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O2 Academy, Islington, London
Monday 26th October 2015

scott adams

Photos by Dave Craig

dan reed network

Islington’s O2 Academy, situated in a shopping centre in the newly-revitalised Angel area of North London, can be a rotten, soulless place to play - especially when the head count in front of the stage is low, so it’s a delight to find, when MetalTalk strolls into the venue just as Sweden’s funk Metal ambassadors Electric Boys take the stage, that there will be no such problems tonight.

The dance floor is almost rammed, the air alive with an expectant buzz, the sort of buzz you only get from an audience that knows it’s in for a bit of a treat.

Led from the front by the effortlessly cool Conny Bloom, Electric Boys don’t disappoint. In a taut, well-structured ten song set the band leaves all flab at the stage door and delivers prime cuts such as ‘All Lips and Hips’, ‘Captain Of My Soul’ and ‘Mary In The Mystery World’ with studied brilliance and easy showmanship, leaving the two blokes stood in front of your reviewer to muse, out loud, that tonight’s main event would have some trouble following what they’d just witnessed.

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They were wrong, of course. Opening with a blazing take on ‘Resurrec’t from their 1988 debut, the band (all still present and correct from that debut save for keyboardist Blake Sakamoto, replaced now by longtime Reed solo sideman Rob Daiker) proceed, over the course of a fabulously paced set, to remind us just why we loved them nearly thirty years ago and why, if they’ll let us, we’ll love them all over again.

dan reed network

Reed the man is a consummate performer, sometimes teetering on the edge of ham without ever really toppling into the schmaltz abyss, whilst his two out-front wingmen, guitarist Brion James and Melvin Brannon (bass) both have the chops and the charisma to live with their more illustrious leader in a performance sense.

dan reed network

The lugubrious Brannon in particular almost steals the show on a number of occasions, while the more showy James peels off a series of blistering solos to augment his crunching, clipped riffwork that keeps the punters entertained throughout.

dan reed network

There are no real low points, although Reed’s duet with up-n-coming songstrel Soheila Clifford on Stronger Than Steel does break up the momentum created by such classics as ‘Forgot To Make Her Mine’ and ‘Rainbow Child’ a little bit.

However that’s just a minor quibble and when he band deliver a faultless version of ‘Ritual’ four songs later the night is unequivocally theirs. Tour mates The King Lot and Electric Boys are rolled out for a ramshackle, all-mates-together take on ‘Get to You’ the set proper draws to a close.

But then the Network return on their own for a three song encore climaxing with a geographically-apposite ‘Seven Sisters Road’ and normal, stunning service is resumed, leaving a satiated bunch of punters to flood out into the unseasonably-warm Islington night glowing with happiness and a little bit of funk in their steps. Marvellous stuff.

dan reed network

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More Scott Adams right here.



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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