|Graveyard/Horisont - London, Camden Underworld - 22nd March 2012|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Tuesday, 03 April 2012 05:30|
Tonight's gig is one hot ticket indeed. Completely sold out, there's even an array of scummy ticket touts outside the venue, on the prowl for spares to sell on at an extortionate price. This is, or course, a clear indication that since the release of Graveyard's sublime second album 'Hisingen Blues' almost a year ago, the band's popularity has soared, no doubt aided by their scorching set at last year's High Voltage Festival, one of the highlights of the whole weekend for me.
There's a huge queue to get into the venue even before 8.00 tonight, and there's a good reason for this - Graveyard's fellow Gothenburg retro rockers Horisont are also in town as support. Horisont raised their profile, in London at least, significantly last December as guests to Doom legends Pentagram, where they delivered a corker of a set. Now armed with a just released second album, 'Second Assault', Horisont's brand of 70's inspired hard rock is a perfect fit with Graveyard, and those that didn't make it into the venue in time for their set missed out on a solid gold treat tonight. Plenty did make it in though, and Horisont get a storming reaction from the crowd from start to finish, giving this gig the feel of a really strong double bill. The ultra-catchy 'Nightrider' already seems to have established itself as a crowd favourite, the superb 'Just Ain't Right' sounds like something from the Coverdale/Hughes era Deep Purple and 'The Unseen' tips a doomy nod in the direction of Witchcraft. The new material from 'Second Assault' is highly impressive too, especially the hard rocking 'Time Warrior' and the title track 'Second Assault' which once again has a Purple feel too it, this time a bit more in the direction of the Gillan era. A totally storming set, and this certainly won't be the last we've seen of Horisont.
By the time Graveyard hit the stage, the venue is packed to bursting point. The last time Graveyard played a club gig in London was less than a year ago at the Borderline, a venue almost half the capacity of this one, and 'Hisingen Blues' had just been released. This time around, it's clear there's a serious buzz surrounding this band, and they're on their way to bigger things. The profile of the audience has also changed too, as the usual hardcore faces that frequent 70's retro and stoner gigs are joined by the more mainstream casual rock fans, all of whom welcome the opening chord of tracks like 'Uncomfortably Numb' with a knowing recognition. The reception the band gets is nothing short of rapturous as they storm through the likes of 'Blue Soul', 'Ain't Fit To Live Here' and 'Satan's Finest' with power, passion and soul. 'No Good, Mr. Holden' is outstanding, but it's the first encore of 'The Siren' that truly encapsulates why this band are so damned good in the live arena. The highlight of the 'Hisingen Blues' album, this psych-blues epic is a modern rock masterpiece, and illustrates why audiences are lapping up this band right now.
Ladies and Gentlemen Graveyard have well and truly arrived, but on the evidence of tonight's electrifying double bill, Horisont aren't that far behind them.