ORANGE GOBLIN LAST UK SHOW OF 2012 IN KENT
Not just the UK’s reigning champions of balls-out, party-starting, booze-fuelled metal, but also one of the very best live rock bands of all time, Orange Goblin have been a permanent and universally admired fixture on the British metal circuit for the past 16 years. And now they’re back, with A Eulogy for the Damned, their seventh studio album and probably their best to date. A thunderous tour-de-force of gargantuan riffs, subterranean rumble and electrifying energy, it is the album the band have been threatening to make since they first crawled, with crumpled beer cans in hand, from the grubby Soho shadows back in the mid-90s.
Inspired by the gods of hard rock, heavy metal, punk rock and underground extremity, from Sabbath, Motörhead and Thin Lizzy through to Celtic Frost, Danzig and Black Flag, Orange Goblin have proved themselves to be one of the most consistent and persistent forces in modern heavy music, amassing a catalogue of albums that rivals anything released during the same period.
From the rambunctious, heads-down exuberance of their Frequencies From Planet Ten debut in 1997 through to the multi-genre bonfire of insanities that was 2007′s Healing Through Fire, Orange Goblin have always kicked arse, always written songs that hit home like a stage diver’s boot connecting with your forehead, always delivered the rampaging heavy metal goods while meaning every last riff, beat, solo and bellow.
Fronted by Kent boy Ben Ward, Orange Goblin are firing up to play their last UK show of 2012 right here in Margate, Kent. I caught up with Ben before the show (this Saturday 17th November) for a quick chat about metal, mayhem and mum’s…
Jez: Hey Ben, how tricks?
Ben: All good thanks!
J: So you are a Thanet lad, born and bred right? Do you get back to Kent often?
B: Yep, that’s right! Born in Margate, went to school in Broadstairs and lived in Ramsgate! My Dad still lives in Cliftonville and my Mum is in Ramsgate so I try to get down there as often as the band schedule and family commitments allow!
J: I see the show is going to be busy. Are you looking forward to playing your last 2012 UK show at Westcoast Bar?
B: I’m very excited about it. It’s the very first time we have played in East Kent so it’s a chance for my family to come and see what we do. I’m also looking forward to catching up with some old friends that I haven’t seen for a while. With us having no Christmas show this year, this will be the last UK gig of 2012 so we’re gonna be making it a celebration of what has been an amazingly successful year for us.
J: For anyone who hasn’t seen you live before, what can people expect from an Orange Goblin show?
B: Well, we always go out and give 100% to put on the best show that we can. It’s always a good vibe between the band and the crowd and we’re just a typical heavy rock/metal band that incorporate all the best bits of our major influences from Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Black Flag and bands like Trouble etc..It’s a fun night out put it that way!
J: You’ve smashed out shows with some big names, including Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Sex Pistols, Down, Queens Of The Stone Age and Dio. Do you ever have to pinch yourself and think, well, fuck yeah!?
B: Definitely! We’ve far surpassed the expectations we had of the band when we started. It’s been a slow rise but I wouldn’t change a thing. We’ve been very fortunate to do the things we have and it’s been an honour to share the stage with our heroes.
J: You have played all around Europe and the USA. I suppose every time you go back to a city, the crowds are better?
B: Of course, that’s how it works. You go somewhere, play a great show and word spreads so that next time you go back it’s bigger and better. That’s why I have so much respect for bands that just constantly work hard and eventually get the success they deserve. In recent years I think bands like Mastodon, Kylesa, Baroness, Red Fang, Clutch etc have all been an inspiration in their relentless work ethic.
J: And you have recently been touring with Down. How was that. What were the highlights or did anything ridiculous occur?
B: Again, that was another dream come true. Those guys are heroes to us yet they are all the most welcoming, down to earth guys you could meet. Phil is a true gent and a massive fan of underground music. His enthusiasm is infectious and he’s a legend that’s been there and done pretty much everything. Watching them on stage every night is amazing! First night of the tour I ended up getting a black cab to a nightclub in Manchester with Pepper Keenan, that was a cool moment!
J: Tell me about A Eulogy for the Damned. Your best studio album yet I reckon. How would you compare it to your previous releases?
B: I knew that we had written and recorded the best album of our career but the response from the critics and the fans has blown me away! It’s been incredible and we’ve definitely noticed a step up in the way that Orange Goblin are perceived everywhere we go now. The label have been great too so it was just a coming together of all the right things, the songs, the production, pretty much everything came out exactly how we wanted!
J: Being a front man, what’s the most METAL thing you have ever done?
B: I’ve done a lot of things, most of them pretty stupid but I suppose I’d have to say that getting drunk in a strip club in Portland with Lemmy was pretty metal!
J: I’ve played darts against your mum and she always batters me. You ever play her?
B: I’ve played her and beat her many times. She gets the hump when I do so I’ve worked out that it’s better to just let her win!!
J: Ha ha, brilliant! Thanks for your time. Any plugs?
B: Just wanna say that we’re looking forward to the show and can’t wait to see the Margate metal heads!
So you heard him, if you like your metal shows, get to Westcoast Bar this Saturday (17th November). At the time of going to press there were still some advance tickets available at £10 (www.wegottickets.com/event/171280), or £15 on the door.
Main support comes from Seven Deadly, a new project which features former members of Panic Cell and Denounce, who have already headlined the Takeover stage at this year’s Download Festival. And with Canterbury based Wretched Soul completing the line up, this show is a guaranteed good time…all you need to do is get the beers in, prepare your neck muscles for maximum punishment and surrender to the sound of the Goblin & Co letting rip at full throttle… See ya at the front!!!
Interview by Jez Silcock
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14/11/2012 • The Westcoast Bar, Margate