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Dames of Darkness Day One
Written by Ton Dekkers   
Saturday, 22 August 2015

Dames of Darkness Day One @ Robin 2 Bilston (UK)
Saturday 9 May 201
5

 

The jubilee edition of ‘The Dames of Darkness’ event (5th Edition) took place over two days on 9th-10th May 2015 at the excellent Robin 2 venue in Bilston, West Midlands (UK). The event starts outside the venue in the hotels nearby. There you already meet old friends and make new ones. A ride with some of those friends made the trip to the venue very easy and convenient. At arrival quite a number of usual suspect are present in front of the door. The various hands and/or hugs are great to start a festival.

Sirenia 


The first band hitting the stage was The Fall of Eve — a symphonic rock project formed by Laura Tracey (Evangeline) with Michael Moffat (on guitars) from central Scotland. Opening a festival is hard and it was also their first appearance on stage. Nevertheless Evangeline seemed comfortable with her top hat and cane. Despite a little nerves at the start, the set was a surprisingly good opener. The songs were solid with some big riffs and good bass lines. The powerful and seductive vocals combined with a good stage performance completed the good feeling you got with the sound and band. Hats off for David Holmer (the organizer) for giving a new-comer such an opportunity.

 

The Fall o fEve 

 

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With twin female vocals Aonia tried to conquer the venue. It was an energetic set and both Melissa Adams and Joanna Robinson do have sufficient chemistry but it didn’t worked out optimally. Technical capability of this band is nice to hear and the show is nice to watch. The Iron Maiden cover was not the best choice. At the end Philippa Ricketts (Divided We Fall) joined the stage to increase female power. Sufficient talent on stage, a good performance and a right positioning on the bill.

 

Aonia 

 

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Different was the set of Bad Pollyanna. Whatever you think about their music, the stage appearance was intense. Front woman Olivia Hyde knows how to entertain. The show is more of darkened gothic pop and for sure not symphonic. This set was brought with a lot of energy and clearly a lot of fun. The easy accessible songs kept your attention and the energy went over to the crowd. The music with bouncing beats is an interesting niche and with that a refreshing element.

 

 Bad Pollyanna

 

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A very pleasant surprise was Spanish Rainover. It was great to see Andrea Casanova perform. I met her last year when she was just a visitor. And I was pleased that this very nice person also was more than capable to deliver a great show on stage. Their special UK T-shirt showed that they played more gigs than just the festival. The numbers of shirts in the crowd showed that they created already quite a fan base. And not surprising with the quality on stage. Not only Andrea’s vocals, also the guitar and synth are contributing elements in the entertaining show. The result was a long lasting queue after the show. It looked like all wanted a (signed) album and/or a (at the end sold-out) UK T-shirt.

 

Rainover 

 

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Fiona Creaby is returned as the front-woman of the local based band Apparition [the band ‘hosts’ the whole event]. It’s great to see this charming lady with a great voice back on stage. Fiona took over again from Grace Méridan after a break of five years. At the Robin 2 her voice was an excellent fit to the energetic sound on stage. A special word of thanks to organizer David Holmer, now the bass player; already after 4 shows the event is fantastic.

 

 Apparition

 

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Maltese gothic doom metallers Weeping Silence had a challenge, being in a different spectrum of metal and after an energetic set of Bad Pollyanna. I met the band before at Little Devil (a music bar in Tilburg – The Netherlands). At that time Diane Camenzuli was quite new in the band. Just like now they suffered a little by the limited space on stage. All other elements that make a show are better. The sound is much more matured. Diane gives her own twist to the songs of the last album recorded with a different singer. The balance between the male and female vocals is great. The interaction within the band is optimized. The musical performance is excellent. That made at the end that the crowd started to get into their dark and melancholic music. The stage performance could be a little more interactive but nevertheless the show was for me one of the best of the day.

 

 Weeping Silence

Weeping Silence 

 

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Now it was time for the French symphonic metal band Whyzdom with stunning singer Marie Rouyer to hit the stage. I was curious and at the same time a little anxious about their show. For me, the latest album is still one of the highlights of the year but it’s very complex and challenging. How would that be live on stage? For sure Marie has a great voice — but she has to reach the required highs and has to be able to interpret the various moods when expected. She convinced not only me that she’s more than capable doing so. And she is also proved to be a stunning performer. The amazing progressive sound and impressive orchestrations and the excellent guitar work grab your attention immediately. Their performance was visually, musically and charismatically great. Wow – it was fantastic! Every moment was immense and brilliant. For me it was definitely the best show of the night. I’m already looking forward to see them again at FemME (Female Metal Event) in October.

 

Whyzdom

 Whyzdom

 

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The headliner Sirenia from Norway has a great reputation. And a 7th album that will be released a couple of days later. That made it very interesting to see what they would deliver on stage. The crowd reacted very enthusiastically when they entered the stage with of course the most and loudest cheers for Ailyn. The set covered quite a number of new songs and also did not forget older favorites. Sirenia is a relatively small band with two guitars and no bass. It’s hard to say whether that’s wrong live but it surely would add some power to the show. Some fans are a little disappointed as there was totally no merchandise available and even more the new album was not available either. However Ailyn compensated this by being available for numerous photo requests.

 

 Sirenia

Sirenia 

 

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It took a pleasant while to decide to go leave the venue and go to the hotel. When you can talk to friends after some really nice gigs, it’s hard to say goodbye. But the idea of having a second day was a good compensation for this first closing.

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