Steve’n’Seagulls – Sound Control, Manchester 28/10/15

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If you’ve only heard of Steve’n’Seagulls (a Finnish band that play bluegrass/folk covers of metal songs) on paper then it’s all too easy to discard them as a novelty/flavour-of-the-moment act – but if you’ve ever seen them live then you’ll know just how wrong this assumption is.

A Steve’n’Seagulls live show is truly something to behold. After witnessing them at Nummirock Festival earlier in the year, I went into this show with high expectations for their performance and they managed to exceed them! Although they kicked some serious ass on the big stage at Nummi, the intimacy of their performance at Sound Control really made all the difference and there was a closeness between the band and the crowd that can sometimes be missing when a band is performing a festival show.

Coming onstage to raucous cheers from the crowd, the band opened with Guns’n’Roses’ Paradise City and you could really see the good vibes between all five members. They just looked like they were having a brilliant time onstage and this good feeling filtered down off the stage and into the crowd, who clearly had an incredible time from start to finish. When a band is this much fun, it’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of.

steve n seagulls 2The set progressed terrifically from there, with highlights including an incredible rendition of Nightwish’s Wishmaster, a cover of Rammstein’s Ich Will which featured the band addressing the crowd in German, and an interpretation of Pantera’s Cemetery Gates that somehow made the decidedly depressing song sound pretty damn cheerful!

Immediately following Cemetery Gates, we were treated to a bass solo from Pukki Kaalinen, but not long into it, the solo grinded to a halt, upon which he took the opportunity to berate his fellow bandmate, accordionist Hiltunen, for doing a really smelly fart. This, of course, sent the rest of the band into fits of laughter, and the performance stalled for a short while before everyone was able to pull themselves together and actually continue with the song! And indeed, for the rest of the song, band members were exchanging glances with each other and descending into laughter once again!

Finishing the set with Thunderstruck, the band left the stage to loud cheers, and it didn’t take long before they returned for a two-song encore. I’d previously been a little unsure if they’d perform an encore, since they’d played all their ‘big’ songs earlier, but I’d never been happier to be proven wrong as they performed Black Sabbath’s Iron Man before rounding things up with Mars Bonfire’s Born To Be Wild, which was an all-round epic and engaging performance that had plenty of opportunities for a bit of crowd participation!

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a show that was this much fun. Steve’n’Seagulls ruled the stage and it was clear that everyone in the room, both on and off the stage, had an absolutely incredible time. To say this was a tremendous show would be an understatement; this was a performance that utterly ruled from start to finish – bad smells and all!


Photos by Lisa Mushroom.

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About Natalie Humphries 1842 Articles

Soundscape’s editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: or @acidnat on twitter.

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