Volbeat – Roundhouse, London – 17th November 2014

Tonight’s gig saw two great bands on one bill, even if it was an odd pairing.  Supporting Volbeat on this tour are Hatebreed – a great band, but far heavier than Volbeat.

hatebreedHatebreed got things off to a very heavy start, and it quickly became apparent that while they charged around the stage and put in a highly energetic performance, the energy levels weren’t matched by the crowd.  Normally a Hatebreed show has a pretty manic crowd with lots of crowd surfers and circle pits, but tonight there were no crowd surfers, and it wasn’t until most of the way through the set that they finally managed to get a circle pit going.  The band did work hard and as the set progressed they did manage to get the crowd more active and involved, but the simple fact is that they are just too heavy for most of the Volbeat fans here tonight. The bars and smoking area outside the main room were packed during Hatebreed  set – clearly some fans simply couldn’t cope with their hardcore sound.
Despite the crowd, Hatebreed put in a great performance, and I’m sure they will have made some new fans tonight, even if they were too heavy for many people.


volbeatNext up was Danish band Volbeat. The loud cheers that greeted the start of the intro tape and the band’s arrival on stage showed that this was who the fans were really here for tonight.   Volbeat have a very distinctive sound that is a blend of rock and roll, heavy metal, and rockabilly – a sound that owes as much to Johnny Cash or Elvis Presley as to any hard rock or heavy metal bands that may have influenced them. In fact they demonstrated this at the start of “Sad man’s tongue” by playing a short bit of the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of fire” before stopping and letting the crowd sing it.

The crowd were definitely having a good time with Volbeat and everywhere you looked people were dancing, waving their arms in the air and generally enjoying themselves – there were even some crowd surfers during their set.  Volbeat are an incredibly fun band to watch – the music is so catchy it’s hard not to like it.  The diverse influences in their music mean there’s a lot of variety, and yet the crazy Danes still manage to surprise by including a Dusty Springfield cover – “I only want to be with you”.  It’s a fantastic set from Volbeat – they’re one of those bands you can’t watch without having a good time.  The music really is catchy, and it’s no surprise that they are selling out venues like this on their tour.

Volbeat setlist:

Hallelujah goat
Guitar gangsters & Cadillac blood
Maybelline I hofteholder
Sad man’s tongue
Heaven nor hell/A warriors call
16 dollars
Lola Montez
Dead but rising
I only want to be with you
The lonesome rider
The mirror and the ripper
The hangman’s body count
Doc Holliday

Find that soul intro
Pool of booze booze booza
Still counting

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.