Orange Goblin

Orange Goblin


It’s been two decades since Orange Goblin swept the nation with their brand of heavy metal mania.
Tonight, they’re back in Manchester for what promises to be one hell of a live show. 20 years of Blood, Metal and Beers, the band’s new slogan is already slapped on every second t-shirt and back patch in sight.

Manchester’s Sound Control hosts a bustling crowd upstairs the hard rock venue, pools of long hairs spilling in from both sides as AC/DC’s ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ blasts from the speakers. Given that I was only introduced to Orange Goblin a few months ago, I am really looking forward to this show. Finding a solitary comfort in metal (I know, it’s strange), I was immediately drawn to the stoner-rock riffs and somewhat Americanisms of it all, so I figured I had to check them out live.

9 o’clock sharp and dominating singer Ben Ward walks on stage in a black Rainbow tee, his burly voice shouts “How we doing Manchester!” as the upstairs of Sound Control begins to shake with the the roar of drums and bass. Kicking it off, we’re treated to ‘Solarisphere’, ‘Acid Trial’ and hit hard with a heavy hammer on ‘Saruman’s Wish’ as Ward howls into the microphone.

The night continues on with heavy riff after heavy riff, the crowd are still just as enthused as they were at the beginning, so much so that a few eager fans jump onto the stage during ‘Stand For Something’ and the infectious ‘Made Of Rats’. What surprises me most is how welcoming the band are to these super-fans on the stage with them, acting like they are family with hugs and synchronised head banging. Rounding off an hour of playing, 1998’s ‘Blue Snow’ fades into ‘Sabbath Hex’, giving us a taste of the band’s full back catalogue. The encore features the demonic ‘Quincy The Pigboy’ and 2012’s mega favourite ‘Red Tide Rising’

So what is it that has kept London’s Orange Goblin going all these years? Something hard to do with so much competition, surely. England, the almighty birthplace of heavy metal lent the better half of its musical history to the Americas, where so many spawns of Black Sabbath and Motorhead were born and dominate the underground world of rock. But Orange Goblin brought the spirit back to England, which is probably why the band draws on so many hometown hero influences from The New Wave of British Heavy Metal starting with the obvious likes of Lemmy, all the way to Zeppelin, where at times they creep into psychedelia.

Orange Goblin prove tonight that they still have what it takes. If a few hundred devotees who know all the words in a packed out venue don’t make it obvious, then let their successful 20 year career be the proof. Orange Goblin are here to stay.

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Brit Jean

One time time Gigs Editor over here at Silent Radio HQ. I've been music blogging and writing in Manchester for the past few years after graduating with a Literature degree back home in Canada. Never have I experienced a city quite like Manchester - so many great gigs and so little time! In 2014 I started an Independent Record label, Blak Hand Records with my best mate, and we aim to put out some of our favourite garage rock and psychedelic artists from both Liverpool and Manchester.