Alestorm: An Experience in a Review- By Emma Cresswell

For starters I am a ‘Noob’. For those who don’t know what a ‘Noob’ is, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as “A person who is inexperienced in a particular sphere or activity”. Alestorm at O2 Guildhall on the 29th February 2016 was my first EVER live music concert and for someone that dislikes crowds and bad smells, you can imagine how my experience went down. When I arrived at Guildhall I got in the queue, I was standing with many other pirate metal fans that were probably there to see a band they have followed religiously for many years… and then there was me, smiley, wearing a sparkly bow and pink lip-gloss. To say I stood out like a sore thumb would be a major understatement; it was completely obvious that I was a ‘Noob’ and I am pretty sure the fans could smell my fear.

I eventually stumbled into the main event after tripping over the quite obviously sign-posted step covering wires; we were off to a great start. The first band playing were a Swedish group called ‘Blood Bound’, they were supporting Alestorm at this particular concert, their stage presence was good and certainly got the crowd interested as they were coming in for the main event.

Once their set was over, the transformation on stage to fit the style of Alestorm was somewhat confusing and disturbing at the same time. It included a goose coming out of a banana and a giant rubber duck, but, I will admit it definitely got attention from the crowd and it was an interesting gesture to remove themselves from the rock and roll stereotype of leather jackets and fire themes. For those like me who had never heard of Alestorm until a few months before the concert, they are a Scottish pirate metal band and are formed of five members: Christopher Bowes, Gareth Murdock, Peter Alcorn, Elliot Vernon and Máté Bodor. My compliments especially go out to lead singer Christopher Bowes for his amazing connection with the audience, he definitely understood the needs and wants of his fans and goes to (in my eyes) extreme lengths to provide these. For example, throwing an inflatable sheep into crowd and throwing beer at the thirsty fans. Although I am not a heavy metal fan, I thought this type of connection was essential to create good music and I enjoyed every single one of Alestorm’s songs even though I had only ever heard some of them nor have I ever been a fan of the genre. My favourite song was probably ‘Drink’ and the one line I remember is “We are here to drink your beer”, and I thought the concept was simple, yet relatable, especially to myself as a student.

Go ahead, check it out.

As I was standing in the crowd watching Alestorm play I watched everyone around me, wondering what they were doing and if I should follow them. There was one man actually dressed as a pirate! I mean, I’m pretty sure that’s normal attire for a pirate metal gig, but I was fascinated by the concept. Anyway, as the concert drew to an end they sang a song I actually knew the words to, the only reason I knew it was because it was a cover of Taio Cruz’s song ‘Hangover’, but in all honesty Alestorm’s cover was so much better, it sounded like it was meant to be sung by heavy metal pirates who got drunk the night before. Everyone in the crowd was head banging to this song and constantly doing the ‘Rock and roll hand sign’, I had to join in at this point and although I decided that head banging was not for me I still had an epic time.


All in all, if you’re looking at going to a live music concert for the very first time, I couldn’t recommend Alestorm more, if you can do pirate metal you can do anything, believe me. If the adrenaline isn’t enough you will crave to listen to their songs on repeat all day and all night. They are still currently on tour so if you get the chance grab some tickets and go along; it’s a great night, even if you are a girly girl like me.

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