Heavy Metal therapy should be a thing. Think about it; you have had a stressful week or month; you attend a heavy metal show that matches this energy that helps you get it all out. You also enjoy this experience with likeminded individuals who might be there for the same reason. This was the feeling I got Friday night when witnessing SPEED QUEEN, TOLEDO STEEL and SKYRYDER conquer The Firehouse, Southampton.
As the doors opened, it was great to see punters coming in early. Some grabbing a much-needed pint or two from the bar, others finding the ideal spot to watch the bands from and catching up with some friends. It was brilliant to see that support for local music is still going strong. Given that a number of venues closing all over the country, it’s more important than ever to keep on going to venues and support the scene.
The first band to kick off the proceedings on this night of pure class heavy metal were the colourful SKYRYDER. Colourful in stage wear most definitely and in personality too come to think of it. From the energy and passion in their performance, it was evident they were having a great time of stage. This enjoyment passed onto the crowds who really seemed to take to their set consisting of slick guitar work, on point harmonies and excellent vocal work. Their brilliant musicianship combined with their fantastic sense of humour made them a fantastic opening band for the night.
Local boys TOLEDO STEEL were next to take to the stage. I have seen them previous times and they always put on a great show. Friday night was no exception. Their mission is to offer straight to the point, no nonsense Heavy Metal and they did this plus more. Their passion and energy on stage was incredibly infectious. They performed a great selection of songs from across their discography and the crowd got to hear two brand new songs that will be on an upcoming album. A great set from them once again of heavy metal goodness.
From the moment SPEED QUEEN started to play, it was evident the name was more than appropriate. Mainly in terms of the music tempo. It states on their Facebook that they are a mixture of speed and heavy metal mixed with a nasty and sexy stage attitude. Judging from their performance on Friday night, it is easy to see that claim was incredibly accurate. Their mind-blowing performance consisted of finger blistering guitar work, dominant vocals and powerful stage presence. You didn’t need to be a detective to figure out who was in control of the crowds the whole time they were on stage. Let’s hope it’s not long until they come back to Southampton.
Find SPEED QUEEN on Facebook.
If Friday night proved anything, it’s that Heavy Metal is still alive and kicking. There is some solid music and passionate live performances, as well as the comradery from the community. If these bands tour together again, I highly recommend catching this line up in action.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Photography: Tomaz Wrobel at TZW Photography