Beware the Clap-Trap
After reviewing Freedom Call's latest album, 'Dimensions', I wasn't entirely looking forward to the Freedom Call slot. However, I knew the band had a few decent tunes in their locker so with the right set I felt they could put on a decent performance. But when they opened with a four part vocal harmony I immediately started laughing.
A decent crowd had gathered for the recently re-jigged German four-piece and straight from the first note the band were receiving a good response. Hell, people were even singing along which put paid to my theory that Freedom Call would go down as well as a Daphne and Celeste at a Reading Festival. Then something strange happened, my leg started to move. At first I thought I was having a spasm, but it was rocking in time with the up-beat tempo.
After the band had blasted through the excellent 'United Alliance' I found I was really enjoying Freedom Call's version of cheesy power metal, albeit through clenched teeth. The sound was pretty much spot on. And add to this a blustery day causing hair and clothes to waft in the wind, and musicians who look in agony when they're playing, and it all added up to quite an epic performance.
Almost every song had a break down where the audience were encouraged to clap or sing-a-long. With such crass yet catchy tunes as 'Blackened Sun' and 'Mr Evil' it was easy to fall into the clap-trap. Vocalist/Guitarist Chris Bay tended to say too much between songs. His English wasn't great and I think a policy of less talk more metal should have been adopted.
Before long I realised that Freedom Call are a great live band, but musically fall short of their contemporaries. They were perfect for the festival and really lightened the mood of the entire crowd. Even several hours after their set there were kids singing "Hey Mr Evil, woooh wooooh woooooooh". A good impression was made which is the whole point when you're playing a festival.