One of (the many) advantages of travelling all the way to Clisson for Hellfest is that there are a lot of bands who make the effort too. Just look across the line-up at the bands that aren’t really on tour at the moment but will still turn out for this festival. Superjoint (Ritual) have flown half way round the world to be here and there are countless others who have built tours around a prestigious Hellfest appearance.
One band CackBlabbath have been wanting to catch for a long time is Orchid. They don’t play the UK too often and when they do it’s usually just a London show. With the various arms of CB mainly living in up in the hills in various locations across the UK, we’ve not managed to catch them until today.
So we’re up at the front and ready for our first taste of the San Francisco traditional heavy metallers in the live arena. There are plenty of others packed into the Valley stage too with the smell of the sweet leaf lingering in the air we’re expecting an early highlight of the festival from Orchid.
That’s precisely what we get too. The Valley stage has a strong stoner bias with most of the bands playing over the weekend sourcing their influences from similar places. None wear their hearts on their sleeves more boldly than Orchid however.
Bass lines that risk a personal injury claim for whiplash wrapped around some swirling percussion. With towering riffs that could be used to level disused factories and the upbeat and familiar sounding vocal lines; all the vital ingredients are there.
‘Eyes Behind The Wall’ and ‘Mouths Of Madness’ are tracks we’ve been waiting to hear live for a while and they sound great. We also get a taste of the new album with ‘John The Tiger’ which sounds just as good as the familiar tracks.
What the band lack in a bit of stage movement is more than made up for by Keith’s facial exertions. He looks to be having a ball up there as the band unreel their colossal catalogue.
It may have been a long time coming but Orchid were well worth the wait to see live. Let’s hope we see them again a bit closer to home.