Review: White Wizzard at the Waterfront, Norwich

By Georgi Bomb

Currently celebrating the release of second album Flying Tigers, White Wizzard take a break from supporting Iced Earth on their current UK tour to play some smaller, more intimate shows of their own.

Intimate is certainly the key word here; a very small handful of people turned out to catch these guys, who arrived a rather fashionable, three hours late.  Main support for tonight were Obsessive Compulsive from Manchester. An interesting and almost modern twist on the over-played and in my opinion, quite dull grunge genre. The positive here is that Obsessive Compulsive seem to add energy and chunky riffs to liven it up, avoiding a fall into the generic category.

Ironically introducing Decay of Hope, with a smile, vocalist Keli possesses the horsey rasp found with Courtney Love in Hole but completely avoids imitation. Obsessive Compulsive seem to care very little that they are performing to a near empty room and play like it was filled wall-to-wall with fans, resembling their superb performance at Bloodstock Open Air earlier this year.

In keeping with the theme of arriving late, White Wizzard then seemed to develop issues with setting up; a rather uncomfortable sound check was watched on by the small group of fans in attendance, their starting track coming on too early and all in all, an air of sympathy was filling the room. After one false start, the band’s walk-on track was played and all technical difficulties were forgotten. Vocalist Michael Gremio demands your undivided attention as he introduces each track while the other members move about the stage in complete rock star style.

The stage quickly becomes too small for the collective rock ego so they leap into the sparse crowd, much to their delight and continue the show, putting a whole new spin on the term: intimate gig. Fight to the Death, Hot Speed GTO and lead single from Flying Tigers, Starchild all go down exceptionally well, with small conga-like circle pits and old-school moshing breaking out for impeccably short intervals. The addictive heavy metal sound, seemingly fresh from the 80s, and mightily impressive vocal range of Gremio made any previous issues long forgotten.

Despite a disappointing turn out, White Wizzard continued to push on without it affecting their performance and seemed to enjoy their time in Norwich -hopefully next time there will be more people in support of the L.A clan.

Flying Tigers by White Wizzard is out now through Earache Records

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