Nile/Melechesh Live February 2010
Firstly, a massive mea culpa – I was late to the gig (story to follow), thus I regrettably missed the support acts and all but 4 minutes of Melechesh. To say that I kicked myself is an understatement, as the last Melechesh UK tour fell foul of a dubious promoter (the Excess of Evil Tour, with Keep of Kalessin, Marduk and perhaps even Enslaved in tow, if I recall). So, now I’ve screwed up on my second attempt to see Melechesh….third time’s a charm, I guess :p. There is a new Absu album in the works so perhaps there will be a dual-headline tour? One can but dream – drummer action methinks! Should I be able to attend the gig, I shall, and there will then, finally, be a Melechesh live review. I did see them live, briefly, but I am thus unable to post a meaningful review.
Anyway, that tale of derring-do that led to my lax attendance…I have wanted to have a bike in Reading (my Uni town) for some weeks, as Reading is on the edge of some rather nice countryside, not to mention the Thames. There is also the UK’s nuclear weapons lab within 20miles, which has got to be worth a look, as well as a Roman town. So, on Sunday I decided to ride my bike to Reading, via central London. Unfortunately I slept in some in the morning, and that, coupled with a puncture and the rather poor repair of my spare bike, led to me only reaching London at just after 4, with the gig starting at 7. Somehow I made it across central London in fading light and pissing rain in 45 minutes – quite an adventure until I hit the bus queues….I only managed to get to the venue for 9, but unfortunately they had crammed all FOUR support bands (including Melechesh) into 2 hours! Very unexpected efficiency!
Anyway, Nile thankfully made up for the bands that I missed by being simply magnificent. They had possibly the crispest, most dynamic live sound I have heard in London – you could clearly distinguish all the intricacies of the riffs and solos, the texturing of the drums and the oriental backing tapes. It was just the right volume as well to boot – the first gig in a long time that I emerged from with full hearing. Their set-up music was about 25 minutes of instrumental, oriental music, heavier Saurian Meditations, if you will. The music was a blend of Holst and music that one would expect in a Swords and Sandals epic, and rather grated after a while.
Nile were a superb force on stage – great crowd interaction, a setlist culled from across their career, the only major surprise being Dallas having lost his hair – following Devin’s suit, perhaps? I haven’t heard that he is unwell and, seeing that his hair was receding I imagine he went for the buzz. They played for somewhere over an hour, encoring with a rather solid rendition of Thin Lizzy’s Emerald, in tribute to Gary Moore, who left this mortal coil last week.
All told, a pretty damn good gig, and hopefully the three I have lined up over the coming 4 weeks will prove at least equally good, those three being Mentallica (European Metallica cover band), Napalm Death and Watain.