Delain Islington Academy 25-10-15
First up to a full house were The Courtesans who were frankly dull.They seemed to have the musical capability of new pupils in a school house band and in my opinion very little stagecraft too.
An negative thoughts on the evening were blown away as The Gentle Storm flew out of the traps with the Celtic influenced Heart Of Amsterdam.
Led by the ever smiling Anneke van Giersbergen on vocals and with more than able back up from her band that included Merel Bechtold on guitar,who performed a double set with her Delain duties,and the vocal talents of () who alongside Anneke produced some wonderful harmonies and soaring notes.
Over the course of 40 minutes they played a set that included songs from their album The Diary as well as a couple of songs from Anneke's The Gathering days as well as her collaboration with Devin Townsend Fallout!!
Here is what they played.
Ending with the excellent Shores Of India the only down was us all wanting more and I would expect to see more UK dates added shortly.
As the lights dimmed the roof was nearly taken off as the crowd bellowed their love for Delain that has grown over the course of 4 albums and I am sure last year's arena dates supporting Within Temptation took them to a new audience.
In fact with those dates and some last November and this 4 date run to sold out notice's this is the UK's third chance to catch the band on The Human Contradiction tour and I am sure for next year's new album the venue's will be a lot bigger.
For 90 minutes we were treated to a near greatest hits set that included one new song Turn The Lights Out that whetted our appetite for next year's album and one rarely played song in Don't Let Go off The Interlude album.
Here is what they played.
Having been on tour for well over a year Delain are road warriors with no sign of tiredness just a well oiled live ass kickin' machine.With the recent addition of Merel Bechtold on guitar the band were on fire and fed off the crowd who spent most of the evening bouncing around like there was no tomorrow.
Charlotte Wessels possesses the voice of an angel and is a superb front woman knowing when to ask the crowd for more which we did at every opportunity with hands in the air or clapping or jumping up and down in fact a good work out was had by all.
The rest of the band are no slouches either.Martijn Westerholt (keys) is an integral part of their symphonic gothic sound while the man mountain Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije (bass) and new drummer Ruben Israel make up a pounding rhythm of the highest order.Timo Somers (guitar) plays some melodic guitar solo's and alongside Merel the new guitar line up on this first showing were very potent.
The whole show was a highlight.So nice to go to a rock show and not have lights that over power you and added to the performance and a thumbs up to the sound man too.
Go Away was a great opener and set the tone for the set.Recent single Starlight was greeted like a long lost friend with Charlotte's intro vocal just superb as her voice soared before the band kicked in with the chugging guitar riff and the whole pace went nuts.
So good to see the band obviously having a ball with huge smiles on every face.Charlotte kept the energy levels high and was revelling in having a full house of rabid fan's who did what ever she asked time and time again.
Milk And Honey showed the band can take it down a notch with no loss in power with Charlotte voice at it's finest before Timo played a superb melodic guitar solo.
Here Come The Vultures had Charlotte solo under one light in the intro with Martijn accompanying her on keys before the whole band crashed in and some growling vocals in back up from Otto.Great light and shade and shows that they understand it isn't only about smashing people around the head.
A 3 song encore took us to the end with only one song they could end with the superb We Are The Others with the band at full throttle and Charlotte voice at it's optimum range with melody amongst the guitar riffs.
The band didn't want to go off as the cheers from the crowd refused to die down and showed once again they are a band destined for the very top.