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Steel Panther: The Crobar, London

27th February 2017

philip welford
Words and Pictures: Philip Welford

steel panther

It's 6.00pm and our fave hangout, the Crobar, is packed with rock royalty and enough fans with lycra and hairspray to make this small West End venue a serious fire hazard. We are all here to witness our favourite stadium rockers, Steel Panther, play an up close and personal acoustic gig and the atmosphere is electric (!).

After being treated to a raucous acapella rendition of several classic Panther blockbusters by the frantic fans at this special select gig in Soho, Michael Starr and Satchel prowl onto the makeshift stage to stadium level screams.

steel panther

In true to form style, they're straight into the tits and arse on display. The latest addition to the sprint of Panthers is Axel, obviously. Grinning like a cat that got the cream, he's lapping up the adoration of this hundred strong gathering.

They launch into 'Girl From Oaklahoma' and the boys and girls crowding the trio are in full on backing vocal mode.

steel panther

The vibe is awesome. With smiles as wide as alley cats in a wheelie bin and the vibrant crowd close enough to lick their sweat (and there was some that probably would have), you can tell this is as much fun for the Panthers as for us.

The usual balls out rock is transformed into some surprisingly beautiful ballads, with engaging dual vocals and harmonies, occasionally a bit pitchy but that's forgiven as the Bants with the Pants takes on a whole different feel in this intimate atmosphere.

steel panther

'Poontang Boomerang' receives its debut outing and it's no surpise that every fan in this sweaty speakeasy already knows every lyric, closely followed by 'Just Like Tiger Woods', a killer singalong song which is given its first acoustic rendition.

The guitar twangs in a slightly ambiguous Southern blues rock style and the sound and light combo is working it to the max. The beards and boobs are bouncing along and the heat is starting to rise as shortened treats 'Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)' and 'Gloryhole' have us laughing and screaming along.

steel panther

Obviously it wouldn't be the same without a beautiful chick or two pulled up on stage and one lucky lady was selected for the full on Steel Panther roasting up on stage. Beaming from ear to ear she managed however to coyly resist the tempting offer from Starr, The King of Risque, to "Get your tits out!"

Starr excels at these small gigs and his comedy timing and off the cuff top shelf banter has us all in stitches. At Panther's stadia gigs their humour is sometimes lost – but in this claustrophobic Cro it is better than Micky Flanagan on one of his Stella Artois gags. Fantastically not PG or PC, Starr and Satchel give us an hour of memories to last a long time. This is where they shine.

And finally all too soon it's encore time with 'Bukakke Tears' running down our faces, then its over. They loved it, we loved it, even the jaded rock journos hiding out by the bar trying not to enjoy it, enjoyed it. The night Steel Panther roared acoustically and Soho was led, twitching, back into their lair with a mixture of farce, sexuality and irony.

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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