Orange Goblin - The Spring & Airbrake, Belfast
Orange Goblin with support from By Any Means and Wizards of Firetop Mountain
The Spring and Airbrake, Belfast
Saturday April 21st 2012
It’s the last night of the Orange Goblin tour and the Spring and Airbrake is packed with with beer fuelled rockers within minutes of the doors opening.
Wizards of Firetop Mountain are in charge of starting the night and open with one of their best known tracks 'Sonic War'. It’s testament to their reputation that the venue is filled from the start of their set. It’s a rare occasion to see the opening act get such a good crowd and the reaction is justified as we are treated to an outstanding set. A broken guitar amp on stage sees Paul from By Any Means jump onstage to help out his fellow rockers and after some fiddling abou, they get it working again. Meanwhile, we're treated to an impromptu instrumental session which sounded like it was always meant to be there rather than a guitar rescuing filler. It’s great to see musicians helping each other out too - that camaraderie is apparent throughout the night with surprise appearances onstage during all three sets. The Wizards wield an unrelenting sound sometimes doom like, often more blues filled rock and in songs like 'Warrior', backed by galloping rhythms not unlike Iron Maiden’s trademark style.
By Any Means always draw a crowd in Belfast and front man Dave Lyness stomps about the stage with the swagger of a territorial silverback. The crowd are whipped into a moshing frenzy by the time they play 'Mercury Rising' and that’s only 3 songs in to the set. Its a regular feature of By Any Means gigs to get the audience onstage, but for once nobody seems brave enough to climb over the crowd barrier, leaving Lyness to go to the crowd instead. The interaction between band and fans really highlights the following By Any Means have built up since they started in 2009, and while enjoyable to watch, especially for those in the audience who get a go with the mic, at times we find ourselves craving more of Dave’s harsh vocals. It’s apparent that By any Means are not just a band, they’ve combined forces with their fans to become one big happy-to-be-angry family.
Orange Goblin singer Ben Ward bursts on stage in a flurry of smoke, profanity and earth shaking riffs. He dwarfs pretty much everyone in the room, not just in stature but with his sheer charisma onstage. Opening with all guns blazing and swigging from a whisky bottle between songs (and yes it’s real whisky, none of that iced tea trickery going on here!) we’re reminded why we love Orange Goblin so much. Four songs in and we see things slowing down a bit with 'Travelling Blue's and Ben doesn’t miss a note when he gets shown a little bit more flesh than usual by one not so shy lady in the front row.
The atmosphere is charged throughout with Martyn Millard providing epic bass and hair in equal abundance. It’s the last night of the tour but far from being weary of the road, it’s clear the band want to finish with a bang. 'Some you win, some you lose' even has people dancing on their chairs at the back of the room. Paul from By any Means appears again and hoists guitarist Joe Hoare onto his shoulders but it seems even that can’t put him off. Songs from their newest album ‘A Eulogy for the Damned’ go down just as well as the old favourites. Orange Goblin are the pioneers of beer fuelled good time rock and the crowd are more than happy to join them in the debauchery. Ears ringing and pints emptied, we know we’ll not feel anywhere near as big or clever in the morning.