The 100 Club seemed like an unusual choice of venue for Dragonforce and Pythia but it worked rather well and it was most definitely a triumphant night for Heavy Metal.
The buzz was all about how new Dragonforce frontman Marc Hudson would fill those big boots left by ZP Theart - more on ZP very shortly - and he carried off the role in fine style. Full credit to him for a great performance.
Article continues below...
Pythia - commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, the priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi - took to the small stage early and made it totally their own as frontwoman Emily Ovenden filled the venue with fantastic tales of the darker side of life, love, passion and the supernatural.
There's plenty of bands producing this style of 'symphonic, fantasy Metal' but Pythia stand out from the crowd in a big way. This is down to Emily's vocals as she is far and away the best female vocalist in Metal today.
Captivating was the word - the tunes themselves and the intensity of the vocal delivery just grab you and hold you until you are totally drawn in by the song and she knows how to work an audience as well.
Full marks to Pythia who go straight to the top of the 'must see again soon' list.
Emily Ovenden, Pythia
The 100 Club was advertised as 'sold out' last night but it wasn't, unless around 50-70 people who had bought tickets just didn't show. I've been in the 100 Club when it really has been sold out and trust me - last night it wasn't.
It was still a decent sized crowd though and they made more than enough noise during the changeover with raucous chants of "Dra-gon-force" breaking out at will. You could feel the anticipation...
And the energy level when they hit the stage was in the stratosphere, despite very early sound problems blighting the opening bars of 'Heroes Of Our Time'. If the singer is singing and there is no vocal coming out of the PA, turn the fucking vocal volume up. Surely it's not that hard?
It didn't stop Marc though as he quickly drew the crowd's attention and delivered a full-blooded, full range performance that left you in no doubt that the band have picked the right man for the job.
Perhaps a little more work needs doing on the between song delivery because Marc's upper-class accent doesn't quite fit the genre but this is a mere observation and certainly not intended as criticism.
Dragonforce were on great form last night and clearly had the times of their lives on the small 100 Club stage but they looked too 'big' for the venue and will surely be playing much larger gigs in the very near future. That is to take nothing away from last night's performance however as it was a solid message that Dragonforce are back and ready to conquer again.
The band paid homage to ZP-era tracks as well as playing new song 'Cry Thunder' from the forthcoming 'The Power Within' album and the new track was one of the standout songs of the whole night.
So it's game on again for Dragonforce with Marc Hudson and it won't be long after the release of 'The Power Within' that ZP's new project will surface. We're sitting on the details at the moment and when you take a listen to what we've heard, you'll be blown away.
It remains to be seen whether ZP's new band and Dragonforce will ever share a stage and whether the Metal world is big enough for both of them. We think it is. You can decide in the coming weeks when both albums hit the shelves.
Heroes Of Our Time
Operation Ground And Pound
My Spirit Will Go On
Lost Fallen World
The Last Journey Home
Fury Of The Storm
Through The Fire And Flames