The Dreadcrew Of Oddwood
So Belfast experienced something a little different this evening, Alestorm brought their Piratefest tour to our shores for an evening of fun filled chaos along with fellow buccaneers The Dread Crew Of Oddwood and Rumahoy.
Was Belfast ready? Hell yeah they were! Pirates as far as the eye could see filled the Mandela Hall. Guys and dolls dressed in homage to their heroes and as the lights dimmed for the first act, the tension was palpable! Rumahoy was up first, Captain Yaarface stood as an imposing figure front and centre and as I scan the room (which is now packed to the rafters) I see a mixed bag of young and older swashbucklers which tells me Pirate Metal is well and truly alive in 2018.
They play their fan favourite ‘Netflix and Yaar’ and arms wave as the deep and meaning lyrics resonate with the crowd, ok so maybe not, but maybe in some universe it did! Fellow pirates come on stage feeding the band drink as they blast their way through their short set, Cabinboy Treasurequest takes to the vocals on ‘Triumph Of Piracy’ as the wanna be pirates in the front row sing along with gusto. Captian Yaarface introduces the last song as a “Very gay song” and he did not lie. Gay it was, a homage to German Euro trash dance music, which was interesting. The crowd loved every minute though and as the guys wrapped up proceedings I felt a tad more educated in Pirate Metal than I did at the start of the night.
The Dread Crew Of Oddwood stepped up next, with their own take on variation using traditional instruments and dressed for success. Captain Wolfbeard O’Brady explains they call it “Heavy Mahogony” and it is indeed a fitting title. The guys rip their way through a collection of fast paced melodic beauties that have the crowd singing along. Songs of life on the sea and mystical creatures semen have the Irish crowd soaking up their infectious charm and energy, The Dread Crew Of Oddwood fully embrace their first visit to Irish shores. A great set that will no doubt win over quite a few new fans for these swashbuckling gents from California.
As the crowd wait’s for tonight’s headliners, Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rapsody’ is playing over the PA and the crowd is once again in fine voice! Singing along and as I wait for the crescendo, it arrives, and chaos ensues, head banging as far as the eye can see.
Just a taster of the fun had this evening by one and all. Alestorm up next and as the guys are setting up the stage a huge blow up duck appears central which says it all really, drinks optic with vodka, whiskey and gin are attached to the front of the drums and you know shit is about to get real.
Alestorm raise the bar tenfold, the crowd raise the roof. Huge sounding riffs and sing along chorus ensure the crowd is fully involved and ready to party once more. Someone has turned the lights on too, the room is lit up and the crowd goes bat shit crazy for the remainder of the evening. As frontman Christopher Bowes explain’s “Tonight’s set list is a long one” and the guys cover new and old fan favourites and tear Belfast a new one.
Clearly the fan favourite of the night Alestorm feed off the Irish crowds love for a party and take it to another level fitting of a night such as this, a crazy fun filled evening of drink, dancing, drink, great music and more drink!
Alestorm’s Piratefest 2018 landed and wont be forgotten in a hurry.
Review & Photography : Mark McGrogan
Alestorm’s Piratefest 2018
09.02.18 UK – Liverpool / o2 Academy
10.02.18 UK – Sheffield / Corporation
11.02.18 UK – Newcastle / Northumbria Uni
13.02.18 UK – Aberdeen / Garage
14.02.18 UK – Glasgow / o2 ABC
15.02.18 UK – Belfast / Mandela Hall
16.02.18 IR – Dublin / Tivoli
17.02.18 UK – Birmingham / RHR Metal
18.02.18 UK – Manchester / o2 Ritz
20.02.18 UK – Leeds/ Stylus
21.02.18 UK – Norwich / Waterfront
22.02.18 UK – London / o2 Forum
23.02.18.UK – Brighton / Concorde 2
24.02.18 UK – Bristol / Motion
25.02.18 UK – Southampton / Engine Rooms