First up tonight was Hanowar. As the name suggests, they’re a Manowar tribute act. Sadly they were a bit of a disaster. They did explain that they were short of one member that night and said “he’s the one with the talent”, and presumably they weren’t joking. They started the songs ok but seemed to lose track as the song went on and didn’t seem to know how they were going to end the songs. The singer couldn’t do the high notes at all so whenever they were called for things went wrong. On the plus side, they handed out plastic swords to the audience and were fairly fun. An interesting start to the night.
Next up was a young four-piece band from Oxfordshire. They may be young – all look to be teenagers still, barely out of school, but they’ve got plenty of talent. They’re technically proficient and have some great songs and put in a very impressive set. It’s a shame they didn’t get a particularly long set as they desrved longer.
Next was Stormbringer from Northampton who put in a great heavy set. They were the heaviest of the support acts tonight and were very impressive. The only disappointment came with their final song when the singer played an acoustic guitar. It was a complete waste of time as apart from a few seconds at the end, we couldnt hear a single note from it as the acoustic guitar was totally drowned out by his bandmates on bass and electric guitar. If they’re going to keep doing that song then they need to either drop the acoustic guitar or seriously look at the sound levels. Other than that it was a very enjoyable set.
Finally it was time for Unleash the archers. It’s only a year since their first visit to the Uk (Long overdue as the band had been going 9 years by that point) when they supported Sirenia in London, but this time they’re doing more shows. Having just finished a European tour supporting Orden Ogan, a tour that ended the previous night in London, they’re now doing a solid week of headline shows. They had a few minor technical problems with the drums but since it’s their first night with a rented kit and backline then that’s understandable.
For a midweek gig I was expecting a poort turnout but they’ve actually got a good turnout with probably around 100 people there which is great to see. They’re very polished as a band and move around the stage constantly. Whenever Brittney steps back from the front of the stage, the other band members come forward to take her place and get close to the audience. With the headbanging and windmilling Brittney does, it’s particularly impressive that the others never got too close – that invariably leads to hear tangling in head stocks and that never ends well, so with her long hair they did well to avoid any mishaps. Brittney has a great voice with a lot of power in it and that power is matched by the music.
I’d been waiting a long time for a chance to see Unleash the archers play live and I wasn’t disappointed. A great set to end the night.