It’d been three long years since the mighty Orange Goblin last graced the stages of Ireland. So, when they announced a short Irish tour, there was no way in hell Worship Metal was going to pass up an opportunity to see them decimate a sweaty club, in this case the Belfast Limelight! Also, fair play to the lads for not just doing the usual Belfast and Dublin dates but also adding in Limerick as well.
First up were local mob Zlatanera , who were playing only their second show with vocalist Aaron Orr and if there were any nerves, they were well hidden with what was a confident performance. Unfortunately for Zlatanera, the crowd, which was beginning to grow, were lethargic and not too interested in their earthy yet slightly samey doom sounds. A shame.
That lethargy surprisingly continued for the first handful of songs of Orange Goblin‘s  set. Maybe it was the reasonably early start that left crowd a little jaded but whatever the reason, the blame lay squarely with Belfast and not the band…. who were firing on all cylinders and at their rambunctious best.
Fortunately, the ever-reliable Ben Ward was well up to the task of getting the crowd going and in between handing out fist bumps and bear hugs to those in the front row, throwing cans of beer into the crowd and repeatedly commanding the crowd “go fucking mental”, people started to respond. As the show went on, the Belfast crowd got rowdier, and by the time thunderous closer “Red Tide Rising” raised the roof, things were as they should be! Highlights included a high paced “Scorpionica” and a brooding “The Fog”, but as always, the whole damn show was a blast.
Prior to their performance, Worship Metal managed to grab a few minutes with bassist Martyn Millard and he spoke about how the band don’t rehearse that often, resulting in the odd scuffed cue every now and again. While this definitely comes across during their show, this off-the-cuff approach works in Orange Goblin’s favour. Rather than appear safe and over rehearsed, a Goblin gig feels more like a bunch of guys jamming some tunes and gives the whole thing a relaxed, easy going atmosphere. It’s blatantly obvious we were witnessing four friends on stage, playing the music they love and having a ball, and it’s nights like this that prove why, despite a lack of rehearsal (!), the band are continually held in such high esteem by metal fans.
After all, they’re Orange ‘fucking’ Goblin baby and they’re still one of the finest live acts in the business!