Before the gig I had the chance to interview the headline attraction, the mighty Orange Goblin. Prior to our chat, I was kindly offered a drink by the band. When I told them it was something that didn’t happen often, frontman Ben Ward replied “We’ve got so much of it we don’t know what to do with it“. I had been told beforehand that the band were lovely blokes who loved a drink and this confirmed it. Now onto the show.
Opening the show were local lads Goat Monsoon, who had a line-up change since I last saw them. New drummer Lewis was added to the fold with Lammy now in full frontman mode with the swagger of a cowboy from a John Wayne film. They played tracks such as ‘Alpha Kings’ and ‘Lord of the Hive’ from their Blue EP alongside promising new material. Engaging, witty with a truck-load-full of awesome riffs, Goat Monsoon were a wonderful opener and one that deserved the big cheer they got.
Up next were the main support, Gentlemans Pistols featuring Bill Steer of Carcass fame on guitar. The Pistols are so much more than a Bill Steer side project, they are a machine churning out riff after riff. Playing material from their latest opus Hutler’s Row alongside other choice cuts from their discography, the band’s experience showed. It’s a shame the crowd weren’t as receptive to the band’s music as they could have been. ‘The Searcher’, ‘Devil’s Advocate On Call’, and ‘Some Girls Don’t Know What’s Good For Them’, sounded excellent in the hallowed ground of the Arts Centre. It was safe to say that they earned a few fans though, just maybe not as many as they were hoping for.
As AC/DC’s ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock and Roll’ blasted out of the sound system while the band came on stage, it was time for the show. “It’s the return of Colchester’s finest, Griz is home ladies and gentleman” said Man Mountain and singer Ben Ward, pointing at the band’s merchandise manager. After a few songs, it was clear Ben was not happy, “I know it’s a weekday Colchester. But I want to see less of this” said Ben crossing his arms “and more of this” as he thrust his arms in the air. But as soon as ‘The Devil’s Whip’ from Back From The Abyss kicked in, the crowd started to get more excited. From then on the anthems came thick and fast, ‘Made of Rats’, ‘Some You Win, Some You Lose’, and ‘They Come Back’, got a welcome airing. Fan favourites from Time Travelling Blues including ‘Shine’, ‘Blue Snow’ and the anthem of ‘Time Traveling Blues’ sent the crowd into a frenzy. But then it was the encore, ‘Scorpionica’, ‘Quincy The Pigboy’, and ‘Red Tide Rising’, sent the venue into supernova. There were mosh pits and people jumping on each other. It was top notch organised chaos. Here’s to another 20 years of Orange Goblin!