Having paid attention to a number of Manchester's finest hostelries it was quite late in the day when myself and Son No.2 arrived at the venue thus missing both support acts. The first thing we noticed was that the place was by no means sold out, I'd say two thirds full at most which pleasingly made it easier to get to the bar and then find a nice place just in front of the microphone stand of bassist Ox which was as good a place as any. As the venue holds 1500 people I suppose that Lordi could be fairly pleased with the numbers and I would definitely suggest that most of those in attendance would have gone home happy and would most certainly recommend the band both musically and visually.
The band led by the charismatic Mr. Lordi came on slightly late (by about ten minutes)which ultimately necessitated dropping Hulking Dynamo from the set which had been included in previous shows. Straight away they hit a groove with We're Not Bad For The Kids (We're Worse) the infectious opener from the current album To Beast or Not to Beast which set the tone for the rest of the set – melodic pop metal with Alice Cooper-like theatrics.
Lordi may well be perceived as a novelty act here in the UK thanks to their 2006 Eurovision victory but they have a fine arsenal of tight songs which would actually work well without the costumes and props. That said, theatrical side really added to the spectacle especially during the keyboard solo (and I really hate solo spots) and whilst there is very little original in the way Lordi present themselves their comic book schtick is well-worked and presented and in a world where everything is going to hell in a handcart their brand of escapist fun is timely.
Liberally sprinkling tunes from The Arockalypse was a fine idea but newer songs especially Schizo Doll, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I'm the Best, new single The Riff and the brilliantly sweary Sincerely With Love went down a treat. Hard Rock Hallelujah followed by Would You Love a Monsterman rounded off a highly enjoyable evening's entertainment. Let's hope that the band can build and sustain a UK audience and continue visiting our shores for many years to come.