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  DRAGONFORCE ARE ELECTRIC AT THE BALLROOM
DragonForce/Power Quest: The Electric Ballroom, Camden Town, London


dave bonney
Words: Dave Bonney, Pictures: Robert Sutton
20th October 2017

dragonforce



Six months on from the 'Reaching into Infinity' album launch party at the Black Heart in Camden London and DragonForce are back in town on the European leg of their seven month world tour promoting said album, taking them through twelve different countries and five continents to date, culminating in Russia in mid-November.

Friday night gigs in London are always going to be epic nights, but when you have the Power and the Force coming together, as they are tonight, then you know it's going to be a special one.

As I walk through the entrance of the Electric Ballroom, tonight's support band Power Quest have just taken to the stage, the early start due to the dreaded club night curfew curse.

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They continue on for a further thirty minutes or so, delivering a slick, polished performance of six songs including 'Far Away' where they are joined onstage for a triple axe attack by former band mate Sam Totman who played on the debut album 'Wings of Forever', with vocalist Ashley Edison quipping at the end that "Sam's off to the pub now".

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A more perfect warm up act could not be had, with the band featuring ex DragonForce keyboardist Steve Williams, they know exactly what the audience want, and they duly delivered.

The interlude between support band and headliner was short and highly charged, and with the 'Reaching into Infinity' intro tape quickly grabbing the sold-out crowds attention, the band explode onto the stage with the album opener 'Ashes of the Dawn', with bassist Fred Leclercq immediately stealing the ego ramp from vocalist Marc Hudson.

The new album is really strong and that's backed up by the inclusion of four new songs taking up a third of the set, including 'Judgement Day' with its arm waving crowd participating mid-section, 'Curse of Darkness', and the eleven minute opus 'Edge of the World'.

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'Operation Ground and Pound' had Hudson demanding the crowd "Jump! Jump! Jump!", and it was quite a sight from my safe haven up in the balcony. 'Seasons' is dedicated to the ladies and 'Fury of the Storm' leads us into a guitar and drum solo, Leclercq swapping four strings for six, showing off his guitar hero skills which are more than proficient to say the least, something he showcases in his other band Sinsaenum with ex-Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison.

Leclercq and drummer Gee Anzalone rip through a very catchy Metal-ised version of the Street Fighter video game theme tune, before being joined by Hudson brandishing a bass guitar for a version of the Mario theme tune, of which the singer later declares "I get it right every night and Fred fucks it up". Nintendo rock is alive and well!

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Now I'm not a fan of drum solos per se, but if you have a kit like Anzalone's with its custom Dixon hardware, (this thing looks like a huge arachnid, or something out of an Alien film) then you're probably entitled to strut your stuff.

With the self-indulgence out of the way, the band return for 'Heart of a Dragon', the aforementioned 'Edge of the World', and set closer 'Cry Thunder' incorporating more sing-alongs, and Hudson getting a fan up on stage to help out on vocal duties, kudos to the kid for having the balls to get up there.

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After a well-deserved ovation the band come back for three more songs, 'Valley of the Damned', the frantic cover of the Johnny Cash classic 'Ring of Fire' which has become a live favourite these days, and then wrapping the show up perfectly with the mandatory 'Through The Fire and Flames'. This is a song which would probably get them lynched if they didn't play it, and which saw Hudson thanking the crowd from the bottom of his (Dragon) heart.

So a great show by the band in their adopted home town sending everyone home happy. I hope the next time they come back they have keyboardist Vadim Pruzhanov back in the ranks as he definitely brings a different edge to the sound.

And finally, why didn't Marc Hudson crowd surf to the bar and back again like he did at the Black Heart?!

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MONSTERS OF ROCK IN FULL FLIGHT SURE TO BECOME FUTURE COLLECTOR'S ITEM

monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.



 


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