Tonight’s queue for the Bierkeller is the longest I’ve seen in a few years, as I join the back of the line and engage in random conversations. The mood tonight seems sombre for a Saturday night, although it is pretty obvious that Cradle have a lot of fans here tonight. To my dismay I can hear Savage Messiah start playing while I’m still out side, not the best start to the night. After 45minutes I get in and embrace the familiar warmth and smell of the Bierkeller. With pint in hand I find my spot for the later half of the Savage Messiah set.
The sound is quite muddy at time for Savage Messiah[2.5], with the drums blasting over everything a tad too much. Their current album ‘Hands of Fate’ is core part of the set tonight, playing the title track to name but a few. At this point a gentlemen with a horses head on appears on stage, no idea why (heavy metal BoJack Horsemen?). Their previous album ‘Fateful Dark’ I am still finding more catchy, than ‘Hands of Fate’. As ‘Hellblazer’ plays the energy from the crowd grows, while bassist Mira encourages them to join in. Singer Dave is as enthusiastic as ever, as he shouts “come on!” to the crowd. ‘Minority of One’ keeps the room pumping, with guitar solos and crashing drums. It’s the second time I’ve seen the current line-up. There was just something missing between the guys, not sure what. As they end with ‘Wing and A Prayer’; it is the end to an ok set, but I’ve seen them better.
As the Cradle of Filth[4.0] stage is set, I am fascinated with Dani’s mic stage. A mixture of demonic beast that look like cats hang and climb, up the industrial rubble around the stand. It has a Giger influence, with its beautiful but macabre look, as it is shrouded in red light. As the band assemble on stage, taking their positions the crowds excitement rises. The set opens with “Gilded Cunt” and then precedes with “Beneath The Howling Stars” from my favourite COF album “Cruelty & The Beast”, the female vocals of Lindsay are lost slightly mid song with how loud the drums are set. As this is the last show of the tour, you get a sense of relaxation from the band. They are really enjoying themselves and it shows in their chemistry and energy on stage.
“Heartbreak and Seance” is the first of three tracks from 2017 “Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay” to be performed live, it goes down well amongst the other popular COF songs from their extensive back catalogue. With “Bathory Aria” and “Dusk and Her Embrace” taking us back to 90’s Cradle I feel like a teenager again, singing along. Dani’s vocals are loud and sharp, as he screams and barks the beautiful lyrics. Lindsay’s vocals seem to have been turned up by this point, so the dynamic of her vocals against Dani’s make it a strong and atmospheric performance. Lead guitarist Richard’s demeanour on stage is intense and almost a bit sinister. As he hangs over the crowd like a banshee, eyeballing everyone. As Dani jumps up and down in excitement, new track “You Will Know The Lion By His Claw” gets the crowd going.
The encore opens with “The Promise of Fever” and swiftly leads into “Achingly Beautiful”, with keyboardist and guitarist encouraging the crowd to join in, Dani re-emerges on stage dressed with a ram skull and horns upon his head. During “Nymphetamine” the strong strobes go mental, almost makes me go blind watching the stage lol, but the crowd love it. Again Lindsay’s vocals sound beautiful and the whole song comes across brilliantly. Another classic in the form of “Ghost in the Fog” erupts to momentous applause, with members of Savage Messiah joining them on stage to play along. Tonight’s show has been a pleasure, with then right mix of old and new material.
All photographs taken by Jo Wilson, the whole set is available to view here