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Cradle Of Filth – Belfast, Limelight 1 – 30 October 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Monday, 06 November 2017 04:40

 ‘Tis the night before Hallowe’en, and what else would the masters of all things filthy be doing but kicking off their latest world tour – and exactly where they finished the last one?  Yes, Dani and his motley crew of gothic hallions returned to Belfast for the first night of their latest cycle, this time in support of their just released ‘Cryptoriana’ aural excretion, to coin a phrase from the diminutive frontman himself…

 

Savage Messiah 3

 

Support act Savage Messiah also have a new album, ‘Hands Of Fate’, issued just a couple of days, earlier to promote, and they do so with an intent that lives up to their name, hitting the stage hard, heavy – and fucking fast.  As he admitted to us earlier, just prior to our interview, frontman Dave Silver is obviously suffering from a sore throat, but this adds a gruff edge to his voice, which in turn suits their “new” trad metal approach. 

 

However, they don’t forget their thrashier roots, with ‘Scavengers’ delivered at a frenetic pace and ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ tighter than the attitude of the front of house staff.  Rattling through their set with minimal fuss, the likes of ‘Minority Of One’ and ‘Wing And A Prayer’ delivering taut riffs, catchy hooks and choruses that you can definitely sing along to, in between moshing your brains out.

 

Cradle Of Filth 2

 

The venue is pretty full and, despite the severe chill outside, the temperature has risen significantly as Cradle Of Filth open the curtain on their dark theatre of nightmares, presented in typically over-the-top gothic style – taking everything to the next level, and then pushing it even further.  But, Dani knows how far to take things without turning them into a pastiche, as the band blaze through traditional set opener ‘Gilded Cunt’ before taking us on a journey ‘Beneath The Howling Stars’.

 

Unlike many frontmen operating within the gothic spectrum, Dani doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows how to have fun with his audience – and he’s in his element tonight! When there’s a rather low-key response to his question as to how many people are drunk on this Monday night, he retorts with “only three people – that’s a poor effort Belfast!” His sense of humour is also displayed during the intro to the live debut of ‘Bathory Aria’: “we haven’t played this since the Stone Age – and it goes on for three weeks!” he muses, pointing out that CoF hadn’t even rehearsed it since 1999.

 

Cradle Of Filth 6

 

The song’s scope and ambition displays a mixture of the absurd and macabre, combined with an operatic pomposity:  all the CoF trademarks, in fact, which permeate the show, through ‘Dusk And Her Dark Embrace’ and into ‘Under Huntress Moon’ – which Filth introduces being from an album (2006’s ‘Thornography’) that “isn’t everyone’s cup of tea… but it is mine, so fuck you!”. The crowd seems to agree with the frontman, as it generates a roof-raising cheer…

 

Of course, Filth cannot help but reference the timing of the show – the night before Halloween.  “Everyone loves fucking Halloween,” he tells us. “I love it so much I got married on it! Eleven years: you’d get less for murder!” he quips, before introducing ‘You Will Know The Lion By His Claws’.

 

After exactly an hour (virtually to the very second), the band quit the stage, but it is obvious there is more to come – and everyone is hoping there isn’t a repeat of the lift incident from their last visit to the Slimer (to elaborate, Dani and the band got in the lift that leads from the stage to the dressing rooms, to allow the singer to change costume, and it got stuck between floors!). To the relief of all concerned – and probably the stage manager most of all – it’s clearly not the case, as Martin Skaroupka is back behind his kit within less than a minute, closely followed by the rest of the band… no excuses about the excesses of touring the US on this occasion!

 

Cradle Of Filth 3

 

What follows is less of an encore but more of a secondary set, it’s 30 minutes containing one more surprise – the first airing of ‘The Promise Of Fever’ since 2005 – and another new track, in the form of ‘Achingly Beautiful’: three songs from the new album might seem a bit skimpy, but when you consider the length of the majority of CoF’s tunes, it’s actually a well-balanced representation.  The ending is predictable – the obligatory ‘Nymphetamine (Fix)’ and the blast-beat fuelled ‘Her Ghost In The Fog’ finally bring the curtain down on another entertaining presentation from one of the best in the business when it comes to presenting gothic rock at its most ingloriously glorious.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: All photos © The Dark Queen/Über Rock. You can see our full gallery of photographs HERE.

 

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