Saturday, 25 June 2016

King Diamond Live Report

King Diamond has been touring round Europe doing the festivals and select dates showcasing the whole of the seminal Abigail album and finally it was London's to bare witness to the glorious dark tales of Mr Diamond and co. To say I have been looking forward to this gig would be the understatement of the year. I have had my ticket for no less than six months!

The show was indeed sold out with more than 2000 packed into the Kentish Town Forum. This was the hot ticket in town this week as far as metal fans were concerned. A warm Tuesday night greeted us and thankfully no rain although nothing could really put a dampener on things as far as I was concerned anyway. By all accounts and viewing recent clips on youtube, King Diamond the man and band, were on tip top form and everyone was gonna be in for a treat.

First up were Angel Witch. Of course I know their namesake song, who doesn't, but I don't know a lot else although I've heard their albums. I just wasn't compelled to listen more. They seemed to be reasonably well tolerated by the hordes downstairs. Personally I couldn't see the real appeal. They are a pretty solid galloping NWOBHM band with cult status and an anthem of a song which they'll always be associated with but I wasn't won over by the rest, but plenty were and almost everyone sang the chorus to Angel Witch of course.

At just gone 9pm the intro Out from the Asylum was played and the band took their positions and dove headlong into Welcome Home whilst King strode on with the old and haggard looking grandma sitting in her rocking chair and King ready to act out the song lyrics to her. I tell you something, Welcome Home never fails as an opener. The opening "Grandmaaaaa!" makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up! King himself sounded great, hitting the falsetto notes effortlessly and even sounding quite aggressive during the lower pitched parts which was rather cool to see and hear.

The stage was very cool as well with a two sided staircase which allowed King and the actors to walk up and down as the song called for. Abigail was played in it's entirety of course but not before a selection of KD and Fate hits were played. Sleepless Nights was absolutely bloody amazing. The band sounded so tight and the sound was perfect for once and it sometimes isn't in the Forum being far too loud and echoey.

Six songs were played from the hits era and I would possibly liked a couple more but I guess King tires a little and they have fixed the setlist pretty much to what it is and don't want to over burden his vocals. Not that he was in any way strained. The guy was pretty amazing all night. He really seemed to be enjoying himself and thanked the crowd a lot for their amazing response as people downstairs were going ape.

The Abigail portion of the show soon arrived and the theatrics went into overdrive with a girl playing the Abigail character very well and also an older gentleman playing the priest. King Diamond himself prowls around the stage pulling shapes and always air guitaring the riffs and solos. I always like to see a frontman engaging with the music and KD definitely does that and then some. It's been years since I played Abigail so I don't know the album back to front but I absolutely love the famous songs from the album, Like Arrival and The Family Ghost which was just perfection and played with total precision.

The rest of the night flew by and soon the last notes of the album were played and everyone in the house was cheering KD and the band to the rafters. I hope KD the band soon returns and this time plays a normal show with different newer songs from the KD back catalogue. They need to capitalise on KD's god health. KD the man was the last to leave the stage and kept tapping his chest and giving the horns to the crowd as he left to tremendous applause. Metal needs characters like KD and he's so well loved by the metal crowd that's for sure and it was good to see him in such amazing and fine form. The best gig I have seen so far this year!

Set List:

Welcome Home
Sleepless Nights
Eye of the Witch
Come to the Sabbath

A Mansion in Darkness
The Family Ghost
The 7th day of July 1777
The Possession
Black Horsemen

No comments: