Turisas show the audience what they've got... and we like it!

I'll be honest, for myself and I suspect for many others this was always going to be the biggie. Sure, Edguy and Stratovarius are the headliners of the festival, and mighty fine ones at that, but with such a great collection of songs in their album 'Battle Metal' and their reputation as a ferocious live act, Turisas were the one band that were a real must-see at Bloodstock Open Air. Not only did the band live up to expectations, but they far exceeded them and provided what will probably be one of the live metal experiences of the year in this country with their folk-metal stylings and rampant energy.

Opening with a crushing 'As Torches Rise' before moving into an anthemic 'Land Of Hope And Glory', Turisas show what makes them such a good live act; not only did the band play the songs superbly but the spirit put into the show by Warlord Nygard and his warpaint-wearing companions was only bettered by the reaction of the audience in front of them, be they waving their plastic weaponry in the air or jigging around at the back of the crowd. Strong performances of the classic 'Rex Regi Rebellis' and 'One More' (dedicated to out-of-action guitarist Georg Laakso) further fill in the set with quality tunes, which entertain all. Musically speaking, and in terms of the band's energy and crowd interaction, there is really nothing at all I could fairly complain about.

Not only was this a set of great music, but we as an audience were provided with some great laughs too from both a bizarre birch-whipping sauna featuring accordion-player Antti Laurila and members of Ensiferum leading into 'Sahti waari' and an excellent distorted electric violin solo, whilst if every band tried to pull of such bizarre interludes as this it would come to be a forced gimmick, Turisas pull it off. Something about the band's energy or perhaps just the "vibe" of their music and concept means that a mid-set sauna seems somewhat natural, and considering the laughter on all sides it seems to be a well-judged move that went down well!

To completely sum it up then, even if my words seem like hyperbole here, Turisas provided what was pretty much the perfect festival set: Good music, good performance, spot-on crowd interaction and even a few laughs here and there! Hopefully this is not the last we've seen of the band at Bloodstock events and it can't be too soon that they return to England to enchant us all with their battle metal anthems yet again and we all get another good chance to sing along with "Lai lai lai lai lai lai lai lai..."