Live Music + Gig Reviews

Orange Goblin @ Garage, London

15 June 2004

Orange Goblin

Orange Goblin

A night of true stoner and doom metal hits the Garage with the speed of a turtle crawling up the garden path, and the brutality of a big hairy Scandinavian crushing it. First up, Witchcraft play their second ever UK date to a half-full house, which takes to their bluesy groove like they’ve known it all along. Blasting straight out of 1978, a truer Led Zeppelin/Black Sabbath hybrid has never existed.

Grand Magus have supported Orange Goblin at many a gig, and they get better at it every single time. With a perfect mix of established fans and stoner virgins, the long haired Swedish metallers play songs about “Norse history” and death (apparently).

Taking to the stage with the faultless and blistering We Know That Your World Will Hate This, the crowd bark back the responsive, “But this is what we do to survive!” with more vigour than the most passionate of footy fans.

But if there is an ounce of passion in the Garage tonight, it is because the stage is host to the saviours and future of British Metal – Orange Goblin. The songs are strong, sing-along anthems, the band are fantastic, and the sound they make collectively is heavier than any hardcore band could ever hope to achieve. And you can still hear the words!

Joe Hoare drops the wah-wah riff of Scorpianica like a bomb, signalling flailing heads and the instigation of a stoner mosh, which is always half the speed of any other metal pit, but just as brutal nonetheless. With the first of many new tracks played tonight, One Room, One Axe, One Outcome is apparently an ode to Les Dennis, and the further mayhem which ensues on the floor lets the boys in Goblin know how well they’ve done on their latest LP, Thieving From The House Of God.

You’re Not The One Who Can Save Rock And Roll proves to be equally popular, and there’s a real treat for old school fans in the form of The Man Who Invented Time, a track that sets off a mandatory sea of head-banging across the venue.

As covers go in metal, they are usually poorly done, far too cheesy or worse – such crap that they weren’t worth playing the first time round. No fear of any such problems for Orange Goblin as they let off ZZ Top‘s classic Just Got Paid with musical integrity, adding their own raw metal edge to the blues rock classic.

The highlight of the evening has to be a trip down memory lane in Blue Snow and Time Travelling Blues, which both set in stone the suspicion that Orange Goblin truly are the very best kept secret of British music: no front, no rock star attitude; just pure unadulterated metal.

Closing with the extended jam that forms the hidden track on Thieving, the vocals stop half way through to make way for a full-on abusive, bass-heavy stoner jam. Come on you Goblin!

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Orange Goblin @ Underworld, London
Orange Goblin: “We’ve never compromised, or changed into something we’re not” – Interview
Orange Goblin @ Garage, London