Egokills, Silver Dust, Lordi – The Garage, London
The very busy Highbury Corner in London saw its dark swarm of Lordi hoodies lining up outside of shopfronts on the main road. Passers-by seemed concerned, this warm Sunday evening, as the long line of metallers did not seem to end. Finally, the queue started moving, slowly. Like at many gigs, masses were waiting eagerly to get their favourite drink at the bar before heading to the stage. This tour, which will be carried on across Europe until late November, supports Lordi’s new album, ‘Sexorcism’, released in May this year.
As 7:30 pm slowly arrived, four-piece Egokills from Tampere, Finland, who resemble modern hippies made the first appearance of the night with their groovy metal. Their love for playing music was felt by many in the room. Presenting their third album, ‘Mellowhead’ also released in May this year, the audience had a brilliant response to the new material. The setlist, supported by some older songs from previous albums, was carefully put together to make a smooth and enjoyable collection of songs. The band started the evening off with their single ‘Mellowhead’ and, although it was still early in the night, Egokills already managed to pull an incredible crowd. Axl Rose-like vocalist Janne Selo danced his heart away on stage, and even though his mic was rather quiet, that did not faze him, and he still made the most of being up on stage. Older songs ‘Polarise’ and ‘Hollow Promises’ filled the room, followed by one of their better-known songs ‘Kill Your Ego’. Towards the end of this lovely, colourful set, the audience learnt that guitarist Niko has been playing the tour with a broken hand, which truly shows the dedication of the band. The set was wrapped up with one of their new songs ‘Nibiru’, which brought some of the most vicious headbanging of the night so far from both the band and audience. Egokills are touring with Lordi until early November.
As the clocks hit the darkest hour of the evening, the audience found a large screen disguised as an old mirror, standing tall on stage. Darkness grew over, as it was time for the beautifully gothic Silver Dust. The screen’s purpose is to indulge the viewers visually in the darkness the music tells, how things came to be, which also introduces some unique characters and settings. Their first song was ‘The Unknown Soldier’ which was heavily supported by the screen. The terrifying story brings more questions than answers, leaving the audience desperate for more. The 4-piece from Switzerland, who also toured with Lordi in 2016, were promoting their second album ‘House 21’ which was released in April this year. The bands engagement with the audience brought the atmosphere to life, as everybody in the room felt at least some kind of involvement with the stories and the vibe, and many people were seen constantly headbanging with the band’s bassist Kurghan, who’s long hair puts many girls to shame. During a playoff with one of the creepy masked characters on screen, vocalist Lord Campbell had the opportunity to show off his incredible guitar skills on his unique lit up guitar, even managing to play with his tongue which really impressed the audience. Towards the end of the set, the band did a cover of Kim Carnes’ ‘Bette Davis Eyes’, which got the whole room singing along. Before playing the last song, the band got everyone involved with doing a big jump, bringing smiles to many people’s faces. Silver Dust’s recent drummer change introduced Magma to the collection in August, he has been a fantastic addition and plays his part extremely well. Silver Dust are definitely a must-see band.
There was a half hour changeover which allowed for Lordi’s set to be uncovered. It was already up, and took a large amount of stage, but that’s what you should expect from such a big band. The room was rammed with people, some of which had been following this tour around for the past few days in Europe. Sadly, Lordi only had two dates in the UK but they will undoubtedly be back again soon. As the members stepped on stage one by one, the cheering must have been loud enough to hear from the streets. They began with ‘Sexorcism’, which is the first song from their new album ‘Sexorcism’, released in May. The new release didn’t stop the monsters from playing some old, well known tunes. The second song was ‘Would you love a monsterman’ which found many people singing along energetically, followed by ‘Missing Miss Charlene’ which was released in 2008. Each of the members had their own solo in between some songs, starting with Mana on drums, who went absolutely berserk.
During ‘Blood Red Sandman’ Mr. Lordi dressed up as the sandman himself, wearing a cute sleeping hat and throwing confetti at people, to act as the ‘sand’. As Hella commenced her keyboard solo, the props behind her creepily came to life, as she sung her song. There was also a special birthday announcement for ‘Psycho’, one of their main crew members, who had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to her on stage. Followed by ‘Naked in my Cellar’ and ‘Rock Police’ which had Mr. Lordi dress up again, as a police officer. This time it was Ox’s turn to do a solo, his demonic voice prompted everyone to “get your asses ready” as he slapped his bass to some very groovy disco music. Amen was next to do his solo, he proudly stood on a higher level as smoke blew out from below him. He truly makes guitar playing look so effortless. ‘Who’s your daddy’ and ‘Devil is a Loser’ were next, before the band went off stage.
The crowds were chanting “Lordi” which was wisely followed by an encore, the famous ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ which won the Eurovision in 2006. Mr. Lordi finished their set off with a ton of confetti. Unfortunately, this time around, the band had less props to play with than usual, but that did not by any means make the performance any less better, and seeing Lordi is always an experience, one I’d recommend to anybody.
Words & pictures: Kat Skarpetowska