Paradise Lost

Vega, Copenhagen - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Paradise Lost was having another stab at the Tragic Idol tour, and this time around they were doing several Scandinavian dates (among others), kicking it off in Copenhagen no less!

”It’s fucking Tuesday, but let’s pretend its Friday night alright?!”
- Nick Holmes (vocals)

Support band Outshine had done and acceptable job at warming the crowd up, and beers had been flowing freely despite the rather steep prices at Vega. Gone now was everything that reminded us of support bands though, visible on the stage as soon as the curtain was pulled aside was a beautiful Tragic Idol backdrop, two stage drops with crucified angelic women, and not much room for the band. This was the small one of the two rooms this venue have to offer, but we’ve seen Paradise Lost in here before on several occasions, so hopes and atmosphere were high as the Brits (and Swede) took the stage to a loud cheer from the crowd!

We were quickly grabbed by the neck hair and forced to headbang as the band opened with the classic Embers Fire, and the band members weren’t late in letting us know that they took this seriously even though it was a school night and all.
Aaron Aedy impressed as always, without doing anything out of the ordinary he just kept on cementing his role as the happiest guy on stage, and it was good to see Adrian Erlandsson behind the drums (he was missing from a few of the gigs we saw last year), but what was most positive for me was to see Stephen Edmondson break out of his usual cone of celibacy and smile to and connect with the audience. It makes much more of a difference than some might think about, and this really boosted my experience of the show.
No one seemed to be in a better mood than Nick Holmes though, who was cheerfully chatting away and making jokes as often as he could. One point that made me smile was when he answered one of the song-requesting guys in just front of him by saying “No, we’re not going to play Small Town Boy. Look, you don’t need to shout things out, you can see the setlist right here.”. Later, Holmes confessed to having a problem with remembering the order of songs, as somebody had stolen said setlist from him...
Over by the other side of the stage, I could make out that Gregor Mackintosh had gone through yet another style-change, now with an undercut and long, thin dreads, but his stage-persona was still the same as it has been for a very long time; slow head-swaying combined with long, hard stares at his feet. I could have hoped for more, but honestly, the way the rest of the guys were making up for the slack there was absolutely nothing to be sorry about!

“They promised us they would install air-condition last time we were here, but they haven’t fucking kept that promise!”
- Holmes (vocals)

The stellar delivery from Paradise Lost was directly reflected in the audience as well. The large body of people were really rocking out now, headbanging hard and shouting loudly. The heat was intense in the small room, sweat was dripping and it was smelly, but no one gave it another thought because we were singing and shouting our way through an amazing set of songs; not necessarily delivering any great surprises, but catering to almost everyone’s favourite classics, old and new but not so much in the middle.
I have always had a love for Pity The Sadness, and it was great to hear Holmes trying out some deeper, gruffer vocals for it, and although they didn’t quite reach the aggressiveness of days past, it was enough to get the crowd going, and when the time came we offered up a mighty “morning” roar in answer to his half-growled verses. This was, of course, nothing compared to the As I Die roar that would come later on, but still impressive!
That the crowd was up and about was never more evident than exactly in As I Die, where one guy climbed on stage for a short visit before stage-diving out into the mass of bodies again – this was really quite surprising, not just to me, but also to the band who really didn’t know how to react for a short second, but then went back to smiling and playing, showing that they had no issues with people entertaining themselves in this manner at their show.

If anything, this was probably the most comedic (and we’re not talking unintentional either) Paradise Lost show I have ever seen, and there were several times when broad smiles gave way to outright laughter, like the comments mentioned above and more like them, or the little dance Holmes provided during Hallowed Land. Or the fact that the title track off their latest record was presented as Tragic Noodle...
True to style, the evening ended with a sharp but witty comment, which probably also held some truth to it:
Nick: We’ve enjoyed this evening more than usual, probably because we didn’t visit the Elephant Bar first. That usually ends in tears...
Aaron: Or beers...
Nick: Or queers. That’s for you!


Embers Fire
Hallowed Land
Soul Courageous
Honesty In Death
Pity The Sadness
Praise Lamented Shade
One Second
In This We Dwell
As I Die
Tragic Idol
The Enemy
The Rise of Denial
Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us
The Last Time

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