07 January 2016

Review of Liv Kristine at the London Underworld

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12341149_1110059365673509_2041642251661192685_nIt was a brisk Sunday evening in Camden Town on the last weekend before Christmas. After chugging a couple of overpriced beers at The World’s End we stepped outside, around the corner and down the stairs and we arrived at The Underworld. It was the first time I had been to this legendary venue that has played host to a who’s who of bands and artists in the past. Tonight’s show was headlined by symphonic metal icon Liv Kristine.

The venue was only half full at best. This is probably due to the timing of the show coming so close to Christmas. It was only a small stage too.

First up, to warm up the crowd was Valkyre, a symphonic metal band from Belgium. I’m not very familiar with these guys and so I went into the set with an open mind. They had a good energy about them through their set. They played their symphonic metal sound beautifully. But for me their vocalist didn’t quite sound right with the music. This left me with a rather bitter taste in my mouth and sadly because of this I didn’t enjoy their set.

After a very quick changeover, the lovely Liv Kristine took to the stage to a very warm reception. As she opened her set with Vervain, the title track from her latest album, the audience came to life. As the song came to an end, Liv Kristine welcomed a very dapper Raymond Rohonyi to the stage to join her in performing the first of many songs from her days with Theatre Of Tragedy, Venus. Raymond stayed on stage for A Hamlet For A Slothful Vassal and returned backstage while Liv belted out a couple more solo songs: My Wilderness and Paris Paris (a song which she dedicated to those affected by the atrocities in the French capital a few months ago).  Raymond rejoined Liv for three more Theatre Of Tragedy songs: Cassandra, On Whom The Moon Doth Shine and Image. Liv Kristine performed another solo track in the form of Panic, from her Libertine album before four more Theatre Of Tragedy songs with Raymond Rohonyi: Let You Down, Siren, Machine and Black As The Devil Painteth.

They took a bow and left the stage, but the half-full-yet-lively audience were screaming for more. Liv Kristine happily obliged and performed Commute with Raymond followed by Love Decay (much to the delight of a fellow at the back that she dedicated it to) and the encore was drawn to a close with a beautiful performance of Der Tanz der Schatten.

Liv Kristine’s performance perfectly showcased her varied styles of songs through her solo history and her time in Theatre Of Tragedy. The genres shifted from gothic to pop-rock to industrial metal with each song. We saw different sides to Liv Kristine as a singer that we don’t see in her work with Leaves’ Eyes which is quite refreshing. The addition of Raymond Rohonyi to this tour was a brilliant idea. Their chemistry onstage took the performance to another level and it was beautiful. It certainly whetted the audience’s appetite for more. One can only hope that some way down the road, these two can reunite on tour or even in the studio for more solo work.

All in all this was a great show. Seeing such a fantastic performance from Liv Kristine with Raymond Rohonyi definitely felt like Christmas came early.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing Liv Kristine before the show. Check out the interview below

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– DJ Scott Hollis