Craig Stewart makes his way to Camden Town's The Unicorn to enjoy some hip-swinging, fist- pumping goodness brought to us in the form of Eliminator, Primitai and Seven Sisters.
|Seven Sister's Kyle Mc Neill|
There’s something dependable, even comforting about Camden Town’s The Unicorn. The pub/venue provides regular free gigs with good bands set away from the mania of Camden High Street usually attracting a decent crowd and tonight’s no exception. It’s the end of the working week, the Spring thaw is in the air, festival season isn’t far off and a contingent of London’s heavy metallers have descended on the corner of Camden Road and York Way in search of cheap booze and a good time, myself among them.
Lancaster’s Eliminator are first up. They swiftly remind me it’s been far too long since they last graced the stage in London with a fine serving of pounding, no-nonsense heavy metal. New frontman Danny Foster fits into the band seamlessly, doing justice to existing material with stellar range and presence. The band exude confidence and energy on stage and seem to really be enjoying their return to the capital. Set list callbacks to 2011’s We Rule The Night EP are very welcome to these ears and the title track of that release receives exactly the raucous, fist-pumping reception it deserves. We’re treated to some new material in the form of the epic -sounding 'Spoils of Empire' (played immediately after 'Echoes of The Past' making for a nice “long song” section within the set). The head-banging loyalists in the front row are fully on board throughout and 'Outlaws of the Highway' closes out nicely. Hopefully it won’t too long before we see Eliminator in London again.
Primitai have the unenviable task of following on from Eliminator tonight. Fortunately they’re in a good position to do so, having a rich seam of material to mine over four full-length albums, an EP and a few singles. This proves to be a polished, energetic set leaning largely on 2016’s Night Brings Insanity LP. Frontman Guy Miller works up some audience participation as the band showcase the contrast of their back catalogue with slightly slower, more epic numbers such as 'The Cannibal' counterbalancing the full-tilt fury of 'Savage Skies', 'Fortune Favours The Brave' and 'Driven Wild'. The high-point for me arrives with 'Power Surge', a real earworm of a number that features one of many trips into shred city courtesy of guitarists Srdjan Billic and Sergio Giron. I must confess to being quite late to hearing Primitai, but I’m left eager to see them live again and will be keeping an eye out for more shows.
We proceed to the headline act, and Seven Sisters proceed to set the stage on fire. I assure you, dear reader, that this is no hack hyperbole: A stage light flares up halfway through opener 'Highways of The Night' and the hazard’s dealt with before the set resumes. They recover from this swiftly with the anthemic 'Onwards They Ride' and proceed to deliver exactly the sort of rousing set we’ve come to expect. We’re treated to some crackers we haven’t heard in a while tonight – I was pleased to hear 'Avenger' and 'Wicked Steel' make a return– and some deep cuts from 2016’s self-titled LP (the titanic 'Seven Sisters' and 'Cast To The Stars' are particular highlights). Seven Sisters have cultivated a loyal and dependably vocal following at their live shows in London, and it shows throughout here with chorus singalongs and guitar melody “whoah”-alongs aplenty. Fists are in the air and heads banging as guitarists Graeme Farmer and Kyle McNeill tear up their respective fretboards. The finale comes as a one-two punch: A cover of Virtue’s classic 'We Stand To Fight', followed by the fan-favourite hip-swinging ode to boxing, 'No Guts, No Glory', propelled along by the Loftin-Rute rhythm section. I’ve been following these guys since their first live outing and it’s a pleasure every time, certainly tonight.
Seven Sisters close out leaving us near spent, though not quite spent enough to dismiss the after-party supplied by Born Again Heavy Metal Soundhouse. Toes tap and hips swing. This was a great night and more like it are on their way in the next few weeks and months. Bring them on, I say.