Gorgeously gothic classic metal

No one was really expecting Voodoo Six to be on the main stage. No disservice to one of the best rock bands going today, but they’re hardly well known right now, and have one album under their belts. But it would just be wrong to relegate such an amazing show to anything less than the main arena.

Despite a comparatively poor turnout at the beginning (they are competing with the end of HRH II veterans Alestorm on stage two), they blast out one helluva sound and carry on as if they’re playing the Albert Hall, the same as they’ve always done. That most overused phrase “Hi-de-hi, campers,” is frontman Henry Rundell’s introduction to the audience, but we won’t hold that against them. He’s in his element, striding across the stage in frock coat and high boots, looking like he escaped from an Anne Rice novel. And his unearthly shriek ensures that for once no one gets too close to the amps at the front of the stage.

With one foot on the monitors like some bizarre Gothic praying mantis, Rundell beckons us into the rockin’ ‘No Friend of Mine’. A fair few idle passers by suddenly find themselves in thrall to V6’s mesmerising melodies and fine-tuned stage show, and get drawn to the front of the stage. With every song, the crowd swells and animates. But it’s the gorgeously hypnotic ‘Faith’ that seals the deal, with a slick, polished performance, as ever.

Although it’s clear that Voodoo Six have the confidence and experience to play the main stage, they’re going all out to impress and draw in the new fans. It’s a shame that the crowd doesn’t really reach the proportions they deserve, and they find themselves relying heavily on the lights and smoke machine. Wail-along favourite ‘Feed My Soul’ keeps the fans ecstatic and the mood electric. Well, it keeps some of the fans happy. Rundell soon finds himself in a debate with someone at the front of the stage over his questionable choice of tight trousers that ends with him laughing the comments off with a nonchalant “Do you think these are easy to get into?”

Then the high mood is taken down a notch for the heartbreaking sway of ‘Mistaken’, where the only mistake seems to be that we can’t actually see the band anymore. Someone got a bit trigger-happy with the smoke machine and lights, and it becomes a solid magenta wall with noise coming out of it. But that doesn’t dampen the effects of one of modern metal’s finest ballads. Pausing only briefly to wipe the sweat from their brows, they end with the heavier, darker ‘Shine On’.

If you’re looking for deliciously dark and hypnotic classic rock grooves, V6 deliver in abundance. And they’ve earned themselves a bunch of new fans tonight.