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Underworld, London



Last year Davy Vain and his San Francisco chums played a hit 'n miss gig at the Purple Turtle in Camden which featured some bizarre ramblings from the frontman including a story about a girl banging on his hotel room door which would've been funny had not David Lee Roth told the same very story only some twenty years earlier. With a return to form album in 'Enough Rope' and a decent support bill I thought I would give Vain a second chance on a Sunday night in the darkness of Camden.

Brighton rockers Furyon were surprisingly on at an early time, playing just a few days after their very own headline date at the Purple Turtle. The band were ripping through their last number 'Don't Follow' as I walked in through the doors and there were plenty of ladies drooling over the leather trousered boy wonders getting the evening off to a good start.

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Until this evening I had never heard of the oddly named Stala & So and what a revelation they proved to be. Singer Stala was previously under the disguise of Kita the drummer in Finish Eurovision shock rock winners Lordi, as was bassist Nick Gore aka Kalma. If anyone was expecting songs about the Apocalypse you couldn't be further removed from the truth.

Stala & So were fun - no, make that FUN in big capital letters. Dressed in feather boas and eyeliner, this a pure happy return to seventies rock when glam rock was king, highly influenced by the sounds of T-Rex and David Bowie when he was covered in stardust.

The songs had easy singalong choruses and were instantly memorable. Stala himself doesn't take himself too seriously, something that is long missing in today's rock scene and the giant guitarist Sami J stands way over 6ft tall and certainly doesn't need platform boots. He is dressed in a red jump suit with a wind machine constantly blowing back his hair and wouldn't look out of place in a Slade tribute band.


Stala even used a kazoo for the last number, not seen in rock since Lee Kerkslake got his out for Uriah Heep's 'Magician Birthday', proving there is still time for myself to make it big with a kazoo. Been a long time since i enjoyed a support act so much.

This time round Vain were excellent, playing a set consisting of tracks from their classic debut 'No Respect' and six numbers from 'Enough Rope'.

Davy Vain is a scary looking, crazed guy, barefooted with a bandanna and ironically wearing a t-shirt with New York Reptile. The band were tight and loose in all the right places and trashed the Underworld with a text book show in glam Metal.


Whilst Faster Pussycat embarrassingly go off into industrial goth rock and Motley Crue these days play pyrotechnic cabaret, Vain gave a masterclass in teaching the youngsters here tonight what the joys of the glam Metal scene was all about. Brattish, vulgar and not giving two fucks what anyone thought.

Although the show at times did fall into danger of becoming a car crash, especially when Davy Vain stopped the music and opened his mouth, telling one story about having underage sex with a groupie in the US (age of consent is different is the States). At times it was in danger of falling into Gary Glitter territory.


Thankfully whilst the audience looked at each other with unease, the band blasted right on cue into a storming 'Who's Watching You'. Later Vain would get down on his hands and knees and give his microphone to a lady to hold whilst he sang into it. At least he didn't ask to reverse the role.

Vain showed no respect at all and were utterly brilliant.


Set lists

Voodoo Me
Disappear Again
Fear Alone
Our Peace Someday
Don't Follow

One Nite Stand
Got To Believe
Hey, What's Goin' On?
Life's Too Hard
Everything 4 Money

Enough Rope
Who's Watching You
1000 Degrees
Stray Kitten Burns
Hot Stage Lights
No Respect

Triple X
Beat The Bullet




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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