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12 December 2005: Cradle Of Filth + Cathedral + Octavia Sperati - Rock City, Nottingham, England, UK

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I've never seen Rock City so crowded for a gig at 7:30. Meeting up at the Tap at 7:00 for pre-gig sustenance I was told that the queue to get into the venue stretched half way up the road and round the corner.

I sat and waited for it to go down. I can't stand queuing.

By about twenty past, the queue had died down a bit and was only about 10 yards long by the time I tagged myself onto it.

I'd just got in when the lights went down and the band I'd come to see appeared on stage. (Forgive me if I get the set list wrong, but I was enjoying myself) Octavia Sperati smashed into "Icebound", and to my pleasant surprise the venue went wild.

There's obviously a bit of a buzz being created by this band and rightly so. The Last time I saw Octavia Sperati, at Junktion 7 in June, was in front of a maximum of about 50 people. This time the crowd was packed and the band had them eating out of their hands. The band were on top form, Silje stalking the stage and the band seeming to have much more stage presence than before (experience).

They also played "Lifelines Of Depths", "Hunting Eye" and "Soundless" and at least, what sounded like, two new tracks to finish.

Halfway through the stage was invaded by a naked man with four strategically placed balloons, two at the front and two at the rear, who proceeded to prance around the band in an end of tour celebration/attempt to put them off. The band took it in their stride and Silje said, after they had finished the track, that they were expecting something to mark the end of the tour.

It was over far too quickly, as they only played for about half an hour, and it seemed to go quicker than that, but I was thrilled to have been there and once more very impressed with the band.

Octavia Sperati are going to be massive.

After Octavia Sperati had finished I refuelled my glass at the bar and returned to the dance floor to wait for Cathedral. The less said here the better as after one song I returned to the bar. There were lots of Cathedral fans at the gig and they seemed to be enjoying the set, but it did nothing for me and I would have much preferred another (or longer) Octavia Sperati set.

After refuelling again, and with a slight sense of foreboding, I set about waiting for Cradle Of Filth. It seemed a long wait with the ever more impatient crowd shouting a constant chant of "Cradle, Cradle, Cradle"

My foreboding at this time was due to the sight of the drum kit on the drum riser. Fully expecting a drum solo, I was becoming tempted to get my coat before they'd even started, but I am glad I stayed.

And then all hell broke loose. The entire dance floor slammed into one another as Cradle launched into their first number, bodies flying this way and that, and two monsters with wings appearing from the back of the stage.

Now, I'm not going to pretend to know what was going on, and the screeching vocals didn't answer any of my questions, but after realising that I wasn't going to understand it, I just enjoyed it. It was loud and it was fast.

I really enjoyed it! The lead singer rampaging backwards and forwards across the stage, up onto some specially erected metal supports for a pose and some vocals and back down and the same on the other side of the stage. The guitarists striking their poses and preening themselves in front of the worshipping masses.

After what I took to be a fairly short set, the band disappeared, only to reappear for an encore a few moments later with two scantily clad Humans (well, they weren't monsters) spraying sparks from their guns (for want of a better word), with the lead singer taking it in the face at one point.

The finale came with the sparks being sprayed across the whole stage and being lit up by lighting into a dazzlingly glittering display. I still don't know what it was all about, but went home finding that I'd had a surprisingly good time.

Even if it was becoming apparent that I'm getting old!


The views expressed in these reviews do not necessarily reflect those of the team.

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