Get On This:

Udo Dirkschneider – Islington academy, London – 19th April 2016

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The opening act on this leg of the tour are British band I.C.O.N – tonight being their last show with Udo.  I’ve seen them live a few times over the past five years.  A genuinely nice bunch of guys who play some great metal music.  It’s a great set from them – a good heavy set that goes down well with the crowd.

Next up were Anvil.  They took to the stage – or rather two of them did, with Lips nowhere to be seen, although he could be heard playing his guitar, then people soon realised he wasnt on stage – he was actually in the middle of the crowd, where he remained for most of the first song.  Anvil got a superb reception from the crowd, although I’ve never been able to understand their appeal.  Yes they’ve got plenty of enthusiasm but for me the set just wasn’t exciting in the least – it was fairly average metal, with songs that totally fail to interest or excite me, but the fans here enjoyed their set and that’s what matters really.

Udo Dirkschneider, the legendary original singer of Accept, is curently on a long tour – Back to the roots.  This tour has been billed as the last time he will include any Accept songs in his set, concentrating instead on material from his band U.D.O.  To bring his days of singing Accept songs to a close, he’s doing a special tour where the entire set is Accept material.  This makes it a rare and final opportunity to hear him sing some of the songs he hasn’t played for many years.  As well as the usual songs he has included in his set in recent years (“Fast as a shark”, “Balls to the wall” etc, we get to hear songs such as “Winterdreams”, which was a real highlight.

The band took to the stage in front of a bank of lights that at times were blindingly bright, and kicked off the set with “Starlight”.  It was imemdiately clear that Udo Dirkschneider’s voice is still as good as ever – he’s got a very distinctive voice and it just brought the early Accept material alive.  He’s got a great band around him including his son on the drums, and the guitarists and bassist are constantly moving around the stage, interacting with each other and the crowd and generally looking to have a great time as they power through the set.

It’s an impressive set too – 20 songs in just over two hours, and every song great.  It’s fantastic hearing these songs, although there is a touch of sadness too since Accept never play some of these songs live, so there’s the knowledge that this is likely to be the last time I get to hear some of these songs played live.

A superb set from Udo and his band.

Setlist:

Starlight
Living for Tonite
Midnight Mover
Breaker
Head Over Heels
Neon Nights
Princess of the Dawn
Winterdreams
Restless and Wild
Son of a Bitch
Up to the Limit
Wrong Is Right
Midnight Highway
Screaming for a Love-Bite
Monsterman
T.V. War
Losers and Winners

Encore:
Metal Heart
Fast as a Shark
Balls to the Wall

Ant May
I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.