The Almighty
@ Leeds Rio’s

It was with some trepidation that I braved a wild night on Friday to see The Almighty at Leeds Rios. What could I expect from a band that was so much a part of my misspent youth nearly 20 years ago?

You see I had bought into the whole metal scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s but The Almighty were my band, the one I championed to my peers, lived in their T-shirts and it was their logo I attempted to add to the back of my leather with Tippex.

Their live status was clearly defined early on in their career when they released Blood, Fire and Live, only their second album release.

The night didn’t get off to the greatest of starts when arriving at the door at 8:30pm to find that we weren’t on the guest list and that The Almighty had been onstage for 20 minutes, no relation to the good old days when the likes of Axl Rose used to keep us waiting for hours, only to storm off after 20 minutes.

After finally relenting and paying the sceptical site staff, we finally made it into the gig and that was when it hit me, the power and aggression of cut down metal oiled with a heavy dose of punk heritage that is The Almighty. With Ricky Warwick out front flanked by Floyd London and Pete Friesen backed by Stumpy kicking out hard hitting metal anthems that wouldn’t be out of place at any Bulldog bash or a revived Donington stage, now that would be worth seeing!

This was not going to be a simple run through of the current Anthology but a two hour set that included tracks from their extensive back catalogue. Tracks like Addiction, Jonestown mind and Wrench get the modest but enthusiastic crowd fist pumping to the heart felt Out of Season showing us that two decades and severe illness hasn’t dulled any of The Almighty’s ability to deliver exactly what they set out to do twenty years ago.

All four seem to be relaxed in front of a crowd again and enjoying the moment and the second biggest shout of the night was when they announced they are to record some new material. It was a cover of the Beastie Boys Sabotage that brought the surprise of the night, it appeared they were in untried territory but once again delivered in a way only the Almighty could, ten times harder, louder and IHMO better.

When the lights went up at 10:20pm, against the wishes of the crowd (and I believe the band) after one encore the show was over but the point had been firmly rammed down the throats of any unbelievers, The Almighty are back and just as hungry and professional as there were twenty years ago, so forget your emo and your new metal, this is what should be trashing your Ipod into submission. For The Almighty are still ALL LOUD, ALL WILD and ALL FUCKING MIGHTY.

Apologies for the self indulgent review but The Almighty were my band twenty years ago and I’m glad they came to Leeds on a cold Windy night to remind me that they are still kicking out my type of music. Thanks Guys.

Simon Mulholland