Lucifer / Galley Beggar / Saturn

Magickal German/British alliance spreads its wings

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Descending upon London’s Borderline tonight is a lineup that’s straight out of another era.

Swedish ‘space rockers’ SATURN [8] come crashing onto the tiny stage and, with only their debut album Ascending under their belts, they’ve got youthful exuberance and bravado in spades. It’s evident from their demeanour and the easy back-and-forth between singer Oscar and guitarist Robin, who looks like a slightly feral Michael Cera, that this is a band of brothers who have got tunes – not least the excellent Still Young and Tower Of Terror. Playing a tight set of heavy metal songs with shades of prog and early Priest, the guys are sadly stopped just short of playing their last song, but take it in their stride.

After Saturn’s high-octane riff-fest, GALLEY BEGGAR [7] step in to mellow things out a bit with their brand of English acid-folk. Drawing largely from their latest effort, Silence And Tears, the gang weave melancholic magic across the stage as they play a short set of psychedelic songs laced with mournful violins and singer Maria O’Donnell’s clear, youthful voice. Despite their best efforts, however, it seems that being sandwiched between two heavier bands has made Galley Beggar’s set the time to go to the bar.

Galley Beggar mellow things down a little

Galley Beggar mellow things down a little
(Image: © Ester Segarra)

Helmed by Johanna Sadonis, one half of the short-lived, fatally cool duo The Oath, LUCIFER [9] birthed their spellbinding debut Lucifer I only this year, but it’s clear that their star is on the rise, making it a bittersweet experience to watch what could be their last intimate gig before they take up their well-deserved slot supporting Paradise Lost on tour. Lucifer are a young band with an old soul. Songs like the hauntingly beautiful death-knell A Grave For Each One Of Us, with its delicate chords and chugging guitars, are so simple in structure and melody as to be timeless. Johanna is possessed of an almost otherworldly presence; during the earth-shaking Sabbath, she weaves each line with a deep, rumbling vibrato worthy of Messiah Marcolin. The monstrous riff from Abracadabra takes on a life of its own, while hypnotic closer Izrael ends the set on a high, leaving everyone truly under Lucifer’s spell.