventilating, Breaking Down and Morning Light which went down best, well with me anyway. The Aussies are a top notch live act judging by this performance even though it was in front of a tiny but very receptive audience. I hope they come back soon but play to a larger more appreciative crowd hopefully. As for this particular night it was a very enjoyable gig and it was good to finally see a live band again after a few barren months. Next up Kobra and the Lotus report which occurred two days hence from this gig.