Saturday evening at Bloodstock 2014 marks the first time I’ve seen Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho perform without any corpse paint on his face and quite frankly it doesn’t seem to make any difference so I’m not entirely sure what the point of it is…
That aside, he leads the rest of the band into a blinding opener, going from ‘Hate Me’, to ‘Needled 24/7‘ to ‘Bodom Beach Terror’, the only drawback of which being that as ‘Needled…’ is my personal favourite of theirs there wasn’t as much to look forward to for the rest of the 13 song set.
As Alexi asks if the assembled throng would like to hear something fast and heavy (I don’t think I need to go into the response), Bodom plough through ‘Hate Crew Deathroll’, following it up with a very well received ‘Lake Bodom’.
The band are fantastic throughout, playing tight and fast on every song like their lives depended on it. Drummer Jaska Raatikainen playing particularly well, but the real hero of the performance is keyboard player Janne Wirman, who insists on pretty much playing everything one handed. Whilst drinking a beer with the other. For the whole set.
Whilst this may not seem that big a deal – it’s only keyboards right? – when you realise he is matching Alexi note for note during guitar solos, never mind the rest of it, trust me when I say it’s damn impressive.
After a barrage of metal bangers including, but not limited to, ‘Are You Dead Yet?’, ‘Silent Night, Bodom Night’ and ‘Bodom After Midnight’ it is time for the final singalong of the day of “I don’t give a flying fuck mother fucker” to popular soccer mum hit ‘In Your Face’.
I may not be a diehard Bodom fan, but that was definitely the best I’ve seen them, full of virtuoso playing, songs you can bang your head to, lyrics you can swear along to and a diminutive frontman you can throw your horns at.
Photos by Sabrina Ramdoyal