I can’t help but feel a tad sorry for Delain tonight, on their first headline tour of the UK in several years. A tour that happens to be completely sold out. Tragedy struck the night before in Birmingham with bass player Otto being shot in the nuts by the band’s confetti cannon. Frightfully rock n’ roll but we believe he’s on his way to a full recovery.
The show must go on right? So here we are in Manchester and opening the show are Londoners The Raven Age. A melodic metal band that should compliment the line up nicely and they do. The vocals are on point and tight, everything is where it should be and the crowd seems to be enjoying their show. Despite their relatively short set they find the time for musical interludes and long intro sections that really only minimally masks the band’s lack of material. That being said the material they do have isn’t that great. Not in terms of performance, that is great as I said previously but there is a certain depth lacking in the songwriting that makes the songs instantly forgettable and that is sad because these guys really do show promise.
Onwards to Wolf, a band I’ve seen in countless support slots over the years and a band with a serious following here in Manchester. But their sound isn’t for me, the blend of classic metal and tight jeans…it all sound too much like Iron Maiden for me to stomach so I retire for a while and find a bar. £2.50 for a pint of ale. Kudos to that!
Back to it shortly before Delain come to the stage and the room is packed, those who spent the beginning of the show lingering at the back have made their move forward and we’re ready for the headliners. A warm welcome awaits the band as they come onto the stage and we’re off. Opening with Go Away the band make their intentions clear, they’re on form tonight. Classic tracks are met with new cuts from the latest album The Human Contradiction my two personal favourites come back to back Army of Dolls and Stardust are played almost note perfect and with frontwoman Charlotte Wessels’ control of the stage the performance is engaging for everyone in attendance.
Much like the past few times I’ve been at the club academy the sound has been off, with too much high-end and all the low-end the intricacies of some of the tracks feel lost. But performances of classics like Control The Storm and April Rain later in the set are perfect, it seems that the sound issues are fixed. Although it did take 10 songs to fix it. Finishing up with an encore of Mother Machine and We Are The Others the setlist is rounded out perfectly and despite all the odds Delain put on the best show of theirs I’ve seen to date.
The band is back in the UK in January as support for Sabaton! Do go see them!