IMPERIAL AGE / SERPENTYNE - Ivory Blacks, Glasgow 03.02.19
PHOTO CREDITS: PLAN9NINE PHOTOGRAPHY
The venue is Ivory Blacks in Glasgow and I’m there early to secure a spot for this evening’s adventure. I’m planning on being whisked away on a magical journey consisting of the supernatural, mystical and the fantastic through symphonic metal music by one of Russia’s greatest touring bands, IMPERIAL AGE.
A cold and wet night in Glasgow is not the best night to be out and about in the city centre and I guess even people who had tickets for IMPERIAL AGE felt the same. I’ll be polite and say the venue was under attended with regards to paying customers. By the time the opening act, SERPENTYNE came on, I counted under 20 souls in attendance. I could not help but feel sorry for the band as they looked out at the empty venue as they walked on stage. Still, this did not hinder their enthusiasm and they came on stage and gave it their all. This was the first time I’d seen SERPENTYNE play live and I was impressed! Their mix of metal/folk and rock with Celtic undertones was hypnotic and I became lost in the music, occasionally taking some photos when the lighting tech hit the big on-switch to illuminate the stage. Unfortunately, stage right was not lit as well as stage left, and the guitarist was engulfed in darkness unless he stepped in towards the centre stage and only then could the audience catch a glimpse of the axe-man.
SERPENTYNE played extremely well the guitarist in the shadows was particular awesome and Maggiebeth’s vocals was both haunting and beautiful. I’d highly recommend that you check them out and if you can, catch them live.
The evening’s main act was about to take to the stage and I did another head count and there was now around 30 people in the audience. Such low figures would surely put a band off from returning to Glasgow? I’ve seen it happen before with Hank Willams III who played to 15 people! Well…I was glad I managed to see IMPERAL AGE perform. Coming all the way from Moscow to Glasgow is a long trip to play to an empty room, but this band is truly professional, and they came on stage with grace and pride. Alexander Osipov’s vocal is powerful and melodic and he stands and belts out his lines with ease, it’s amazing to watch and listen to such musical talent. My eye was drawn to his arm which was strapped up in a sling. At one point the vocals suddenly dropped and the audience could not hear the band sing. The feed was still going to the band’s in-ear monitors, so it took a few seconds for them to realise there was an issue. When the song ended Osipov’s peered up the back of the room and asked, “What the fuck was that?” The room fell silent and a voice retorted to the affect that the vocals had just dropped and then came back on. I felt the engineer’s pain as much as I did Alexander Osipov’s. In a second it was over, and the next song kicked in.
The whole band looked great dressed in costumes that reflect a medieval, bygone age. The songs were both beautiful and powerful, played impeccably. The band know how to perform, and I can only hope that the rest of their tour draws bigger crowds.
From a photographic point of view, Ivory Blacks has decent lighting, however black spots stage right needs to be adjusted and perhaps the audio fault investigated further. All week I’ve been inspired to play IMPERIAL AGE and I’d definitely hope to see them again.
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