VENOM - UK Tour 2006 - Review by SITE OF THE HYDRA
CHAPTER ONE - The Introduction
Ever since The Official VENOM Website announced in January that VENOM would be doing some UK shows, a massive buzz of excitement had taken hold here in Hydra-land. Yes indeed, the greatest band ever were going to hit the stage again. The last time we saw VENOM live had been at Wacken Open-Air festival in Germany in 2000, and our thirst for some more live VENOM had become almost unbearable...
Now, as you'll know, VENOM live is an amazing event. This band is renowned for their legendary live shows throughout the years, be it at world-famous venues like Hammersmith Odeon, or at massive open-air festivals like the Dynamo in Holland. Someone once said:
"things you gotta do before you die - see VENOM live".
We fully agree with this. We have been lucky enough to see VENOM live on many occasions, so our motto has now become:
"things you gotta do before you die - see VENOM live. Then see them again. And again. And again"
CHAPTER TWO - VENOM ~ Mean Fiddler, London 25th March 2006 - Intro
So it was with great excitement that we left our lair here in Deepest Hell (AKA Switzerland) and boarded a flight (of the Hydra?) to Luton Airport in England. As always when we go to see the mighty V live, we had arranged to meet some fellow Freaks. This time myself and Mrs Hydra had arranged to first meet my Brother and Sister (who had flown in from Ireland) at Victoria train station in London, and then go to the venue to meet some great people who we have got to know through our website. We arrived outside The Mean Fiddler shortly after 3pm, and standing there waiting for us were Martin, who brought his mate Fredrik along, and Craig - users of this forum will know these Dudes better as Martin - Sweden Assault and Cragieboy - and, after exchanging HELL YEAHs, etc, all seven of us set off together to the nearest pub. We had planned weeks before to meet up for a few drinks before the VENOM show - although we have known each other for years, we had never actually met in the flesh, and it was brilliant to finally meet them. The first (of many) round of alcohol was purchased, and it will come as no great surprise to you what the topic of discussion was...... of course, it was VENOM!
The anticipation between us of the only-hours-away-now VENOM show was amazing. The discussion we had included many VENOMOUS topics, but we spent a lot of time trying to pre-guess what the tracklist would be at tonight's concert. The pub started to fill up with VENOM Freaks, and we met some really cool people who seemed to come from all over the world (a special HELL YEAH to the 2 Irish Dudes we met at the bar - where else :-) We had also arranged to meet a terrific guy called Jonas, from Sweden. We have got a bit of a habit of bumping into each other at various European Metal shows, and this time we would not only be meeting at the London show, we were also going to the Manchester show the following night. Anyway, more drink and excited V-talk followed... then, shortly after 7pm, we set off on the short trek to The Mean Fiddler...
CHAPTER THREE - VENOM ~ Mean Fiddler, London 25th March 2006 - The Concert
We joined the buzzing line of Freaks who had gathered - the anticipation from everyone was incredible. A couple of quick drinks at the bar, then it was down to the front row, the time had almost arrived, The Return was nigh...
The house-lights went down. The darkened stage was dominated by ANTTONs drums - a massive construction sat atop an approx 4 meter long VENOM logo, and flanked by a massive backdrop of the METAL BLACK album, and everything looked fuckin' killer cool. The chants of VENOM ~ VENOM went up by the Legions, and the intro rolled in. A movement behind the drums alerted everyone that ANTTON was in place and ready to go. The intro slowly fades, and the lights flash on and focus on MYKVS, who tears into those oh-so-famous chords of the song known as BLACK METAL....
BLACK IS THE NIGHT ~ METAL WE FIGHT ~ POWER AMPS SET TO EXPLODE - the crowd is going insane. A quick glance between freaking reveals a mass of moving hair, it seems every head in the venue is banging. The dance-floor (bang-floor?) is absolutely full, and is surrounded on all sides by a balcony which is packed tight with excited Metalheads all straining to get the best possible vantage point to witness The BLACK METAL GODS...
A massive roar of appreciation is given to the band on the completion of BLACK METAL. WELCOME TO HELL, BLOODLUST and DIE-HARD follow, and are equally well received by the crowd, who are somehow managing to keep up with the incredible pace and precision of the band. VENOM sound great, they look great and it's obvious by their dedication to each song that they are having a ball too. The first of the new songs from the sensational METAL BLACK album arrives, the already legendary track called ANTECHRIST. ANTTON attacks the drums with a vengeance rarely seen in music during ANTECHRIST - if there were any wimps in the crowd, this would have surely have flattened them! ANTECHRIST sounded so fuckin' amazing - it fitted in so well with the older VENOM songs that you would have thought that VENOM had been playing it live for years - it was that good!
THE EVIL ONE follows, and is devoured by the crowd. Then VENOM starts what is an approx 8 minute long version of AT WAR WITH SATAN. To say that people are going wild is an understatement! RESURRECTION comes and goes amid a sea of fists punching the air, then VENOM dive back into COUNTESS BATHORY and 7 GATES OF HELL. Another new track appears - BURN IN HELL. Just incredible! Everyone singing along with the chorus of this terrific song - INFERNO ~ YOU'RE GONNA BURN IN HELL - Fuckin' Hell Yeah!! METAL BLACK is equally as stunning - the crowd fuckin' love these new tracks as much as the older stuff, and they are played by the band with the exact precision that they have on the album, really intense and heavy-as-hell.
The band say goodnight and disappear down each side of ANTTONs drums and the lights fade. Somehow the crowd still have the energy to scream for more, which is amazing, the crowd had been crazy for the entire show. There was no lull in the action at any time. A couple of minutes of VENOM ~ VENOM chanting and the band relent, and return to the stage to again be greeted by massive applause. And then we have the first chime of WITCHING HOUR...
A few minutes later and this wonderful concert is over. The band gather together at the front of the stage, and thank all the Freaks.
CHAPTER FOUR - VENOM ~ Mean Fiddler, London 25th March 2006 - Outro
Some much-needed liquid was quickly quaffed at the bar, and everyone talked in glowing terms about the fabulous evening they had just witnessed. There were people of all ages at this concert. People who had seen VENOM live in the 80s and 90s, and a lot of people who had never seen VENOM before. But they were all in agreement in their praise and enjoyment of the show. Another hour or so of VENOM-chat followed, it seemed we must have talked to just about everyone who was at the show! We said our goodbyes to those people we could find, and arranged with the aforementioned Jonas where we would be meeting the next day for VENOM in Manchester.
Then, us 2 and my Bro and Sis set off into the dark, cold London night, towards Victoria Station, to catch our bus to Manchester and continue this fabulous VENOMOUS adventure......
CHAPTER FIVE - VENOM ~ Academy 2, Manchester 26th March 2006 - Intro
Having spent the night travelling, it was great to check into (the cheapest we could find) hotel, get a shower and catch up on a little sleep during the day, to prepare for tonight's VENOM show. After the usual pre-show food and alcohol, we once again departed on the not-far-from-the-hotel trek to the venue. This was a dive into the unknown for us, we had never previously seen VENOM live on consecutive nights. We knew they would be great, but surely they could not be so awesome as they were the night before in London? Yeah right...
We arrived at the venue, and entered into a large bar area full with excited Freaks. As planned, we met up with Jonas. And again, we downed a few quick drinks as we waited for the time when VENOM would hit the stage....
CHAPTER SIX - VENOM ~ Academy 2, Manchester 26th March 2006 - The Concert
As in London the night before, VENOM were mega-sensational! In fact, if anything it was even more special. The venue was really great, much better than the London venue in our humble opinion. The concert was just like a re-run of the previous evening. Again, the band sounded terrific and were obviously really enjoying themselves, and as in London, the reception they got from the gathered Freaks was really, really great. They played all the songs that they played in London, and they delivered them with the exact precision too. Fuckin' Hell Yeah!!
As in London, somehow the crowd managed to keep pace. The new tracks yet again fitted in totally, and another night of wonderfully enjoying mayhem was inhaled by the Freaks.
There is something I have to mention here. Before these 2 shows, we had never seen VENOM live without all of their pyro and bombs and lasers, etc. We enjoyed ourselves so much that there was only one time that I even thought about pyro, and that was in London as the "middle bit" of COUNTESS BATHORY approached. In short, there was no need for the pyro, the band worked as well as ever without it. These shows were as enjoyable as they possibly could be, feeding us Freaks full of the VENOMOUS intensity and heavyness that only this legendary band can deliver - no other band comes near!
As in London, the 1 hour and 20 minutes of pure VENOM had all to soon passed, with the same results. Lots of Freaks discussing another fantastic evening, many of us completely hoarse due to singing every word of every song. VENOM had indeed returned, not just with the amazing METAL BLACK album, but also to the live arena. And wow, did they deliver!!!
CHAPTER SEVEN - VENOM ~ Academy 2, Manchester 26th March 2006 - Outro
As we had done the night previous, after the show we had a few drinks and a couple of hours of VENOM-talk with some great people. Eventually, we returned to the hotel and proceeded to enjoy rather a lot of alcohol with my Bro and Sis. Somehow we managed to get out of bed the next morning and walked down to the bus station. We said our goodbyes and Bro and Sis departed for Ireland, while we returned to London to catch our flight (of the Hydra?) back to the Darkest Depths....
CHAPTER EIGHT - VENOM ~ UK Tour - March 2006 - The Last Word
What happened when we reached London was incredible. It's way, way too long and ridiculous a story to tell to you here. Lets just say it involved the following and more:
A bus breaking down... us being refused to board the plane, cos we were five minutes after check-in time (even though the bastard plane was only flying in 30 mins!!)... massive threats and insults toward airline and bus staff (all by Mrs Hydra, I might add :-) ... having to pay for new tickets...another massive bus journey to another airport... another night in an hotel (and worse - a hotel that did not serve any alcohol = NIGHTMARE!!!!)....We eventually arrived home on Tuesday the 28th in the evening...
Did these events take any of the gloss away from or spoil our weekend in any way?
We had such a fantastic VENOM weekend that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could have spoiled it for us! We met great people and shared great times with true Freaks. And the 2 shows performed by VENOM were so amazingly brilliant that it is hard to find any words to do the band justice. VENOM were simply stunning.
Cannot wait for the next show - bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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