Orange Goblin

Booze-fuelled rockers have a hearty homecoming

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You always know what you’re getting with Orange Goblin live – straight-up hard rockin’ metal to swig beer to – but it’s when they hit their hometown that the party really gets wild.

It’s the last night of Goblin’s tour and their 20th anniversary – and there’s no better excuse to indulge in some excess. Bounding onstage to the Star Wars theme, towering frontman Ben Ward, is on form, air-guitaring wildly and standing with arms outstretched, unable to believe the audience’s passionate reaction: “What a fucking awesome night!” he roars at one point, sounding genuinely touched. Part of Goblin’s charm is their humility; there’s no rock star bullshit here, and they all head to the afterparty to rub shoulders with the fans.

Welcome home, Orange Goblin!

Welcome home, Orange Goblin! (Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Their music is the same: no airs and graces, just solid heavy riffs. The lengthly set also reminds us just how many hits they actually have. They Come Back’s chorus demands headbanging, Saruman’s Wish is a sleaze rock dream and Some You Win, Some You Lose gets everyone chanting. The mesmerising Time Travelling Blues leads into an encore that includes Scorpionica, Quincy The Pigboy and Red Tide Rising is a winning combination. The whole event is such a delight to witness, whether your eyes are on the band, who are having the time of their lives, or the audience, who are all losing their minds on the floor. As Ben puts it perfectly, “You can’t beat coming home!”

Hannah May Kilroy

Hannah May Kilroy has been writing about music professionally for over a decade, covering everything from extreme metal to country. She was deputy editor at Prog magazine for over five years, and previously worked on the editorial teams at Terrorizer and Kerrang!. She currently works as the production editor for The Art Newspaper, and also writes for the Guardian, Classic Rock and Metal Hammer.