Ok, a bunch of things to say about this gig, and I'm afraid not all of them are positive, but here goes.
Do you remember those puzzles we used to do as nippers. You know, fit the square peg in the square hole. Well, evidently the person who books the tours for openers Novocaine spent their entire childhood putting the square peg in the round hole. I mean, I think they supported Motorhead a while back, and now Paradise Lost. It doesn't really work. Sure, more liberal minds are needed, a willingness to adapt, but really, I don't think they're comfortable with what they perceive these audiences to be (metal!!!!) and vica versa. It's not that they're bad, they aren't, but they don't work here. They deserve the opportunity to play to interested people, instead of an extremely minimalistic audience. The crowd went mild summed things up perfectly. Brain sounded good, and Million Miles, but they need an audience. They need the right support slot to shine through. They need someone working for them who didn't fail at those schoolkid tests.
Siegmen. Who? Yeah, same here. Never heard of them before, and frankly, my life won't feel devestated if I never hear them again. Industrial cliche. NIN pastiche. Sure, 2 guitarists, but presence, personality. They got a slightly better response than Novocaine, but that I hope, was merely due to there being a few more people around. Instantly forgettable. Sorry. Maybe I was just on an increasingly common bad night!
So where were people. By the time Paradise Lost came on, there was a respectable crowd, but that was all. Respectable. It's been a great deal fuller in the past. Maybe everyone was doing exams. But it was eerie. I don't know that I've seen Rock City so devoid of an atmosphere for a major band before. Is it a result of PL pushing out the boat with the last album. I don't know.
Say Just Words opens a set which is dominated by the material from One Second. It's good but surreal. There's no atmosphere, no intensity in the crowd. The samplers sounded louder at times than the guitar. It was strange. Hallowed Land follows, but still the reaction isn't there. Blood of Another, Lydia, Soul Courageous, One Second, Disappear, in fact most of the new album sounds good. But, it didn't work. Holmes vocals were too prominent, which meant that when at times they take the lead on some of the new stuff, it shows up some failings. A couple of times he didn't reach the notes. It was weird, because when the old stuff did surface, it still didn't get the reaction it deserved. It was flat for the entirety. I don't know if that was people stunned by the new Paradise Lost or not.
Also kinda surreal, is when Holmes introduces a new song (fogotten the title now) saying if you're into Death Metal, might as well leave, cos there's no guitar on this. The song itself was great, no problem, but it's kinda strange watching and listening to a full blown song being played by a band with 2 guitarists who contribute minimal noise to the proceedings. Just strange.
Embers Fire, As I die and Last Time finish it up, and it's just like anti-climatic. I sense even the band believed that. Last time here was pretty much a triumph, tonight wasn't. Is it an indication that people just aren't accepting the new PL. Hope not, because it's in no way bad, but tonight, well tonight it just didn't happen on all fronts. Audience, bands, atmosphere. Sorry.