Talking Heads, Southampton



, Southampton’s own Dendera, open proceedings and they have progressed immeasurably since I last saw them. The Iron Maiden influence still looms large over their song writing but there is an originality to be found in their set. Good stuff.

Leaves Eyes are Firewinds main support on this European tour. I hadn’t heard of them before but a fair amount of the audience apparently had. Operatic rock ala Nightwish was very much the order of the day for these Norwegians and a German. They laid down a good set, including a Norwegian traditional song and a cover of Mike Oldfield’s To France.  Not bad, a good show but personally not my cup of tea.

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The Greek guitar gods kick off with new single Wall of Sound from their latest album Few Against Many and in doing so, stated their intention…to rock our socks off! Fast and furious guitar work from Ozzy Osbourne’s new guitarist Gus G. was jaw-droppingly superb. Singer Apollo Papathanasio has a voice made for Power Metal and uses it to devastating effect. They pound out song after song and the audience lapped it up. A small break for Bob Katsionis to show us his keyboard chops as well as guitar techniques and we’re back to wailing metal played like it’s going out of fashion.

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During this tour Firewind have been giving away a signed guitar at selected venues. Gus stop the show and announces that someone in Talking Heads will be walking away with a GUS LTD 600 guitar. All the guitarists in the crowd reach for the ticket they were given on entry and wait, hoping against hope that it will be their number called out. Gus called the number and the winner was asked to come down the front. We waited for what seemed like an age and then a middle aged woman, with a walking stick slowly climbs the steps at the side of the stage. All the young budding guitarists groan inwardly wishing it had been them but I say good on her, well done. If she doesn’t play herself then she’ll either sell it, and make a couple of quid or it’ll be someone’s present and how cool would that be!

They finish off by getting Leaves Eyes singer Liv Kristine back on again and she & Apollo perform a classy duet. This was the first time I’ve seen Firewind and I was mightily impressed, excellent show.

Set List
Wall of Sound 
Head Up High 
Destination Forever 
Few Against Many 
World on Fire 
(Guitar Solo)
The Fire and the Fury 
Losing My Mind 
Mercenary Man 
(Keyboard Solo)
Angels Forgive Me 
Till the End of Time 
I Am The Anger 

Into the Fire 
Breaking the Silence (with Liv Kristine)
Falling To Pieces 

Words and photos by Dan O’Gara.

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