Gig review: AUDREY HORNE, Camden Underworld, 2 May 2013

You often wonder why some bands are not bigger names than expected, when talking music with fellow fans.  Threshold and their modest following in their native UK are often one that crops up and I’d add Audrey Horne who played the gig of the year so far to a modest sized crowd.

They have released a seriously catchy album ‘Youngblood’ earlier this year, which owes more to bands like Aerosmith, AC/DC and Kiss than their previous two albums. All the more surprising given that some of the band members ply their trade in stoner rockers Sahg and extreme metal band Enslaved.

First we have two support bands and Sahg, whose guitarist Thomas Tofthagen would be on later as part of the headliners. They played a riff-tastic stoner rock meets classic metal set and although due to sound issues (a bugbear throughout the evening)  I was unable to really pick out the vocals at times. They were a very tight sounding unit and went down well with the crowd. A band I will definitely be delving into more musically.

Young up and coming UK band The Mercy House were up next and they too were beset by sound issues at times. Their vocalist has a mighty scream/high pitched vocal on him and his stage swagger and vocals reminded me of a youthful Axl Rose. The band’s sound has a distinct modern metal feel and the mighty bottom end of say Faith No More.

They had boundless energy, a mass of flailing hair and headbanging and the bassist played his bass so low it looked like it was ready for grass cutting duties! They tended to be a bit too loose sound wise at times, although they have something about them and with a few more shows under their belt they should start to make some serious headway.

Onto the main event Audrey Horne and starting with ‘Redemption Blues’ soon had the crowd going wild. The way they skilfully mix killer riffs, instant melodies and the vocals of Toschie they are onto a winner. Toschie is a real bundle of energy and throughout the set kept imploring those at the back on the raised level to join the majority of the crowd ‘in the pit’. He did finally get his way by the final two songs J

They played most of their impressive new album ‘Youngblood’ with a few older numbers like ‘Bridges And Anchors’. I must admit the older songs do sound heavier and have less of a commercial edge to them. Still damn find tunes though. The two guitarists solo with ease off each other and bassist Espen Lien adds a more fun element to their guitar heroics.

Sadly the headliners weren’t immune from the sound gremlins and Toschie had to tell a joke in the period whilst the techie guys did their stuff. He pulled off a Scottish accent very well indeed when telling his joke. When he’s not doing stand up Toschie can be found singing his heart out in the crowd. The whole band put their all into the show and it pays off as the crowd love them for it.

A song like ‘This Ends Hear’ has one of the best choruses I have heard in a long time and live the song was immense. Nicely introduced as a pirate tune or in their case a Viking song. The set closer was ‘Straight Into Your Grave’, a big hard rock beats of a tune and a good way to end the set. Hopefully they will be back again soon and with a bigger crowd as Audrey Horne are simply superb live and I really do hope they get the success they so richly deserve.

Jason Ritchie

Setlist:

Redemption Blues/Bridges and Anchors/Youngblood/Show and Tell/There Goes a Lady/Firehose/Cards With the Devil/Pretty Little Sunshine/Threshold/Blaze of Ashes/This Ends Here/Straight Into Your Grave


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