Welcome to one of the happiest gigs of all time. Before the show we had the chance to talk to Paul Templing of Gloryhammer (link here!) for a while. Sadly that means we missed the support band while we nipped out for food and to dump equipment. However, we did see them soundcheck so everyone head over and check out Dennera!
I walked back in the door for the main support, Darkest Era, and immediately witnessed a group of people beating the hell out of each other with inflatable hammers in time to the music. I quested over to the merch booth to purchase my battle weapon, and a rather stylish t-shirt while opting out of the pants deal.
Darkest Era are a band gaining reputation faster and faster, with a couple of support slots including Alestorm and the legendary Wintersun under their belts, I expect their name will be popping up a lot more now and for good reason. Tonight’s show was a stunning display and though I can’t name songs by name, I’ll be checking them out properly in the future, you should as well.
The stage was now being set up for Gloryhammer, at this point I realised the venue sold alcoholic slushies, I purchased one of these to go with my hammer and realised that nothing has changed in the last twenty or so years. As a child I played with inflatable toys, listened to songs about dragons and unicorns while enjoying slushies, as an adult I’m doing the exact same god damn thing.
The usual between band music is put to the side, instead we get HammerFall, Tyr’s Hold The Heathen Hammer High, MC Hammer (I think by now you get the general point), interspersed with Dundee road traffic updates.
The band take to the stage and the battle for the glory of Dundee begins once again. With Thomas Winkler a.k.a Angus McFife and Chris Bowes, a.k.a the evil wizard Zargothrax both on stage you would expect a bloodbath, thankfully this doesn’t occur (yet anyway). To find out the setlist, simply look at the back of the CD cover. Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife was played in order start to finish, ending with the bonus track, Wizards! The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee was probably my highlight of the gig, that’s not to say the rest of the gig was downhill from the first song; it was purely just because it was such a glorious moment. The band all appeared fully costumed, an epic chorus had everyone in the crowd holding their hammers aloft; it was a great moment in general as a fan of the more tongue-in-cheek side of metal.
Pits formed where grown men smacked the living shit out one another with their hammers, others wandered about in costumes that ranged from tinfoil armour to some fairly realistic and impressive battle gear, everyone else was just singing along or smiling like a kid on Christmas. In the interview with Paul, he mentioned pantomime and it’s a point that can’t be argued. The Evil Wizard Zargothrax had the crowd booing while the hero, Angus McFife led us in chants of Hoots (that helped slay the Zargothrax), a square go (jolly good fight for those of you outside Scotland) broke out between Angus and Zargothrax to help defeat him once and for all. The King of Unst was crowned while the national anthem of Unst was played. There were moments I almost expected Paul O’Grady or the Chucklebrother’s to pop up. Or the Singing Kettle, it is Scotland after all.
Never let anyone criticize you for liking power metal, or at least never let it sink in. I didn’t see a single person without the biggest grin on their face all night and in the end, if you get that much joy from your music you’re onto a winner. If some people find issue with that, wanting their music to be deadly serious with multi layered meanings, let them. All the more fun for us!