Time to Party Like it’s 892: Leaves’ Eyes (Southampton Talking Heads, 3rd November 2015)

“Who wants to travel with the Vikings?”, tonight was a night to party like it was the year 892. CLICK HERE TO READ MY REVIEW.

In all honesty, I knew virtually nothing about Leaves’ Eyes when I decided to go to this concert, because in this instance, it was the support band who caught my attention – Diabulus in Musica, who I had interviewed previously. (READ THAT INTERVIEW HERE) As they came as close as Southampton Talking Heads, I had to go. That night was a montage of the infamous ‘beauty and the beast’ style of gothic and operatic metal – bands fronted by women, stunning in both appearance and voice. Diabulus in Musica were great, but I was most blown away by Metaprism, a band from the not nearly as exotic Bournemouth (good enough that I bought their t-shirt). It’s really something quite huge-sounding to be squeezed into a 250-capacity venue. As it was so tiny, I was able to approach Zuberoa Aznarez of Diabulus in Musica after their set, who having recognised and liked the post on her Facebook page, apologised to me for the nightmare I had had when transcribing our discussion.

However, I think that might also have been a thorn in show’s side, although it can’t be helped. So much of the music came from pre-recorded music. Even Zuberoa’s vocals were victims of this, as her voice was inevitably overdubbed with harmonies or used effects. Obviously they weren’t bringing orchestras and choirs with them, but even if inevitable, something didn’t seem quite right. In fact, I’m not sure whether I should be disappointed that I saw a downsized show (as Leaves’ Eyes really loved their pyrotechnics and ‘Viking’ extras onstage), or grateful that I saw them in an intimate setting. If I were more of a fan, I’d probably feel the latter.

Another problem came from the audience, who on a few brief occasions, were bizarrely unenthusiastic. This was a very peculiar situation, as to begin with, where other bands would get a massive cheer as the lights went down, it was like a theatre – the crowd went deadly silent, as though a film or play were about to begin. I thought that this would be great, so to emphasise the theatrical nature of their big music, but while they were loud, it didn’t really follow. There was an obnoxious guy at the front, and Alexander Krull really had to keep getting the audience going. Liv Kristine looked quite disappointed. The most awkward moment came when there was another silence rather than chants and claps when they left before the second encore! I really was waiting for the venue music to switch on, because that kind of atmosphere says that the show is done!

However, despite those odd moments, the show itself was great. There is something so mystical in the Norwegian speaking tones of leading, stunning songstress Liv, that even her word order seems artistically written: “Here is, for you, a ‘Sacred Vow’.” It was so playful for something written to sound so huge. I talk about this more in the review.

I also literally bumped into Liv Kristine in the corridor on the way out, as she blitzed down the stairs way too quickly for someone in such outrageous high heels. I got to quickly say that they were awesome, and got an enthusiastic “thank you!” back as she carried on running.

Seriously… how do women do that?

(Written 16th July 2017)

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