Accept / Wolf

17 March 2011

The Garage, London


IMPORTANT NOTE:Due to a technical malfunction with Johan’s camera, unfortunately the bulk of the photos from this show were corrupted and hence we are only able to provide a small number of Wolf.


Wolf have steadily made progress in terms of their profile in the UK, however it felt like that didn’t count for much tonight.Whilst the Garage stage is hardly large, with Accept’s gear already on it, Wolf were left with the bare minimum of space and consequently there was no room for movement.


With no backdrop either, it’s only the matching Wolf guitar straps that identify them to the casual observer and it did appear that the bulk of tonight’s crowd was here for Accept alone.Regardless, the Swedes do their best to win over those willing to listen with particular highlights being The Bite and I Will Kill Again.


A new track, Skull Crusher, from the band’s forthcoming Legions Of The Bastards was previewed and suggested Wolf won’t be straying to far from the sound they are known for with twin guitars and the helium high voice of Niklas Stålvind.Not a bad set under the circumstances but I expect Wolf to fair better at Bloodstock this summer with a more supportive audience.


Wolf setlist:

Evil Star / The Bite / Voodoo / Steelwinged Savage Reaper / Moonlight / Skull Crusher / Hail Caesar / I Will Kill Again / Speed On


My only previous encounter with Accept was at their headline reunion show at Sweden Rock 2005, fronted then of course by Udo Dirkschneider.Aside from the fact that the whole festival seemed to have headed out to see them and so without video screens I could barely see them, it was an enjoyable trip through the German’s classic material.


After that tour, Dirkschneider headed back to his own band U.D.O. declining to continue with Accept.Having unsuccessfully tried to replace Dirkschneider once before with David Reece and the unsatisfying Eat The Heat album, the rest of band were left in limbo with no plans to continue.However, on meeting up for a jam to “blow off steam”, guitarist Wolf Hoffman and bassist Peter Baltes were advised of a singer who would happily join them at the session.Quickly realising they had stumbled upon someone special, former TT Quick frontman Mark Tornillo turned out to be the man to fill Dirkschneider’s shoes and the Metal Heart was beating once more.


To say the resulting Blood Of The Nations was a return to form would be an understatement.Widely praised by the critics, the album was exactly what was required for Accept to be “accepted” with their new frontman and in the process managed to pretty much put everything released under the U.D.O. banner in the shade.It’s no surprise that Accept chose to include as many as five tracks from that album, with the pick of the bunch being the opening Teutonic Terror and later The Abyss.


Of course it’s the Accept classics where comparisons will be made and Tornillo has no problems taking them on.Whilst his voice was a tad less coarse and shrill than Dirkschneider, his range was wider and less strained, while still retaining sufficient grit.Clearly enjoying his role, Tornillo sported a wicked grin for much of the set and his likeable demeanour goes down well with the crowd.


Most visible on stage was guitarist Wolf Hoffmann, who not only impressed with his guitar work but also dominated in stage presence.Able to direct proceedings without actual having to say anything to the crowd he came across as the ring master tonight.Bassist Peter Baltes also took an upfront role, whilst the small stage meant Herman Frank was mainly consigned to the wing, though his contribution on guitar couldn’t be faulted.


No doubt this was a small venue for Accept and it wasn’t sold out.Accept never made the same headway in the UK as they did on mainland Europe and the fact that Turisas are playing just down the road tonight probably didn’t help.However, this does not detract from the band’s show and having bought their tickets, the faithful here are treated to dedicated performance.


Whilst, given the location of tonight’s gig, London Leatherboys may have been a glaring omission, you can’t really complain about a set with the likes of Restless & Wild, Metal Heart, Fast As A Shark and Balls To The Wall.  


Accept setlist:

Teutonic Terror / Bucket Full of Hate / Starlight / Breaker / New World Comin' / Restless and Wild / Son of a Bitch / Metal Heart / Neon Nights / Bulletproof / The Abyss / Aiming High / Princess of the Dawn / Up To The Limit / Burning / Fast As A Shark / Pandemic / Balls to the Wall