Live Review: Wednesday 13 Live at O2 Academy Islington, London 28/10/2017!

It’s a Saturday night at the O2 Academy Islington and there is a 22:00 curfew, which means one support band and then the headliner playing for 90 minutes. The venue isn’t quite full when Courtesans [1] take the stage. The all female quartet are so out of place it’s unreal. It’s almost Halloween, it’s a Saturday night, a Wednesday 13 show, the venue is decked out in Halloween gear, as is half the audience. Courtesans stripped back sound sounds like something that came out of the late 90’s, a Gothic version of The Sneaker Pimps. Their attempts at atmospherics fall flat and they are completely lost on an audience that has no interest in their offering. They maybe a band, but they belong on a different circuit entirely. To be fair, from a poor start, the band do get better towards the end but to be honest they don’t belong here at all.

After a false start and having to restart their set due to the loss of bass and second guitar stage right mid-way through opening song “What The Night Brings”, Wednesday 13 [5] smash through a set that seamlessly blends the older material with the newer songs from “Condolences”. The album title track “Condolences” is a surprise mid-set joy while “Prey For Me” and “Blood Sick” are instant sing-a-longs. “Serpent Society” is as solid as ever and adds a Rob Zombie vibe to Wednesday 13’s sound. Lead guitarist Roman Surman puts in a virtuoso performance with some epic lead and solo work and even a one handed solo at one point. He’s pulling faces, sticking his tongue out and gurning throughout the set and it’s truly breathtaking. The band burst through the American Horror punk of crowd pleasers “Rambo” and “I Walked With A Zombie” but it’s the likes of “I Love To Say Fuck” that steal the show. Wednesday 13 produces an umbrella with a middle finger on it and parades it around like the rock star that he is . Set closer “Bad Things” brings down the house and while it would have been great to see a few more tunes, something has to give with a back catalogue as great as Wednesdays. The diversity of the material on show continues to be a joy to behold and as a band they continue to grow and evolve without losing their core sound, that camp horror hard rock, snot nosed punk and metal fusion with a humour to lyrics that makes it all worth while. It doesn’t get much better than this for a live band.

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