Korpiklaani - LIVE: The Classic Grand, Glasgow 2013

Manala Tour
February 1 (21:00-22:40)
Capacity 550

Even 15 minutes after the doors were due to open at the Classic Grand they were still closed. After a long wait (roughly half an hour) queuing fans were informed that the band hadn't arrived until the doors were due to open. Their bus had been in an accident on route to Scotland, but it appeared the band were unhurt. Eventually one hour and 15 minutes later than advertised the doors opened. Of real credit to the metal scene was the excellent manner in which the crowd waited patiently on such a cold night.

Not long after the doors opened the only support of the night (there were the planned but the local band, Morlich, were pulled) Metsatöll came onto the stage. A four-piece from Estonian, their name translating loosely as "wolf", they featured guitarist, drummer, bassist and a multi-instrumentalist who played some very strange items, from penny whistle and bagpipes to a Jew’s harp (surely a first for a metal gig) and a strange traditional Estonian instrument played by bow called a kannel. All the band members sang at points, the latter player Lauri having the deepest voice imaginable. He at times made the floor shake and had people staring in amazement.

Some of the tracks had really good grooves and or riffs. However some of it seemed disjointed. Of course this might not be the case for native speakers. Kivine Mao opened with Jew’s harp into a solid bouncy groove. The fourth track Roju was apparently about "an Estonian boyfriend who can only make love whilst having a hangover", led to the first "what on earth is he playing?" comment from audience members (which Google revealed was some form of kannel), while Muhu Õud, a folky number about the island in the Baltic sea, went down very well with the crowd. Amazingly they seemed to have pulled in a number of Estonians as there were a couple of flags in the audience and those holding them were singing along as well as bouncing around.

Then it was time for the headliners Korpiklaani. A pretty packed venue welcomed them onstage. Starting with a track from the new album Manala called Tuonelan Tuvilla the crowd and band seemed a little slow to warm up. However by the time the band hit Juodaan Viinaa with its huge chant-a-long melody/chorus the pace of band and crowd picked up and never dropped, with the crowd singing, dancing, bouncing and moshing along all night from then on. Vocalist Jonne regularly ended up in the crowd leading the mayhem - as well as the drinking!

Taking it down a little with the opening of Metsalle the crowd responding by holding up lighters, which made a change from mobile phones, until the main body of the song was reached. However the vocal at the end was rather strained compared to studio version. The only doomy Sabbath type of track Samussa Hamaran Aamun caused a large circle in the crowd, with arms over shoulders, swaying together until a manic looking hokey cokey broke out. During this song a surge of crowd surfing started which the security dealt with in a friendly and responsive way.

During Vaaripolkka Tuomas the violinist started smiling and dancing, which came as a surprise as he looks very serious most of the time onstage. Vodka resulted in the audience going mad from front to back. The drink itself was being passed round the band (Tuomas drank it in the manner of the late great comedian Eric Morcambe by hiding the bottle behind his violin causing some laughter) and into the crowd. When Korpiklaani got to the final song of the set Happy Little Boozer Jonne left the stage completely and used the bar which runs down one side of the venue as a stage. With the bar staff trying to move glasses/obstacles whilst they themselves joined in the laughing and dancing Jonne strutted up and down, drinking any beer coming his way from the crowd, apart from the pint he perched on his head which he balanced for a good 10 seconds before it fell covering himself, the bar and folks very close to him. The audience on the whole were facing the bar by this point, everyone laughing, smiling and dancing.

At the end of the song the band made to leave the stage leaving the wandering vocalist on the bar. The crowd responded to this loudly by singing/chanting the expression "dinnaefuckinggo, dinnaefuckinggo" much to the delight of singer and band. When all the band returned to stage they broke into a folky and wonderful version of Motörhead's Iron Fist, which was elongated by singer and drummer improvising the Glasgow chant in the middle of it. It seems they understand the Scottish accent rather well. They managed another couple before they had to stop for the club night that was following.

Korpiklaani provided an excellent night all round. The support was solid and interesting, and the headliners delivered a first class set with energy and humour as well as good musicianship and an audience up for a party.


Metsatöll setlist: Kuu / Kivine Maa / Vaid v Aprust / Roju / Kahjakaldad / Rabakannel / Muhu Õud / Saaremaa v Agim / Sajatus / Minu Kodu

Korpiklaani setlist: Tuonelan Tuvilla / Tuoppi Oltta / Juodaan Viinaa / Metsamies / Midsummer Night / Kipumylly / Metsalle / Sumussa Hamaran Aamun / Vaarrinpolkka / Lonkkaluut / Uni / Vodka / Ievanpolkka / Rauta / Happy Little Boozer // Iron Fist / Tequila / Pellonpekko / Wooden Pints

Written by Tom Cornell
More: 2013, Folk Metal, Gigs,

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