Serious Black Live Report

Date:2017-09-17 06:30:48
Well I haven't been to a gig since the Stone Free Festival back in mid June. I've missed a fair few gigs for various reasons but to be honest it's been good to get a break for live music to renew the appetite again so to speak. From now on in till December it's going to be pretty busy for me on the live music front and what better way to start it off with than Serious Black.

Sadly not many other people thought so and the attendance was around 70 at its height. Obviously SB hasn't made headway in the UK power metal scene like some bands but that doesn't mean they don't have everything it takes to be a reasonably successful act as far as power metal goes.

Two supports bands were listed. First was a female fronted melodic metal band called My Own Ghost whom I've never actually heard of. I couldn't quite make out if they were English or from somewhere else as the chubby front gal didn't have much of an accent . Anyway they were OK and I've heard worse on the hallowed Underworld stage. Still not really my cuppa and the songs didn't seem to garner much excitement but were reasonably pleasant.

Main support was the Herman Frank band. I must admit I didn't like the sample I heard from his album but the Accept man was on fire and really rocked the riffs out hard. he does look a bit weird though with straggly sideburns and fisherman's cap. I had forgotten that mic for hire man Rick Altzi was the singer in the band. They played well and Rick's voice was somewhat good if a little hoarse at times. I don't know the songs at all, but they are simple chugging or speedier roaring affairs. Simple rocking Accept style heavy metal. Not rocket science and a decent warm up although the samey-ness of the same old Accept riffs gets a little tedious by the end. Herman is fun to watch on stage though with his funny movements and antics despite his age!

Finally at 9.15 the lights went down and it was time for Serious Black to show us what they can do live. Of course I've already seen them live before supporting Gamma Ray but this was a chance to shine all of their own. To say that the band has gone for the theatrical look for the new album would be the understatement of the year. Urban looks like King Diamond without the falsetto and make up basically and the album is not far from classic KD either.

The band sounded killer as they tore into the opener Akhenaton from the debut album. That's all well and good but I far prefer the latest two albums and I was looking forward to hearing that material and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Mr Nightmist with it's superbly catchy hook was the first track aired from Magic followed directly by the title track from the last album. That was absolutely superb and had everyone singing the chorus well about 40 of us down the front! What a song though and Urban sounds superb on that tune.

I should also point out that Bob Katsionis was absent on this tour for some reason. They had instead hired ex Obscura guitarist Christian Muenzer who I almost didn't recognise at first due to his shock of blond hair. The guy had totally black hair last time I saw him on this very stage with Obscura a few years ago. But then the more I looked at him, I recognised his style and even Urban introduced him as Chris and said he'd had a collision of some sort with a bottle of blond dye etc!

The band were hitting their stride mid set and there was no stopping them. the songs continued to flow between all three of their records with Castor Skies particularly going down well as the super energetic Lone Gunman Rules. The next song actually surprised me. I wasn't expecting to hear This Machine is Broken which is almost my fave song from the last album. I was very glad indeed when they played that one. It was followed by Now You'll Never Know which is one of the catchiest choruses on the latest album. Everyone enjoyed that one I think, very melodic indeed.

Setting Fire To the Earth was awesome as was the KD worship of Burn Witches Burn! the band played until just before 11pm their curfew and considering the paltry attendance, played with smiles on their faces and didn't play a shortened set as some bands might have done and rush to get off stage. A very full set list, a solid performance, playing songs with so many memorable melodies for the 70 who bothered to turn up to enjoy. Urban did comment on the low attendance from the stage but he said even though there are not many people here we are the RIGHT people haha. Made me chuckle. He also mentioned that last time he played the Underworld he was in Tad Morose and I was there that night too in 2003 I think it was. Guess what? there were only about 60-70 that night too! Guess you're just not that popular here Mr. Breed! Chin up mate!

Anyway the show was good and Serious Black deserve more success but I guess they won't find it in the UK but I'm sure they will have more fans on the continent on the rest of the tour. I do hope they come back though maybe on a tour with Sabaton or something that's what everybody else does to get exposure haha!

Older and Wiser
Mr. Nightmist
Trail of Murder
I Can Do Magic
Heartbroken Soul
Serious Black Magic
The Life That You Want
Castor Skies
Lone Gunman Rules
This Machine Is Broken
Now You'll Never Know
As Long As I'm Alive
Setting Fire to the Earth
Burn Witches Burn!
I Seek No Other Life
High and Low

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