Alestorm // Korpiklaani // Heidevolk // Live Review // The O2 Academy // Leeds

Heading down to the O2 tonight and walking past the queues of people dressed as pirates and unicorns can only mean that Alestorm is back in town! It’s been a few years now since they were last here and clearly, their popularity has grown since then given the huge queue around the building.

It’s a lineup of some of the greatest Pirate/Folk /Sea Shanty Metal around and kicking things off is the impressive Heidevolk. It’s been about 5 /6 years since I’ve last seen this band so I know what to expect but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive as both Jacco de Wijs and Daniël Wansink harmonise for “Hagalaz”. They have a lot of fans who’ve got here early as well as between the fist pumps and the chants, they’re also singing along with “Klauwen Voorit” and “Drink Met de Goden (Valhalla)”. I did forget however the amount of energy that these guys bring to a show as they jump around the stage, hair flying. Wijis and Wansink are masters at commanding the audience to meet their energy. This is no opening band, just the first band to take the stage on an incredible lineup performing like they’re the last!



Up next is a new band for me, however clearly I’m alone in that thought as the crowd went mental for Korpiklaani. With instruments including the accordion and fiddle in the band along with an eccentric frontman, I’m not sure what to expect with these guys. They have a much more upbeat style compared to Heidevolk and the jaunty “A Man with a Plan” is the perfect example of this. The whole band is certainly entertaining to watch perform however it is Jonne Järvelä who is fully captivating. From the way he moves with purpose around the stage looking out to everyone in the crowd to his dancing, he’s like a circus ringleader whose purpose is to entertain the audience. Although the top hat might be influencing that image! Every song performed by the band is bursting with energy and character and the band’s version of “Gotta Go Home” just reiterates that these guys are all about having a good time. For the 55-minute set, there is no giving in from either the band or the crowd as the whole room is on another level of energy. This all culminates with Christopher Bowes coming out for “Beer Beer” before ending on the huge party hit “Vodka”.



With the biggest inflatable duck you could imagine dominating the stage it can only mean one thing…it’s Alestorm time! With the strobing lights and the crowd chanting, there was no easing into this show. Right out the gate, the band mean business with “Keelhauled” being the first song and this crowd singing the chorus loud. Leading the charge is Christopher Bowes front and centre in his signature kilt and bursting at the seams with energy. This is matched by the rest of the band as they make use of the limited stage space they have using risers to make an impact at the front of the stage. There’s a very specific vibe at an Alestorm show and we’re deep in it by the third song of the night, “The Sunk’n Norwegian”. Flags are flying, hands are in the air and security is lined up prepared for any crowd surfers! It is one big pirate party when this band is on the stage and from the sound of the crowd singing along to “Alestorm” and “Under Blackened Banners” no one here would rather be anywhere else. The whole night is just one hit after another with songs like “Mexico” and “P.A.R.T.Y” keeping the excitement on a consistent level. The whole while the band are having a great time on stage bouncing off one another and putting their all into the performance. This continues to the end and encore where the very last of the whole room’s energy is poured into “Zombies Ate my Pirate Ship” and “Fucked with an Anchor”. All that can be said is that if you’ve seen this band then you knowwhat a good time is had, if you’re not then grab a tankard of mead, and your pirate hat and head to the next show for a hell of a party!


Review: Emmie Ellis 

Photography: Mark Ellis


“Tour Of The Dead Marauder”
w/ Elvenking & Glyph
19.03.24 US – Cincinnati, OH / Bogart’s
20.03.24 US – Grand Rapids, MI / Elevation
22.03.24 CA – Toronto, ON / The Concert Hall
23.03.24 CA – Montreal, QC / MTELUS
24.03.24 US – New Haven, CT / Toad’s Place
26.03.24 US – Pittsburgh, PA / Stage AE
27.03.24 US – Detroit, MI / The Majestic
29.03.24 US – Milwaukee, WI / The Rave
30.03.24 US – Omaha, NE / The Admiral
02.04.24 CA – Winnipeg, MB / Park Theatre
03.04.24 CA – Saskatoon, SK / Coors Event Centre
05.04.24 CA – Edmonton, AB / Midway Music Hall
06.04.24 CA – Calgary, AB / The Palace Theatre
08.04.24 CA – Vancouver, BC / Commodore
09.04.23 US – Spokane, WA / Knitting Factory
10.04.24 US – Boise, ID / Knitting Factory
12.04.24 US – Sacramento, CA / Ace of Spades
13.04.24 US – Santa Ana, CA / The Observatory
15.04.24 US – Tucson, AZ / Rialto Theatre
16.04.24 US – Albuquerque, NM / Sunshine Theater
18.04.24 US – Oklahoma City, OK / Diamond
19.04.24 US – St. Louis, MO / Red Flag
20.04.24 US – Indianapolis, IN / Old National
21.04.24 US – Nashville, TN / Marathon
Festivals 2024:
28.06.24 FI – Tuska / Sulvilahti
05.07.24 DE – Rock Harz / Ballenstedt
11.07.24 HU – Rockmaraton / Dunaújváros
12.07.24 CZ – Masters of Rock / Vizovice
13.07.24 AT – Area 53 / Leoben
14.07.24 NL – Pirate Metal Party / Helmond
17.07.24 RO – Metalhead Meeting / Bucharests
20.07.24 IT – Luppolo in Rock / Cremona
10.08.2024 ES – Leyendas del Rock / VillenaALESTORM are:
Christopher Bowes – vocals, keytar
Gareth Murdock – bass
Mate Bodor – guitar
Peter Alcorn – drums
Elliot Vernon – keyboard

ALESTORM online: