Eluveitie- Classic Grand Glasgow
Eluveitie headlined the Glasgow Classic Grand, with an immense show of full on folk metal, that saw Glasgow metal heads...quite unbelievably.... jigging in the mosh pit...a new metal form of dancing is born! With a great back catalogue of inspiring songs, and a reputation for putting on a great live show, it is little wonder that the gig was moved from the smaller Glasgow Audio to the Classic Grand, to accommodate everyone that wanted to see them.
The line up of the band itself is a pretty astonishing mix, with drums, bass, two guitarists, fiddle, hurdy gurdy, whistles, mandola, bagpipes, and both growled and clean vocals. First onto the stage were the hurdy gurdy player and vocalist Anna Murphy and fiddle player Nicole Ansperger, then joined one by one by the rest of the band. Absent though was the bagpipes player Patrick Kistler. Vocalist and mandola/whistles player Chrigel Glanzmann later tells the audience 'We have no bagpipes player tonight....but we will still do our best to kick f**king ass'. And he means it!
Early on in the set, on Nil, Chrigel chillingly draws his hand across his throat in death metal fashion, matching the relentless and heavy nature of this song. Then briefly the intensity drops, and the fiddle and hurdy gurdy come beautifully to the fore. It is this fabulous contrast of death metal and wistful traditional instruments and melodies, which makes Eluveitie so infectious and engaging live. The death metal sounds are fierce and thrashy, and the traditional folk sounds can be both gentle and beautifully epic. It's an inspirational mix live, and its no wonder that the audience at the Classic Grand is a mad mix of crowd surfing, head banging and mosh pit jigging. The Call of the Mountains from the new album Origins is a set highlight, with the crowd being asked by Anna whether they want to hear it sung in the bands native Swiss - German or English. The Glasgow audience to its internationalist credit is in no doubt, and demands it be sung in Swiss - German. Anna's vocals are a tour de force, and the beautiful fiddle and mandola breaks create a very atmospheric live version.
A Rose for Epona perhaps best symbolises the live impact of Eluveitie. It's soaring beautiful vocal from Anna, is interrupted by a great death growl section from Chrigel; with the atmospheric traditional instruments fully attuned with the heavy guitar work, creating both a sense of poignancy and raucous groove.
Inis Mona is the final encore, with the Glasgow metal heads singing back to the band, its melodic chorus, and erupting as the song finishes. A perfect ending to a completely awesome night of folk metal. Eluveitie are without doubt at the top of their game, and if you get the opportunity in 2015 to see them at a festival or hopefully back in the UK on another tour, absolutely don't miss them!