Anvil - LIVE: The Garage, London 2013

Hope In Hell Tour
July 30 (21:30 - 23:00)
Capacity 600

The lingering effect of Anvil's popular documentary movie seems to be wearing off. They're getting more bookings than ever, but it looks as though the attendance is starting to wane. By the time they arrived on stage The Garage was only half full, even if after the show they wanted their Facebook followers to believe it was a sell-out.

But with mis-matched support from technical metal outfit Skreamer, who pair generic harsh vocals with astonishing playing and occasional strong clean vocals, and Motörhead plagiarists Asomvel providing little competition, Anvil had no problem whipping the modest crowd up. Indeed although under-sold, the fans who did turn out were very energetic and passionate about the band.

They were rewarded with an average setlist and a somewhat messy performance. Apart from songs culled from new album Hope In Hell, the rest of the back catalogue tracks were obvious selections that have been in the set for a long time. The likes of 666, School Love, March of The Crabs and of course Metal On Metal have been around forever now, and even three songs from This Is Thirteen, the comeback album made around the time of the movie, are still there, with several albums not represented at all. Other songs are simply not the best from their respective albums. On Fire and Swing Thing, both from last album Juggernaut of Justice, are poor choices, and generic stuff like Bad Ass Rock 'n' Roll and Eat Your Words did not show off the best of the new album either.

Then to close with another ordinary song from Juggernaut of Justice in Running was bizarre and left everyone flat. On top poor song selections the band just weren't very good. Front-man Steve "Lips" Kudlow in particular was very sloppy on guitar and his voice either went flat or cracked far too often. For a band who have been going this long, and tour as much as they do, lazy playing is not really acceptable.

It wasn't that long ago, when they first broke back into the international scene, that their performances were at least tight, even if not all of the songs played were classics. But after the surge of the last few years, it won't be long before Anvil fade back into obscurity if they keep playing shows like this one.

“ average setlist and a somewhat messy performance ”

Setlist: March of the Crabs / 666 / School Love / Badass Rock 'n' Roll / Winged Assassins / On Fire / This Is Thirteen / Mothra / Through With You / Thumb Hang / Swing Thing / Hope in Hell / Eat Your Words / Metal on Metal // Running

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Gigs, Heavy Metal,

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