For my final gig of 2016, I couldn’t have picked a better one than Orange Goblin‘s annual Xmas bash. Playing their biggest headline show to date, Orange Goblin were sure to end the year with a bang.
Opening the festivities were the absolutely wonderful Vodun. As someone who has followed Vodun for years, it was amazing to see them jump from small clubs to opening the Koko. This was my third time seeing Vodun and as usual they were brilliant. Their unique cauldron of metal, afro punk, soul and psychedelia was mesmerising from start to finish. The material from Possession was a highlight and a reminder of why it was featured in many end of year best of lists. The show capped off a brilliant year for Vodun, but there is still more to come.
Bringing some heavy doom, Witchsorrow brought the misery. Witchsorrow were monolithically heavy with an extra side of doom. If Black Sabbath ramped up the doom factor, they’d be Witchsorrow. Punishing, gigantic riffs blasted out the sound system as the band brought the pain. The lengthy doom odysseys did not feel overlong, were captivating and memorable. I hadn’t seen Witchsorrow since 2013 and they were just as I remembered them, a great live act.
Raging Speedhorn unfortunately had to pull out of the gig due to health reasons, but their replacement Winnebago Deal were superb. A vicious punk attack, the two piece blasted through a couple of choice cuts from their discography (with third member crouching behind an amp joining in on backing vocals occasionally). The best way to describe their set was short and sweet, a blistering hardcore stab that improved the night greatly.
Orange Goblin are local legends, Camden is their turf and they love it. Coming on stage to a medley of the 20th Century Fox Theme, the Star Wars opening theme and AC/DC’s ‘It’s a Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock and Roll),’ they got an appropriate heroes welcome. Playing hits from across their discography, their set was nothing but fun. Whether it was early material or the latest material, Ben Ward and his merry men gave it 110% and made it a fitting way to end the gigging year for many people. Ward himself was a great frontman, rousing the crowd while being very humble. He stated it was a dream to headline the Koko and he was grateful for the fans for giving him the opportunity to do so. Finishing with the triple hit of ‘Scorpionica,’ ‘Quincy the Pig Boy’ and ‘Red Tide Rising,’ it was pure enjoyment. Ward ended the night by mentioning the band were working on new material and that we may see a new album next year, Christmas had come early.