Scottish pirate metal legends Alestorm stormy raid of Australian harbours started off by transforming Swanston Street into Port Royal in the Caribbean of the 17th century. There they were since the early hours in the evening: buccaneers and privateers with their distinctive hats, companion parrots, puffy shirts and bottles of rum filled with expectations of what promised to be an unforgettable night of debauchery.
While real pirates from ancient times had their accomplishments registered by their enemies in rudimentary journals with primitive pens, these modern-era pillagers-turned-musicians have DVD technology at their disposal – and the land of plenty was chosen as location for their new digital video shoot.
One would argue that maybe barbarians and pirates didn’t really coexist in time – history escapes me here, in school I was busy listening to Running Wild – but on this historical night that didn’t matter. The mighty local legends Barbariön took to the stage and slew one by one their enemies with their powerful songs and undisputable sense of humour. If you haven’t seen them before, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. They look awesome, all dressed like barbarians, roman soldiers, or something similar – again, history not my forte. Their music is awesome – like if Iron Maiden and Manowar had given birth to a monstrous wall of sound and had named it Spinal Tap. Finally their anthems, like I Stand Alone and Matilda, are sung in unison by punters that beg for their miserable lives. Aaaaaargh!
A few minutes later curtains unveil what Alestorm had prepared for such a special night: a very well decorated set, with loud shout out to the drum kit that doubled as a bar, bottles of rum hanging from its frame. A minute of silence and… Ahoy! Here they come, matey! Alestorm took to the stage firing at will, delighted with the whirlwind that hit the mosh pit while The Quest is offered as the opening song.
Displaying remarkable energy and happiness, they spared no smiles and drove the crowd of rotten-toothed and one-eyed lucky bastards into total madness. With the Jolly Roger flying high, all crowd favourites were unleashed: Shipwrecked, Back Through Time and Midgetsaw just a few examples. But amidst all their fast anthemic rockers is Nancy the Tavern Wench, an accordion driven song that took our imagination back to some forgotten tavern of the past where ragged villagers told their astonishing tales of the seas while drowning their sorrows with gallons of rum.
Another breaking point is met with the long and epic Death Throes of the Terrorsquid, that calmed down the avid mob just for a few minutes, before the absolute hurricane-like reaction to the gem Keelhauled took over. Apparently some people from as far as Federation Square were reported hearing ‘with a bottle of rum and a Yo-ho-ho’ coming in the wind, from afar…
For the encore, the five-piece band – in addition to the four official members, a live keyboard player has been touring with the band this time around – still had a few tricks hidden up their sleeves: Set Sail and Conquer, Captian’s Morgan Revenge, and the song that epitomised what pirates were all about – besides gold of course – Rum!
How did this absolutely magical evening ended? Well it didn’t, really. While lead singer Christopher Bowes crowd surfing his way into the bar – believe me that really did happen – closed the official musical performance, the debauchery continued throughout the night somewhere else…
Avast ye matey! Stash aside some golden pieces of eight and get this DVD as soon as it washes up on your shores.
Over the Seas
Nancy the Tavern Wench
Back Through Time
Wenches & Mead
Death Throes of the Terrorsquid
Set Sail and Conquer
Captain Morgan’s Revenge
Photos by: Julianne Valokuvaus