Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Andrew O'Neill's History Of Heavy Metal aka "SIT DOWN LARS"

(c) Sophie Garrett -
Back in the days when I had a band, The Garage was home from home. I hadn't been for years until I went to ARGComFest in the summer and was all set to make another trip after such a short gap.

I met Neal at the pub over the road where he had been joined by a random woman who was going to another comedy show, and after a lot of detective work we worked out that it was at the Hen and Chickens round the corner. She was nice, but rather loopy. Anyway, we had a beer and headed to the venue, where luckily we didn't need to queue up. We walked straight in and found the room extremely busy already. I made the right decision of getting the first round in, which didn't take too long compared with Neal's round in the interval!

It was definitely more of a metal than a comedy crowd, and we were initially horrified at it being an all standing gig. We are very old. However I think it definitely gave it a much more rock'n'roll vibe, and of course meant they could probably fit everyone in, because before the gig started, the room was packed to the rafters.

This was the first time Andrew had done this show with a live band (the guitarist, bassist and drummer from Reprisal). They took to the stage first and were eventually followed by Andrew, striding on to the stage with his flying V ready for action.

(c) Sophie Garrett -
The gig was fantastic, starting out with the most famous metal riff of all, from the opening song, "Black Sabbath",  from the Black
Sabbath album by Black Sabbath, running through classic riffs from Motorhead to Slayer and Metallica. The show took the form of a history lesson, starting back in the proto-metal bands such as The Kinks, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, through Sabbath, on to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Venom, then on to Metallica and the big four of thrash and on towards death and black metal, punctuated with riffs and short versions of classic songs, mainly with altered lyrics. The vocals could have been louder as I missed a few of the gags during the songs.

Andrew joked about Sabbath's rhyming structures, Rob Halford hiding in plain sight before he came out, Slayer opening their classic album with the word "Auschwitz", Dave Mustaine's vocal style and of course, Lars Ulrich constantly standing up. The crowd were noisy, but fun, and only once did Andrew have to tell someone to use their ears more than their mouth.

I didn't stay for the Reprisal set after the show (my back was killing me. I am old.) but left satisfied that I had seen the best show of 2014 so far. This is a show that needs to be filmed and put out on DVD (or that new fangled Blu-ray) as it could easily reach a much bigger audience.

Andrew will be doing more of these so keep an eye out. And don't worry if you're not a heavy metal fan. It doesn't matter. It helps, but it doesn't matter. It's a brilliant night out! And remember, what do we shout next time Metallica's drummer stands up behind his kit?


This gig was dedicated to Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013

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