It was a good turn out at the Manchester Academy 3 on a wet Wednesday in September. Most of the crowd had come specifically to see Paradise Lost who, to their credit, had arranged a great package for the night. Support slots from Leaves' Eyes and Octavia complimented the 'Lost' boys well, and although slightly different musically, the chances were that a fan of Paradise Lost will also like the opening acts.
I was looking forward to seeing the band again after Nick Holmes' moan-a-thon over the weather at this years Bloodstock Open Air festival. No rain or cold wind up the jaffers was going to spoil this performance, and a rousing cheer soon came for the subtle piano introduction of 'Enchantment'. This classy moody head nodder was just the ticket, warming up the crowd up for what was to come. Even though their new album had difficulty being released in this country, it seemed, according to their reaction, at least half of the crowd had already scrambled themselves a copy. 'Grey', 'Redshift' and 'All you leave behind' are well received by the crowd suggesting that 'Paradise Lost', the album, is a fan favourite.
New drummer Jeff Singer was relishing his new position behind the skins clearly enjoying the fact he was playing in his hometown. 'So much is lost' from the Host album was a surprise, but even with the beefed up live production the song didn't come across as well as songs such as 'Erased' or 'Mystify'. Singer Nick Holmes did his usual 'man of very few words' technique and wasn't tempted to interact with the crowd. This isn't his style but when you see Guitarist Greg Mackintosh whipping up a frenzy, and Aaron Aedy constantly jigging about, then you realise that Nick is playing a good role in the band.
Old style Paradise Lost got a look in with 'True Belief' and 'As I Die' to the fan's delight yet it was 'One Second' which got the best response. 'Forever After' opened the encores and was a highlight with its upbeat rhythm and infectious chorus. The awesome 'Say just words' closed the proceedings with most of the crowd singing along. The set was a little 'New Style' heavy with only two tracks from their first four albums, but the biggest crowd reaction was for the material from the 'One Second' album, so who am I to argue? Unfortunately there wasn't any room in the set to represent the underrated 'Believe in Nothing' but this is just personal taste. I was more than happy with the gloriously gloomy 'Over the Madness' and the underused 'Sweetness'. (Any chance of re-recording this for the next album lads?)
I hope Paradise Lost come round again very soon because they have a deep well of quality songs to choose from. No matter what they play in their set the chances are they'd please most of their fans. With the current rock Climate they seem to be picking up recognition again and would be fools not to make the most of it. See you next time guys (hopefully in the Academy 2) and could you play 'Sun Fading', just for me? Oh go on.