2020 marks 25 years since underground British Heavy Metal kings Orange Goblin first got together to play their Motorhead/Sabbath inspired music to the world, and this year was supposed to be a celebration of all that they have achieved over those 25 years. Sadly things aren’t going as expected for them with the current Coronavirus pandemic scuppering all touring plans which were to include well-earned slots at the likes of Bloodstock Open Air, Sweden Rock and Rock Fest Barcelona.
However all is not lost. To try and make sure the 25th Anniversary isn’t a complete dead loss the band have thought outside the box and decided to release a live album from the achieves of live material they have lying around. As the band (surprisingly) do not have a record contract at present, the live album was released digitally on the Bandcamp platform. In true Orange Goblin style the band got the fans involved in this project by asking for pictures of the band, memorabilia, fan photos etc from over the 25 years of them being together to be submitted to them for possible inclusion in a digital booklet which came with the album.
The first thing you notice about the release is the fantastic artwork by Dominic Sohor depicting the band on motorbikes riding down a highway with nods to the artwork of pretty much every other album they have released to be found elsewhere in the picture. Then the digital booklet itself has some great photos throughout of the band and their fans which no doubt made a few people happy as they looked through it and recognised themselves or their photos, and that is before you even get to play any of the music.
Opening with a crushing one two of Sons of Salem and The Devils Whip it soon becomes abundantly clear that while this release may not have been originally the planned, the quality of the material on hand really is superb and the mixing and mastering by Gez Walton has really captured the intensity and energy of an Orange Goblin live show. This is all the more impressive as the material is harvested from several different gigs in London, Athens and Skylar Open Air festival in France and while the tracks are split up you really don’t notice the breaks or a drop in energy levels.
By the third track, Saruman’s Wish from the band’s debut album Frequencies from Planet Ten, you can’t help smile as you hear frontman Ben Ward demand “Lets get the fucking party started”, as you can almost feel the fat sweaty bloke that would be normally be standing next to you spill beer on you as he gets over excited, that is of course if the fat sweaty bloke isn’t in fact you.
From then on in the album doesn’t let up with personal highlights being a crushing Made of Rats, a frankly stunning Shine which does indeed allow the fantastic bluesy guitar work of Joe Hoare to shine, and the furiously wild Bandcamp exclusive track Your World will Hate This.
While we all know that a huge amount of people only stream music these days, this digital only release has really had a bit of time, effort and thought put into it to try and make it that bit more special for those that buy it. For the price of a couple of warm flat pints at a gig you really do get something pretty special and you can give yourself a pat on the back knowing that you have helped one of the UK’s finest underground bands continue to be able to be just that in what is a pretty testing time right now.
Download the album, grab a beer, bang your head and repeat after me……Orange Fucking Goblin Baby!
Buy ‘Rough & Ready’ Here
Author: Nigel Taylor