weather warnings being issued for the central belt of Scotland as the
last gasps of Hurricane Katia were poised to hit the UK, it was with
trepidation that we set out for The Cathouse. We had a date with another
powerful wind blowing all the way from Greece as Gus G and Firewind were
in town. Did they blow up a storm ? more of that in a bit …
off proceedings were Wolf with a bit of Swedish metal to warm up
the night. The four piece were in excellent form playing their brand of
metal/thrash with passion. They had a large support in the crowd -
plenty of T-shirts on show and logos painted on leather jackets - who
were very vocal from the off.
comprised older numbers like 'Hail Caesar' and 'Speed On' and tracks
from their latest album 'Legions Of Bastards', but all tracks were
greeted like old friends.
through the set the band celebrated guitarist Simon's birthday with a
chorus of Happy Birthday and a bottle of malt whisky. He claimed to be
25, if so he must have had a hard paper round as a lad !
set and a band I will check out again in the future.
One thing that did blight Wolf's set was overly loud sound. I like a
loud gig and have on occasion been deaf for a couple of days after (Dio
Disciple's, take a bow) but the sound was so loud it lost clarity and
Unfortunately, things only got worse when Firewind hit the stage.
Wolf had suffered, but with their more riff driven sound they had
managed to battle the problems and their melodies had cut through.
on the other had with their more technical delivery and Gus G's
incredible fret work were fighting a battle that ultimately they
couldn't win. Had I been fully conversant with Firewind's back catalogue
I may have been able to follow the melodies but all I got was a wall of
The band though were giving their all and had the sound engineer
remembered to pack his ears I am sure it would have been a damn fine
with 'The Ark Of Lies' the band, including vocalist Mats Leven (ex
Therion and Yngwie Malmsteen), were on good form.
standing in for regular frontman Apollo Papathanosio who has had to sit
out the European tour due to family issues and with only two weeks
notice (no rehearsals!) did a wonderful job.
as always, was on Gus G's six string dexterity and he played up a storm,
you can see why he is sharing the stage with Ozzy at the moment. The
rest of the band are no slouches either especially Gus's right hand man
Bob Katsionis on rhythm guitar and keyboards who provided the meat of
the sound to allow Gus to show his talents.
included tracks from the bands latest 'Days Of Defiance' along with old
favourites, which went down well with the diehard fans.
I would love to see Firewind again in another setting and with a
different sound engineer on board, because seeing them live should have
been a pleasurable experience, not a painful one.
Now, is that a hurricane outside or is it just the ringing in my ears..?