I’ve been sitting here at my laptop wondering how on Earth I can sum up the EPIC enormity of this night in words. The fact that sometimes, you just need a load of heavy freaking black metal to blast away the last of the cobwebs, and leave you feeling shell-shocked, a little what-the-fuck-just-happened, and basically walking on air.
My Goth, it was glorious.
I’ve been a Cradle of Filth fan for around 10 years after they roped me in with Nymphetamine. They’re one of those bands that I literally need to take little breaks from and force myself to stop listening to them for a while because my obsession just becomes that extreme!
To me, Cradle of Filth is the ultimate metal band. They tick all the right boxes. They’ve got the glamour, the horror, the painfully poetic dark, gothic lyrics, the mind melting melodies and guitar riffs, and they’ve got, of course, the Lord of Filth himself, Dani Filth.
Who I met after the gig, by the way. Just saying. And yes, he’s just as sexy in real life, and twice as charming. Yikes.
Just to put into perspective how much I love Cradle of Filth, I had a migraine on the day of the concert. Usually, wild freaking unicorns and a chimera wouldn’t make me budge on such an occasion. If you’ve never had a migraine, it basically feels like someone has tried to hack your head off with a blunt axe, failed and got fed up, nipped off to have a pint, and left you bleeding on the floor.
Yeah, it’s not really very nice.
So anyway, I did the bravest thing I’ve done all year, in my opinion, I held my throbbing head high(ish), slapped on some black eyeliner, a black tee and jeans, and launched myself out of the door. Nothing was gonna stop me that day, even a bleeding headbanger like that (pardon the pun).
Cradle of Filth had two special guests, the first being London-based metallers She Must Burn, followed by Aussie extreme progressive metallers Ne Obliviscaris. Both bands were formidable to watch, and hats off to them, because coming on first can’t be easy.
The stage is perfect. With the blood red backdrop of Camden’s Koko packed to the gills with goths and metalheads of all kinds, there’s are life size skeletons hanging from chains on crucifixes on either side of the stage, and even the microphone is wrapped up in some kinda goats horns commotion. The lights go down, and the mist protrudes from the skeleton’s eyes and fills the stage before the shadowed members of Cradle of Filth finally appear onstage. It’s a heart-stopping moment. Lindsay Schoolcraft is the first to appear as she creeps onstage holding a lantern that lights up her devilish smile. Dani Filth is the last to appear, caped, behorned and bedecked in studded torso gear, and holding a staff with what appears to be animal horns on the top, and the crowd goes freaking insane. It’s the most deafening and fantastic experience I’ve ever had! A mosh pit is rapidly formed at the strike of the very first guitar chord as the band opens the show with Heaven Torn Asunder.
Dani Filth is as fearsome, energetic, and charismatic as ever, and his unmistakable screams are just as impressive and awesome as they are on the records, if not even more so. For me, hearing the scream that I’d heard so many times on my iPod LIVE and right in front of me for the first time was absolutely delicious and bone chilling. There’s a man that can scream like a banshee and knock your studded boots into next week!
Lindsay Schoolcraft’s operatic vocals are absolutely incredible and sensitive upon delivery as she raised her arms to salute the crowd, and the newest addition to the band, guitarist Richard Shaw, certainly does Cradle justice with his hilarious quips at the audience and his searing, face-melting guitar solos,
It was all wonderfully over the top and everything, and more, that you could possibly wish for and expect from a Cradle of Filth concert. A real black metal cocktail, the winning setlist starts of with tracks from their new album, Hammer of the Witches, which transition seamlessly into the well loved classics, including Lord Abortion and Queen of Winter, Throned, with Dani growling “you must be sick to death of the new material!”. At this point he has lost the horns, cape and staff and is pounding every inch of the stage in his studded leather platform boots, conducting the band like some insane black metal, demon orchestra. He’s the king of the stage and he knows it, and the crowd is eating from the palm of his hand like a pack of frenzied hellhounds.
Nymphetamine (Fix), which Dani dedicated to all the “attractive ladies with us tonight” (why, thank you *fans self*) “although I think some of them may have been blokes!” (!) caused the most frenzied singalong, and I must admit, although I absolutely adore all their others songs, this one was my first introduction to this band, and will always hold a very special place in my heart. The well loved Her Ghost in the Fog triumphantly wrapped up one of the most fantastic live shows I’ve ever been to, which seemed to begin and end in the blink of a heavily eyelinered eye.
And so I left with the rest of the crowd, feeling very battered, squashed, drunk with delirium, eardrums TOTALLY defiled, and just a bit like my head was under water.
And it was so worth it!
Here’s to another 20 years of awesomeness to the most badass metal band in history!
1. Heaven Torn Asunder
2. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids
3. Blackest Magick in Practice
4. Lord Abortion
5. Right Wing of the Garden Triptych
6. Malice Through the Looking Glass
7. Deflowering the Maidenhead, Displeasuring the Goddess
8. Queen of Winter, Throned
9. Yours Immortally
10. Nymphetamine (Fix)
11. The Twisted Nails of Faith
12. Her Ghost In The Fog