Live Reviews

The Sword – Live

with Gentlemen’s Pistols
The Barfly, London

The Sword have once again returned to Britain and fresh off a night of supporting Ozzy fucking Osbourne (tick that off The Swords amazing bucket list!), they treat us to one hell of a show at the Barfly!

But! If there is one band you don’t want supporting you its Leeds’ own Gentleman’s Pistols. Why? It’s because they’re dead fucking good, that’s why. I find myself watching these guys and feeling incredibly proud that our populous can produce such music in a day that has been heavily saturated with the plagues of ‘krunk’ and ‘emo’. Sure, the band look like the bloke in the Joy of Sex books but when they tear through ‘Out Of The Eye’, ‘The Widow Maker’ and ‘Lying And Fooling’ you can’t not like these lads. As always, a sterling performance from one of the country’s best and a hard act to follow.

Anybody who has seen the Sword play live before should have very high expectations. They are super-tight and have the ability to fill any space with their huge sound which is enough to win over most metal heads. With relentless riffs, even doubters have to respect the stage presence of the band the calibre of their music. Not that any bothered turning up to the packed barfly tonight.  ‘Freya’, ‘How Heavy This Axe’, ‘Barael’s Blade’ all see outings tonight with the epic ‘Iron Swan’ being one of the nights best jams. ‘Winters Wolves’, amongst others, have been given the cosmic-prog treatment that bring a different dynamic to these thundering classics. All these tweaks add something special to The Swords live performance that you simply can’t replicate on record and shows that band are constantly evolving their sound.

We also get the live debut of some of The Sword’s new material of their eagerly anticipated third full length. Even thought the majority in attendance are unfamiliar with the material all of tonight’s songs are met with a pretty fucking rawkus pit that was full on from start to beer-drenched finish.

At the end of the night the sweaty bodies pour out of the Barfly and onto the streets of Camden with everybody knowing that this could be last time they see The Sword in such a small environment. If they keep this up then they won’t be playing tiny venues like the Barfly for very long. A shame, I know but that’s evolution, brother.

The Sword are most definitely set to take their live act to the next level and have all the riffs in the world to back it up. You just wait. I bet you any money that when you’re an old metal head propping up the bar in the Fox or Crobar you’ll be talking to the younger generations about “how it used to be” or “back in the day”, you can wow them with tales of when their favourite band, The Sword, jammed in the Barfly and watch their little jaws hit the floor.

Then you can buy me a pint for being right about this band all along. Cheers.

Tom Lindsey