Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime -Greatest Hits Tour – w/Gin Annie – The Underworld, Camden, London – 29/08/2019

Geoff Tate_s Operation Mindcrime Underworld Poster

Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime
Greatest Hits Tour
w/Gin Annie
The Underworld, Camden, London
29/08/2019
Review by Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King

Having attended Bloodstock at the beginning of August for the first time in what seemed like an eternity (it was actually six years, but you know how time can play tricks on us!), I was in the mood for some more live music. Tickets for this had been booked well in advance so it was a gig I was really looking forward to.

Having seen Queensryche perform a stonker at Bloodstock with the fantastic Todd le Torre, I wanted to see just how Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime would measure up. Would they have the magic of the “old” Queensryche (although I had only seen the “original” Queensryche once before at High Voltage Festival way back in 2011 and, if I’m honest, they were pretty dire then!) or would they just sound like a covers band, which, I guess, technically, they are!?

So, the venue? The Underworld in London’s Camden Town. I, personally, like The Underworld. Its small so you don’t get the humungous amounts of people but large enough to have a decent crowd. There are a few pillars (holding up the ceiling I’m guessing!!) so depending on where you stand, your view could be obstructed a bit, but it really is only a problem if the downstairs (half a dozen steps down) is jam-packed!

So, amazingly for me, I arrived at the venue in plenty of time, so I actually managed to watch the support band (something I very rarely do!) I must admit I hadn’t heard of them before the gig but then I was expecting a band with ‘Wolf’ in their name for some reason!! Must be the blonde in me!!

Anyway, the support were a hard rock band called ‘Gin Annie’ and I must say I was VERY impressed. Hailing from Wolverhampton in the UK they feature (and I quote this from their website) “heavy guitar driven songs whilst maintaining a melodic vocal style; hook-laden choruses, and classy melodies.” I couldn’t have put it better myself! They were absolutely fantastic and judging by the reaction they were getting from some of the crowd, I am guessing they were already pretty well known (late to the party AGAIN!!)

They had a contagious energy that just made you want to get up and dance along with them, and if I had drunk one or two vodkas, I think I probably would have done. The guitarists were awesome, and the singer’s voice just blew me away. There was nothing fancy about them. They are a good old-fashioned heavy rock band, who obviously enjoy what they do. I don’t think there was a time when all five of them weren’t up on that stage smiling! A great sign of a band that work hard but have immense pleasure in what they do.

They played nine tracks in total and I must say I was rather disappointed when they had to leave the stage! I wanted more…..so on my way out I bought the CD from the merch stand and had it in my car for over a week! Instead of getting bored with it each time I played it, I loved it more and more!! I would really love to see these guys as a headline

band, and I will now make it my mission to see them as such!

Outstanding work guys!!

So, after a break of what felt like forever (I don’t understand why there must be such a long break between supports and the headliners. Festivals manage a quick turnaround, so why can’t they?) it was Geoff Tate’s turn. I was looking forward to it, but I must admit I also had a bit of trepidation about the gig. Going by the previous time I had seen him perform, and reports of other gigs over the years, I wondered if it was just all going to be a waste of time.

The band came on first, playing the introduction to track ‘Neue Regel’ followed by the main man himself, to rapturous applause and cheering!

Now, I have been a Queensryche fan for as long as I can remember and to hear all of my favourite Queensryche tracks being played right there in front of me was awesome BUT….and yes there is a but….there was just a little something missing for me! I loved Geoff’s voice during his heyday, but I don’t think he can quite cut some of the notes now. And yes, before I get bombarded with messages of hate etc, I know singers can tend to lose their voice as they get older, but this is a review and I have to be honest!

Despite this, he did do the songs justice, but then he should have done, shouldn’t he? He has been singing these songs for three decades and should know them inside out and upside down. The heroes of the evening, for me, were the musicians he had backing him, Felix Bohnke, the drummer from EdGuy and Avantasia being one of them.

These guys were simply magnificent and if you closed your eyes it could quite easily have been the Queensryche of yesteryear up there on that stage. Personally, I think they are all too good to be in what could only be described as a Queensryche covers band but if that’s what they are happy doing, then good luck to them.

I had heard of Geoff being somewhat arrogant (something I really do not like), and this did come across occasionally while he was onstage and again, I am ducking to avoid anything that could be thrown at me at this point!

Overall, though, Geoff and the boys did a grand job. They played all the old Queensryche classics from ‘Operation:Mindcrime’ (the track) to ‘Empire’ to crowd favourite ‘Silent Lucidity’ and more. I am gutted I missed them on the tour when they played the whole of Operation Mindcrime 1 and 2 but this gig did make up for that.

So, Gin Annie get massive double thumbs up, for me, being the better band on the night and I WILL be going to see them again, while Operation:Mindcrime, although great, came in second!

Gin Annie – Setlist:
New Bad Habit
All I Want
Fallin’
Damage
Next 2 Me
Dying To Live Again
Chains
Love Ain’t Here
Born To Rock n Roll

Gin Annie Links:

WELCOME TO THE HOME OF GIN ANNIE


https://www.facebook.com/GinAnnieUK/

Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime – Setlist:
Neue Regel
Screaming In Digital
Operation:Mindcrime
Speak
Spreading The Disease
The Mission
Take Hold Of The Flame
Empire
I Dream In Infrared
The Lady Wore Black
Walk In The Shadows
Breaking The Silence
I Don’t Believe In Love
Encore:
Silent Lucidity
Jet City Woman
Eyes Of A Stranger

Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime Links:

Operation Mindcrime Tour


https://www.facebook.com/operationmindcrimeband/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with THE MARIANA HOLLOW

LOGO

EMQ’s with THE MARIANA HOLLOW

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London based Alternative Metal band The Mariana Hollow! Huge thanks to them for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Richie – My name is Richie and I play guitar in The Mariana Hollow. We’ve been in existence for around 10 years now and have released 3 albums – “Coma Hear”’, “Velvet Black Sky” and ‘”The Abandoned Parade”, as well as an EP called “Scars, Not Wounds”.

How did you come up with your band name?

Richie – We really struggled to find a name that would suit our music when we first started, but as we started to play people our demos, a lot of them remarked that it made them think of the ocean. The Mariana Hollow was the original name given to the Marianas Trench (which is the deepest part of the sea) and it fitted perfectly.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Richie – We are an English/Portuguese band, but as one of the English chaps in the band I can confirm that the UK scene is absolutely bursting with incredible bands, especially at the heavier end of the spectrum. I think we’re quite unusual within the UK scene as although we have our more aggressive moments, there are no screamed vocals or breakdowns in our music! We try and keep our songs at the forefront of what we do and we’re not really influenced by any one genre or sound.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

Richie – Our latest release is the video for ‘Swear to God’, from our new album “The Abandoned Parade”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU9ZwI2cI5M

Who have been your greatest influences?

Richie – We all have pretty diverse and different tastes, but some of the bands we all love are: Alice in Chains, A Perfect Circle, Katatonia, Faith No More, Deftones and Pantera.
Personally, I am a huge fan of The Haunted, Days of the New, Type O Negative and loads of obscure UK 90’s bands like Send No Flowers and Headswim.

What first got you into music?

Gabriel – My dad is also a guitar player, so since a very young age I felt compelled to play an instrument even though it was never imposed upon me.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Gabriel – Mike Patton, I think the musical outcome could be very difficult to predict.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Gabriel – Hellfest, it has such a diverse crowd and cool vibe, I’d really enjoy playing there.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Spinky – I have never received any ‘weird’ gifts, but I have received some really lovely things – flowers, chocolates, and one time an amazing picture book of live photos of the band which was really awesome.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Spinky – I think it would be to firstly thank them for sticking with us on our long (and sometimes stop-start) journey as a band! But also to thank them for being so supportive of our new album. It’s been really amazing to see the responses to the album, and to know that all our hard work has paid off and that people are really enjoying listening to it. It’s been more than we’d dreamed of.

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Spinky – I think it would have to be Dimebag Darrell. He was such an extraordinary talent, and was taken from us in such shocking circumstances.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Spinky – The thing I love the most is having been able to create such strong bonds with my bandmates, through our emotional connection to the music we make and play together. Being able to write songs and share your creative outlets with your closest friends is a very unique and special experience. It can take you to all sorts of places emotionally, and on journeys that you may have never thought possible, but the outcome is always totally worth it – and often an unexpected surprise.

I think the worst thing is the difficulty that bands face in getting decent shows, working with decent promoters and getting their music out to the right people. Although the internet has helped in a way, it has also hindered the experience – as the internet is saturated with music (not all of it good), and less folk are inclined to support live music, especially on the smaller scales. It’s so sad seeing great small venues die out.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Richie – That everyone would pay for music that they love.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Gabriel – Alice In Chains – Facelift

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Spinky – I love my CD collection and always will!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Spinky – I would actually say the acoustic show we played for the launch of “The Abandoned Parade” was my favourite. It was such a genuine and warm atmosphere with many friends and loved ones there to support us. The set list was great, and I think we transferred the songs from heavy to acoustic versions really well. Everyone was on form, and it felt great performing the songs in such an intimate place – and to finally be able to share the album with everyone.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Gabriel – I’m a part-time musician and even though I take it very seriously, it’s a passion project. I’d be doing what I do for a living, which is graphic design.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Richie – If living or dead, it would be:
Peter Steele (Type O Negative)/ Carrie Fisher/ Bill Hicks/ Peter Dolving (The Haunted)/ Phoebe Waller-Bridge

What’s next for the band?

Gabriel – At the moment we’re trying to promote the record as much as we can, and we’re looking to release at least one more video as a single. We also have an EP’s worth of material which we’re planning to release, hopefully within a year’s time.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Gabriel – Facebook & Youtube mostly. To stream the new album we’re mostly directing people to our Bandcamp page, however, the album is also available on Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer & Google Play.
https://www.facebook.com/themarianahollow/
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMarianaHollow
https://themarianahollow.bandcamp.com/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Spinky – I’m going to say biscuit – as they’d live in my biscuit tin if I had any 😉

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.