Over four days in September, the Valkyries travelled around middle England, entertaining the masses as they played. They were backed up by equally talented musicians.
First stop was The Maze in Nottingham. Symmetry of Souls, a melodic metal band from Tamworth opened the first show with a set of polished hook laden tracks on an all too short set. One song, called Never on My Side was a tale of a soon to be ended relationship. The singer, Kat was very pleased to have some requests for her autograph. Next on were Leicester’s Gallows High. I would also describe them as melodic metal but with more of the metal. Their first foray into Nottingham and I can tell they will soon be returning. Pendulum Falls were the most modern sounding and heaviest band of the night. Pummelling heaviness with the singer rising high above. Scriptures had the well-deserved headline slot with ethereal, proggy sounds. Many of the audience were spellbound watching them. So a great start to the tour.
The next night we travelled to Big Cat Coma in Leamington Spa, around 40 miles south for possibly the smallest show of the tour. Just the three bands tonight meaning longer sets all round. First band on were Incarnadine Coven. A mix of steam punk, symphonic, gothic and operatic. The theatrical nature, musical skill and great songs went down well with the crowd meaning the band received huge applause. The stage was wide and on floor level which meant the audience were right in front of the band. Second on were local heroes MEME Detroit. With their new wave style image and songs it was so refreshing to hear and the audience agreed. The PA system overloaded and blew up during their set. While being fixed the band carried on playing and the audience loved their attitude. Some people came on tour with us to see this show and the next two, partly to The Loved and Lost. Due to the PA issues and curfew the band ran through their set with hardly any pause. The songs became more energetic and furious as the set went on. Cheers got louder as each song was played.
For the third show we travelled south west to Evesham for a show at The Valkyrie Bar. This was possibly the most successful show of the tour. After one band pulled out on the day of the show it was just two bands and a solo singer. So the pressure was on. Lauren Marie had 2 days to ready a set for the show. Starting off quietly with some of her own subtle but impressive songs she decided to play famous cover in the last half of the set. With lots of encouragement from the audience she gained a lot of confidence and got the audience to sing along with her.
With just the three acts it meant them getting longer sets. This can sometimes mean the audience becoming bored, but luckily this was the opposite with Gallows High. Stepping up and grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns. They seemed to get more energized and powerful as their set progress. Emma not only sang like a star but also looked like a star.
The Loved and Lost headlined the show. Starting off steady and assured, after a couple of songs they suddenly hit fifth gear. With fire in their bellies they hit their stride and played a true legendary set .Jordan, Dan and Jack were high fiving audience members, getting eye contact with the audience, while people were pushing forward to get a closer look at the four band members.
Last show of the tour was the biggest venue, The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton. Four bands this night starting with Symmetry of Souls . The bigger stage seems to suit them especially as they have three guitarists. A good mixture of heavy and melodic, their ballad “Embers island” was greeted with cheers. Lilith and the Knight played an acoustic set on the previous tour in 2017 but this year they had a full band. Tanya on vocals, as well as being stunning has a fine voice. Their cover of Weak (Skunk Anansie) really showing off her talent, although they have a great set of original tracks too. Sertraline had recently played Bloodstock so was a real coup to get them to play this show. They didn’t disappoint. Another band that can really use a big stage well. Lots of energy, smiles on faces and positive energy. Each singer received a bunch of flowers just before the last song, but as The Loved and Lost were headlining, and had been so helpful through the tour, Jordan also received a box of chocolates too. Rumours are their drummer Sam ate them. The band were on a high and delivered a mighty set of melodic metal including a brand new song played for the first time. See you in 2019.
Text and Photos by Adrian Betts
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