banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

LIVE: RAVEN with Shadow Realm and Sky Hammer – Adelaide, 1 July, 2019

| 3 July 2019 | Reply

LIVE: RAVEN with Shadow Realm and Sky Hammer – Adelaide, 1 July, 2019
Enigma Bar, Adelaide
Review & photos by Shane Pinnegar

The down-side of living somewhere as beautiful and relatively tranquil as Perth is that our favourite bands rarely tour to such a remote location, especially the bands with a more selective, cult appeal. Touring costs money, after all, and we can’t all fill arenas. Having been a fan of Raven since the start of 1982, I sadly never had the chance to see them in the flesh, even while living and travelling on the other side of the world.

The NWOBHM legends have seen a notable resurgence in their fortunes in recent years, releasing new albums and visiting many territories they’d never reached before – this first-ever Australian tour comes hot on the heels of jaunts in Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil.

Sadly they still haven’t made it to Western Australia, so a road trip to see them and Eastern States tour-mates Girlschool in Adelaide was in order.

Unfortunately I missed Skyhammer’s opening set, but caught a good portion of Shadow Realm’s accomplished & dextrous prog metal, which was impressive to say the least.

Shadow Realm

Once again Enigma Bar could have been fuller, but having the members of Girlschool in the audience helped bolster the numbers, and like that band the previous night, Raven play every show as if it were a headlining festival set.

Mark Gallagher’s hobbling about with his leg in a restrictive cast after tearing a ligament mid-tour, but he and the band soldier on and although he perches on a stool for some of the show, he clearly can’t restrain his enthusiasm and repeatedly defies doctors orders, jumping up and playing his guitar like he was born with it in his hands, even when in danger of toppling sideways.

They may be slightly less athletic than in their younger years, but Raven still rock hard and live up to their ‘Raven lunatics’ tag. The affection and chemistry between Mark and bass playing, singing brother John is obvious. John engages the crowd like the pro he is, while Mark makes Three Stooges noises and cracks jokes. Invalid or not, and despite the accumulated jetlag of having been in multiple timezones over the past few weeks, they haven’t lost their sense of humour and both seem to be loving being here.

Mark Gallagher, Raven

The show itself is a treat from start to finish. Opening with the old school metal frenzy of Take Control, before the more recent Destroy All Monsters turns the heat up a further notch, the bass and drums are immediately throbbing through our bones via the floor, and this is a candidate for best gig of the year (with apologies to Girlschool, whose show the previous night runs a close second).

The setlist is mostly drawn from their first three albums – Hell Patrol, All For One, Hung, Drawn & Quartered, Rock Until You Drop, Fire Power (more appropriate than ever in the current political climate), Mind Over Metal and Break The Chain all see the band (which includes Mike Heller pounding the drumkit) playing like speedfreak virtuosos.

John Gallagher, Raven

New song Top Of The Mountain bodes very well for the new studio album due at the end of the year, and both Mark’s guitar solo and John’s wildly inventive bass solos show exactly why this band are head and shoulders above most.

Faster Than The Speed Of Light again shows how above and beyond, how influential, Raven were and are, combining punk energy, rampant, unfettered speed, other-worldly metal chops, and – bugger me – John can still hit the excruciatingly high notes, seemingly effortlessly.

Mike Hellar, Raven

On And On – the band’s only crossover chart hit – is bolstered when half of Girlschool jump onstage for an impromptu singalong, and a short medley of some of their own influences and favourites – It’s A Long Way To The Top, Symptom Of The Universe, Rock Bottom, Hell Bent For Leather – gives way to a ferocious cover of Born to Be Wild. It’s a song covered far too often, and rarely well, but these guys nail it right between the eyes.

Mark Gallagher, Raven with Tracy Lamb and Jax Chambers of Girlschool

Finally, Don’t Need Your Money ends the night in fine fashion. Of course it would have been nice to hear more – perhaps a few selections from The Pack Is Back, an album unfairly maligned in this writer’s opinion – but in all honesty, no-one has the right to complain after a concert this good.

Let’s hope that Raven make good on their promise to return next year – and include Perth in their travel plans that time.

Set List:
Take Control
Destroy All Monsters
Hell Patrol
All For One
Hung, Drawn & Quartered
Top Of The Mountain
Rock until You Drop
Guitar solo
Faster Than The Speed Of Light
Tank Treads (The Blood Runs Red)
Fire Power
Mind Over Metal
On And On
Bass Solo
Break The Chain
It’s A Long Way To The Top/Symptom Of The Universe/Rock Bottom/Hell Bent For Leather
Born To Be Wild
Don’t Need Your Money

Category: Live Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad