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Manchester Academy 2
12th November 2011

Lee Fitzsimmons
Pics: Wendy Pritchard

lee fitzsimmons

Manchester! Again! The setting of so many of this reviewer's own personal triumphs and tragedies! A glutton for punishment some might say. I say when Lacuna Coil are gracing the stage the 'some' would be wrong! I have followed and enjoyed the material from this Italian gothic Metal band for a very long time. I'd call myself a fan and quite a demanding one at that.

lacuna coil

The night's potential was further helped along by a flash of breasticles from a lady with whom we were drinking and the opportunity to chat away to a couple of really nice people there for the show. Oh and the drinks were not too expensive, hence they flowed!

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So to business and first up Straight Line Stitch's superb support performance. This female fronted, Heavy Metal US outfit burst onto the stage with high levels of energy and attempted to encourage the crowd straight into action. A powerful, catchy set which inspired a sporadic moshing, raised hands and plenty of head banging. Filming the crowd from the stage was a nice little touch from them as they tore up the stage with their own brand of solid Metal!

Extremely proficient musicianship, inspired lyrics and incredible vocals, their performance really made an impression on me. So much so that (shock horror) I went out to the stand and purchased their album on sale! If that's not stamping a seal of approval on them I don't know what is. Give them a try one and all and forget the cross-stitch as its straight line all the way for me.

lacuna coil

Right, order of the night. Support act? Seen, loved and met. Alcohol? Purchased and about to be consumed. Notepad? In my back pocket and there it stayed until the train home (another sign of excitement as the bloody thing is always out usually). Everything else? On hold until I get to see this. Am I giving you the impression my expectations where high? I certainly bloody hope so!

Darkness lifted and the stage was graced by one of the bands that still have me adopting fan mode and throwing abandon to the wind. It certainly began quite fabulously with 'Our Truth', a truly brilliant track from the 'Karmacode' album which had the fans engaged and responsive from the very beginning. Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro were, vocally, on top form as they worked the stage like the professionals they are and Lacuna Coil provided the energised mass of bodies with a great start to a show that was shaping up to fulfil my expectations.

Treated to a mix of both old and new tracks from the Lacuna Coil repertoire the gathered crowd responded loudly, if slightly sluggishly, to the constant encouragement of the band. That was the only part of the night that started to stutter slightly for me, the crowd reaction. The performance was powerful, proficient and quite raw but the audience seemed difficult to stimulate at times. Even so however, factions of the crowd always had their voices, arms and any other part of their anatomy raised towards the ceiling in salutation.

lacuna coil

'I Won't Tell You' became 'I'm Not Afraid' which continued on towards 'Kill The Light' with a progressive march towards becoming a very solid performance. The staging tied in perfectly with Lacuna Coil's ethereal sound (ironic seeing as that was one of their previous names) and the entire set to this point was keeping great pace and maintaining an excellent momentum, the crowd becoming livelier as the gig progressed. They were probably slightly moshed out from the support and needing a welcome break before throwing themselves back into the fray.

Observing the gathered throng I could see the generous mix of both young and old fans alike, merchandise in abundance and a large number of people mouthing along to the tracks. A sure fire sign of some die hard fans methinks! I definitely came round to the opinion that the 800+ people there that night expected the definite high standards I also had in mind for this performance.

Particular songs which really struck chords with the crowd where 'Fragments Of Faith', 'Enjoy The Silence' and the final song of the night 'Spellbound'. These tracks in particular seemed well received by the audience as the gig progressed closer towards its inevitable end.

I have heard it said that Lacuna's recent performances have been slightly lacking in some facet or other when they have graced the stage. That's a personal opinion and people are very much entitled to it. I however believe that last night's set was technically, vocally and visually pleasing. It never blew the top off my head or had me reeling in amazement, but what it did do was tick every box I had on my little 'criteria checklist' for a great gig and they delivered a performance that never faltered or failed. Consistent, solid and thoroughly enjoyable for me! Definitely a gig worthy of attending especially for a fan!

Last night Lacuna Coil provided their fans with a great performance which proved to be a solid, well above par set. Vocally sublime in parts and never dropping below excellent, they strode through their time on stage performing track after track to an ever increasingly appreciative throng of faithful fans. Empty Spiral maybe the translation of the band's name but there was nothing empty about that performance on Saturday night. Sheer, atmospheric, dark gothic Metal! Fucking great gig!

lacuna coil




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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