Excuse us while we sit down for a bit, because we’ve just had the shock of our lives. You might feel the same when you open up the MySpace page of four-piece Perth (Scotland, not Australia) rock outfit Alestorm, because nothing can quite prepare you for the deck-swabbing, cutlass-flashing, cock-rocking phenomenon that is… pirate metal!
Phenomenon, you say?
Okay, bloody weird and unexpected extension of the typically pantomime proportions of traditional metal, more like. Although the quartet – vocalist Christopher Bowes, guitarist Tim Shaw, bassist Dani Evans and drummer Ian Wilson – do seem to have a following. More than that, in fact, they have a 52-date tour lined up for the four months immediately following these two shows, which takes in England, Eastern and Central Europe (particularly Germany, which figures) and North America.
What’s the appeal?
Still reeling from the yo-ho-hoing barrage of tracks called things like ‘Wenches and Mead’, ‘Nancy the Tavern Wench’ and ‘Set Sail and Conquer’, we can but speculate that: (a) they appeal greatly to players of MMORPGs, and/or (b) they’re a whole lot of tongue in cheek fun live. Guiltily, we suspect the latter may be true.
How’s the sea looking?
Not content with slogging their guts out around the world, the band – formerly known as Battleheart - release the single ‘Leviathan’ in January on Napalm, which is the follow up to their recent album Captain Morgan’s Revenge. Describing themselves as ‘the joy of many pub landlords’, they’re also already big favourites of Metal Hammer magazine. Again, it figures.
Alestorm play the Cathouse, Glasgow, Fri 21 Nov; Studio 24, Edinburgh, Sat 22 Nov.