As I arrived at the Electric Ballroom, the queue was snaking along Camden High Street but within a short time it was moving along swiftly much to the delight of fans wearing only t-shirts sporting their favourite Cradle of Filth artwork.
Inside the room filled up very quickly while the crew prepared the stage for the support act Savage Messiah. The queue outside had quickly highlighted them as being a good band so I waited in anticipation.
Savage Messiah stormed onto the stage and wasted no time getting the first song underway. They played hard and fast in a way that was something between New Wave of British heavy metal and Bay Area thrash. After a couple of songs, the band transitioned to a sound closer to heavy metal anthems and the crowd bounced along in rhythm. The lead singer Dave Silver engaged the crowd at every opportunity with mass clapping and chanting: ‘‘oi, oi, oi’’. The last track being the title track from their latest album Hands of Fate incorporated topical eastern influences.
Savage Messiah have been performing for 10 years now and it shows. They are well versed in playing live and were a surprising pleasure billed as a support act.
The crew quickly changed the stage around, the backdrop for Cradle of Filth’s new album was put up and lighting changed to reds and purples. After a short time, the band one by one entered the stage as the theme song to The Omen rang out. As it reached its conclusion, lead singer Dani Filth entered the stage in a dark hood screaming out to the crowd, “come on, come on,” inciting everyone to go crazy. The band then launched into their staple, brutal opening track ‘Gilded Cunt’ as two scantily-clad ladies brandishing angle grinders showered the stage and band in glowing sparks. The iconic props which fans expect to see were in attendance, namely the Goat Skull Staff and the Horned Head Dress worn by Filth.
The band’s set list included three tracks from the latest album and the remaining older cuts all complemented the sound of the newer. The band are releasing a re-mastering of their 1998 album Cruelty and the Beast next year so a notable addition to the set list was ‘Bathory Aria’, their longest and most complex track rarely played live if ever. The crowd had a mixed reaction to this, some stunned in admiration of it being played, and others who may not have been familiar with the masterpiece. The gig concluded with the popular track ‘Cradle to Enslave’ in which the lyrics were changed to, “the nature of the beast is fucking Camden,” which was well received.
Filth and the band were on top form. His stage presence and iconic screams fit perfectly with the classical voice of Lindsay Schoolcraft. This is the beginning of the world tour throughout 2018 and it was a blistering start. Look out world, the Filth is coming for you!