Feeling lucky? Damn, right I was. Friday night at the Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield and Diamond Head is the last band I expected to watch gracing the stage of its 200 capacity venue, Jackpot!!
The band have been busy touring Europe for most of Autumn taking in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Italy and Spain, they have returned to the UK to complete their tour which concludes in Belfast, before hanging up the horns to take a well-deserved rest ….Until next year when they will be working on their next studio album!!!
Doors opened early at 6 pm as they were four support acts to warm up the night, support came from Promethium, Dislocator, Baranovich and Empusa of which I arrived to catch the latter.
Sheffield’s metaller’s Empusa took to the stage for a raucous 30-minute set, it might have been less but it was a big day for the band to have been voted by the fans to support the legendary Diamond Head this evening. The relatively new five-piece formed in 2017 carried on the momentum started by previous band Baranovich and continued to fire up an already excited Diamond Head Crowd, with their black metal vibe.
Diamond Head has to be one of the greatest influential heavy metal bands, formed back in 1976 by guitarist Brain Tatler, but unlike their fellow heavy metal acts around at the same time like Black Sabbath, they did not hit the big time. But none the less they weren’t out of the game and who’d thought a song about witch ‘Am I Evil?’ would prove to be their most popular, which was covered by many bands but more famously by Metallica.
So, here we are in a hot sweaty room and Diamond Head promise to take the stage at 945 pm but in true rock god style, they arrived a little later. It’s a good setlist they have put together for tonight’s show, and they play all the tracks from their first album Lighting the Nations, which has become a classic album in its entirety. And It’s nice to see drummer Karl Wilcox back on drums and you cannot believe by the incredible vocals that Rasmus Bom Andersen has only been with the band since 2014, he really does take the vocal style back to the days of original singer and founding member Sean Harris.
Pounding out the notes, Rasmus taunts the crowd with ‘yeah, you’ll have to wait and enjoy a few of our other new songs first’ in reference to Am I Evil? Playing the popular Bones and the dramatic Set My Soul on Fire, the fans are so close to stage their raised horns and wisps of flying hair almost touch the band. You see The Mulberry is a really intimate venue where you can feel the very essence of the band. Energy is flowing and Diamonds also off their self-titled 2016 album Diamond Head gets this gem of a crowd ready for the classic It’s electric. Like a prowler with its slow, rhythmic beat, and Dean Ashton providing the heavy bass lines before riff master Brian Tatler licks it all into to shape, with what has to be one of the best ever solo riffs introducing a song, yes…. you’ve guessed it Am I evil? It’s like release day for the fans and they go loco down the front, myself included!
After taking a brief breather, before returning to the stage, there’s ‘nothing sweet and innocent’ about the next song. Singer Rasmus recalls the bands recent time in Europe and that the Europeans love to talk about oral sex (the adventures of being in a rock band eh?)……gesturing with his mike stand and making the front row blush (but not me) Diamond Head finish on a gig high with the climatic Sucking my Love. Wow! After which Drummer, Karl came to take front stage and thanked each and everyone for turning out for tonight’s show. And what a show and what a set!
Personally, I can’t wait for the new album and a new tour, and I definitely won’t be leaving it as long till the next time I see the mighty fine Diamond Head.
Diamond Head at The Mulberry Setlist:
Swift & Innocent
In the Heat of the Night
Set My Soul on Fire
Lighting to the Nations
Shoot Out the Lights
Am I Evil?
Encore – Sucking my love