1st April 2015
Liz Medhurst: Photos by Sean Cameron
Lordi Lordi Lordi, what fun we had in Reading with the Finnish monsters. Everybody's favourite Eurovision winners are on the road with Tour Force One, and it was an absolute riot.
You learn a lot working for MetalTalk. Last week we heard all about how another Finnish band, Ensiferum, are inspired by the Kavalat and use these principles and ideas in their music. I imagine that Lordi do not.
However the entertainment and showbiz factor was incredibly high tonight and after we heard communications from the flight deck of Scare Force One, the band entered with their standard intro music, 'God Of Thunder' by Kiss, strobe lights flaring and it was clear that the small stage of Sub89 was going to be no barrier to the full Lordi experience.
So what unique delights were on offer this year?
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The first track, 'Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein' gave us opportunity to take in the full splendour of the monster costumes. Seeing them close up really shows how detailed they are, with Ox's cloven hooves being at least eight inches high – they are proper works of art, and respect is due to the designers.
The crowd were definitely up for singing, chanting and fist-pumping, and there was ample opportunity throughout the set. Three songs in and unsurprisingly it was 'Hard Rock Hallejuah' which got the biggest reception of the night, with Mr Lordi triumphantly brandishing his battleaxe.
The props and extras are all very much part of the show, so when a dwarf jumped into the audience during 'Deadache' and started hitting people with a rubber truncheon, nary an eyelid was batted.
This one was occasion though when our intrepid photographer Sean was grateful to leave the photo pit after the first three, as he was very nearly overwhelmed by the smell of rubber. Plus, it wasn't long before 'Hell Sent In The Clowns' made an appearance, where some clowns – actual ones – started running about chucking fake blood over everyone in the first few rows, which would not have been good for photographic equipment. I started to feel quite smug that I had bagged a pillar to lean on quite near the sound desk, so we both escaped unscathed.
Each of the band gets a solo spot at varying points in the set, which serves to show that there's a hell of a lot of talent behind the masks. And the songs are solid. They are catchy, hook-laden, sing-a-long melodic anthems, which make a great juxtaposition with the blood and gore and monster antics. It shows that Lordi are a hell of a good band, so much more than the costumes and the aforementioned Eurovision.
The best song of the set was 'It Snows In Hell', with a fantastic melody, confetti cannon and a skull streaming with dry ice, all pretty perfect.
These visuals just kept coming though - Amen's guitar solo was awash with flames, there were buckets of babies, balloons for Hellas and Mana's birthday and of course the huge rising angel wings of Mr Lordi on 'Devil Is A Loser'. As good as the songs are, it is the stage antics that stick in the memory after the event.
Lordi have made an art from out of pissing about and must be applauded for this. It was a great night, but I'm not sure how many times you could see the band live before it loses its appeal, even though the live set is refreshed for each tour. In any case they are definitely worth seeing at least once; guaranteed cheering-up material.
1. Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein
2. This Is Heavy Metal
3. Hard Rock Hallelujah
5. Hella's Kitchen (keyboard solo)
6. Hell Sent In The Clowns
7. Blood Red Sandman
8. Drum Solo
9. Give Your Life For Rock 'n' Roll
10. Don't Let My Mother Know
11. Bass Solo
12. How To Slice A Whore
13. It Snows In Hell
14. The Riff
15. Sincerely With Love
16. Amen's Lament To Ra II (guitar solo)
17. Not The Nicest Guy
18. Devil Is A Loser
19. Scare Force One
20. Who's Your Daddy?
21. Would You Love A Monsterman?