When I arrived it was vastly different from my last visit in the dark months of the year, daylight reigning supreme but the fans were out in force. I got there around 30 minutes before doors and the line was already going onto the pavement.

The merch was fully stocked as you would expect with the Demons & Wizards world tour shirts and hoodies. My only gripe with this was the ‘Cash Only’ policy, which in these times is highly frustrating. But hey-ho, no tour shirt for me this time.

I wasn’t aware of what support had been lined up but was happy to see it was south coast UK metallers, Dendera… The lights went down and Dendera came out to music from Avengers. Then began to play along with their instruments. Guitarists Stephen Main and David Stanton dueled with ease as the twin guitars provided for a fuller guitar sound. Ashley Edison (lead vocals) has a great range hitting the high notes with ease, moving all over the stage and giving a good stage presence. The crowd warmed up to the band quickly and was pretty much full on the floor.

Dendera played a selection of their tracks including a new song called ‘Endless Suffering’. During the title track from last EP, Blood Red Sky, Edison was having a bit of fun with the guitarists and drummer. Standing behind the guitarist air guitaring and banging on the symbols with his hands. If you want to see Dendera, which I would recommend, they are headlining The Black Heart in London on Oct 5.

The crowd was highly energized waiting for the power metal supergroup Demons & Wizards to appear. The stage was set… Gravestones and Grim Reaper in view, a mist surrounding the stage. The place was packed out. The band entered one by one to great cheers. From the first song they oozed experience and we’re extremely polished in their performance. Lead singer Hansi Kürsch (also of Blind Guardian) was on point and mesmerizing. Guitarist Jon Schaffer played like a man possessed, the Demon was definitely present tonight… Also a shout out to Drummer Frederik Ehmke with his awesome beats, non-stop.

The crowd enjoyed the show immensely, singing along track by track. Kürsch announced this was Demons & Wizards’ first UK show, that it was, “great to play here,” and promising, “we will be back here before another nineteen years.” He went on to say it was the best UK audience ever (well it is the first ever 😁), and, “London, I like what I see and even better what I hear,” after which the band launched into title track ‘The Crimson King’.

It was mentioned there exists a massive friendship between Iced Earth and Blind Guardian so they played songs from both bands, much to the crowd’s excitement.

This was an astounding show, I can’t wait for them to return, hopefully, quicker than the last wait as I don’t think the fans can bear such an exodus. The band are working on a new record so another world tour should be on the cards… Fingers crossed!

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