at The Corporation, Sheffield, U.K., March 6, 2014

Royal Hunt

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 22 years since Royal Hunt’s debut album was released and this was their first ever headlining show outside of London. This makes it all the more incredulous that the Corporation was far from sold out. Whether this is down to austerity beginning to bite or just general apathy from the gig going public or whatever the reason the absentee fans missed out big time.The return of lead singer DC Cooper after 14 years away made the trip down to Sheffield all the more worthwhile and with their best album since Paradox and arguably the finest of their career, this was a show not to be missed.

Although Royal Hunt continued to make classy albums after the original departure of Cooper with singers of the calibre of John West and Mark Boals, the band was never better than with Cooper at the helm.

Perhaps it’s testament to the talents of Cooper that the setlist covered most of the eras of the band from “Epilogue” and “Running Wild” originally sung by Henrik Brockmann to the John West fronted era of “The Mission” and “Cold City Lights” with each delivered to perfection.

For most bands, the failure to answer the clamour from the fans to play one of their most popular songs (“Far Away”) could be fatal yet Royal Hunt were able to sidestep the call with songs of the calibre of “Half Past Loneliness”, “Message To God” and the “Last Goodbye” showing the incredible depth of their back catalogue that flows from the pen of Andre Andersen.

In a show of many highlights it was perhaps the simple, haunting melody of “Clown in the Mirror” featuring just Cooper and keyboardist Andre Andersen at the start that proved to be the show stopping moment although the overblown drama of “A Life To Die For”, possibly their most ambitious song to date, was worth the price of admission on its own. Cooper on these two songs in particular showed his class and versatility with a voice so rich and smooth combined with a power and range that few can match. With a performance as commanding as this few can come close to matching him.

Royal Hunt are peerless. Few bands can match the majesty of the band in full flow and after such an astonishing performance of premier class symphonic Rock, it makes the low turnout all the more baffling. So many people bemoan the state of the live scene yet when a band of this calibre pays a rare visit to these shores the least we can do is get out and support them to keep this music alive. Let’s hope that Royal Hunt were not deterred by the attendance and return soon and if they do let’s make sure we show them the appreciation that they deserve otherwise we only have ourselves to blame for the decline of the music we all love.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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