It’s been quite a while since Slough Feg were last on our shores but 2016 saw a most welcome return and their visit to Manchester took them to the Star & Garter for a very hot but high-octane show from the four-piece.
Opening the show was Lancastrian thrashers Insurgency and at the risk of sounding highly “un-metal” with this comment, their set would have definitely benefited from the volume being turned down a notch or two as it was at an uncomfortably loud level even with earplugs – but whether this was down to the band or person dealing with the sound, I don’t know. However, despite this it was a good solid show and even though at times the songs did come across as a little similar in structure to one another, there was no faulting the enthusiasm from the band and it was a good way to start off the night.
Up next was Mancunian heavy metallers Ascalon, who worked hard at getting the crowd warmed up, and with vocalist/guitarist Matt frequently joking with members of the crowd, there was a great relaxed vibe in the room as a result. It was a powerful performance and a particular highlight was their final song, a self-titled number that had everyone in the room joining in with singing the word “Ascalon” back at the band – there’s no way you’ll be forgetting that song in a hurry!
Of course, the night belonged to Slough Feg and the anticipation was building as everyone waited for them to take to the stage – and when Slough Feg did, there was a massive flash of lightning behind the band and to say it gave the performance a whole lot more atmosphere was an understatement! It’s not often that you witness something like that, after all, and I knew from that moment on that it was going to be a special show.
Slough Feg were absolutely stunning from start from to finish, playing a good mix of both old and new songs, and the enthusiasm from crowd and band alike was something to behold. Near-enough everyone was moving about and frontman Mike was impossible to tie down, frequently walking down the right side of the venue and performing from atop of the benches, and at one point, he even handed his guitar to another person in the room to play a solo! It’s a nice feeling when there’s a real connection between band and crowd, and there was definitely one at this gig – perhaps highlighted by the fact everyone was chanting for another encore after the band for the second and final time!
All in all, it was a terrific show – and hopefully it won’t be another five years before my next Slough Feg gig!