Metal Hammer (UK)

volbeat and Baroness bring their A-games to Brixton.



Denmark’s dashing rockers put on a peak performanc­e

The PEAKY Blinders are in town. Either that or there’s a whippet convention nearby. Up onstage, two of Volbeat’s three-man frontline – guitarist Rob Caggiano and bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen – are rocking Tommy Shelby-esque flat caps. No such headgear for singer and leader Michael Poulsen, though. He may have mined the hit British TV series for inspiratio­n for his band’s new album Rewind, Rebound, Replay (tonight’s opening track, Cheapside Sloggers,

pivots around the clarion call: ‘The Peaky Blinders prevail!’), but nothing fucks with that quiff.

It’s a look that’s working for them. Brixton is packed, though that’s partly helped by a beefy undercard. DANKO Jones’s metal-edged garage rock dovetails neatly with Volbeat’s worldview, right down to their eponymous singer joining the headliners to blast though their 2016 collaborat­ion, Black Rose. Baroness

are a less obvious match; their knotty, prog-metal-in-a-wind-tunnel assault feels like it’s been dragged in through a wormhole from another universe, although it’s not so outlandish that they don’t leave the stage without the crowd chanting their name.

But this is Volbeat’s turf, and theirs alone. The Danes’ mix of the modern and the retro is as sharp as a razor blade sewn into the brim of a newsboy cap. Rewind, Rebound, Replay whetted the blunter edge of their gleaming metal’n’roll until it could slice through bone. That’s more than can be said for Michael Poulsen’s larynx. The singer is taking a battering tonight from a heavy cold, one that will see him pull the band’s next gig two nights later. He’s audibly struggling to talk between songs, though he powers through Pelvis On Fire and Lola Montez, Mephistoph­elean Roy Orbison croon intact.

The frontman has never made any bones about his influences, and he tees up Sad Man’s Tongue – the oldest track aired tonight – with a snippet of their ever-rousing version of Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire, and introduces the steel-plated instrument­al with a snippet of Enter Sandman to rousing cheers. “That’s not gonna happen,” he says teasingly of the latter, aware that his band have maybe become a little too indebted to Metallica. It doesn’t really matter. Volbeat are their own men in 2019: proud, snarling and ready for the fight. Tommy Shelby would be proud.


 ??  ?? don’t pout, michael… we’re sure rob will lend you his
cap if you ask nicely
baroness: coiled again!
don’t pout, michael… we’re sure rob will lend you his cap if you ask nicely baroness: coiled again!

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