You don’t half get an exclectic mix of bands at Bloodstock Open Air. The old “something for everyone” standard comment was particularly true of the lineup on the Sophie Lancaster stage, where the Sunday evening saw the legendary Wolfsbane sandwiched between the extreme metal stylings of Belphegor and Dying Fetus.
Maybe Blaze and Co could don some corpse paint….
Wolfsbane had the unenviable task of being up against Anthrax on the main stage, but there were a decent crowd of Howling Mad Shitheads filling the tent as their stage time approached. Since their resurrection a few years back Wolfsbane have consistently proved that they still have the elusive “it” that separates a great live band from a good one.
In Wolfsbane’s case, their ace in the deck is definitely frontman Blaze Bayley. The ex-Maiden man may have played the biggest arenas during his days with the Iron’s but I’ve always thought he was at his best when he could get right up in the audience’s faces, I have fond memories of many a sweaty night in the Edinburgh Venue some time last century, and although the band may be older and wiser (ok, maybe not wiser) I knew we were in for a good show.
I just didn’t appreciate just exactly how good. Out of the whole weekend Wolfsbane were just about the pick of the Sophie stage bands.
Like good wine, good metal bands seem to get better with age, and for more than one audience member the years were rolled back as Wolfsbane putting on a show packed with enough energy to put most of the new pretenders to their British Metal crown to shame. Blaze was hardly stationary for a second of the set, pausing only to entertain the crowd with his trademark little chats between songs, while jack-in-the-box bassist Jeff Hateley made sure that the frontman didn’t hog all the limelight..
The set kicked off on a high with Limo from the Did It For The Money E.P. Now I know there’s always a worry when bands come back and announce new stuff that it will be a pale comparison of what has gone before, but not a chance of this here. Tonight’s setlist was a mix of old and new. with the newer material being every bit as well received as classics like Black Lagoon (was that really recorded 20-odd years ago?) and, of course, Manhunt.
I really defy anyone not to enjoy Wolfsbane live, and judging by the way that the tent filled up during their set a lot of passers by were attracted in for a look see. As Blaze said on stage, Wolfsbane had nothing to worry about, rather it was Slayer who should be worried about following them..
And he was only half joking….
This is a band who have always had a knack for writing great rock’n’roll songs, the sort you can have a proper old fashioned sing-along to… and sing along we did. MC Blaze getting the whole tent belting out Money To Burn will be an indelible memory of BOA 2013, one of those “only at Bloodstock” moments that stick with you.
Brilliant, loved ’em.