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Event Info

Orange Goblin
King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
Support: Conan
Doors: 19:00
Age: 14+. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18.
Standard Buy now

“There’s no point in dressing it up. We’re a meat and potatoes heavy metal band. There are so many genres around these days, people have funny ideas about what heavy metal is. But to me, it’s an attitude, it’s a lifestyle, it’s not something you decide to dip into. You either are or you’re not. And it’s for life.” Honest, hard-working, humble and true, Orange Goblin are easy to spot in a world fuelled by bullshit. For the last 30 years, these London-based diehards have tirelessly flown the flag for balls-out heavy metal and maximum rock ‘n’ roll. Driven by passion, persistence and heartfelt love for metal’s dark magic, Orange Goblin have always been a vital force and a risk-free bet. From the boisterous stoner rock uproar of debut album Frequencies From Planet Ten (1997) and the deeper, doomier rumblings of The Big Black (2000), to more recent critically-acclaimed triumphs A Eulogy For The Damned (2012) and The Wolf Bites Back (2018), their contribution to British metal has been vast and enduring, earning them legendary, tribal treasure status among the denim ‘n’ leather legions of the UK and beyond. But while some may be content to trade on past glories, Orange Goblin view heavy metal as a lifelong pursuit. In 2024, they open a new chapter in their heroic saga, marking it with the release of their tenth studio album: Science, Not Fiction. The end result of an eventful and challenging few years for London’s finest, the new album reveals that change and upheaval can have their positive effects. Like everyone else, Orange Goblin were forced to cancel most of their touring plans during the Covid years, but there was still plenty to do in the name of rock ‘n’ roll. “Our soundman had a load of recordings he’d done in recent years and he started to put together a digital live album,” Ben Ward recalls. “It came together pretty easily, so we had somebody overseeing a whole campaign, which involved the band doing a lot of Facebook live stuff, where we’d get pissed up and answer questions from our adoring public! That really helped accelerate the popularity of the live album, Rough & Ready, Live & Loud, and it did so well digitally, we had labels sniffing around, so we did a deal for a vinyl release which came out via Cherry Red Records… who still haven’t sent copies of it to any of the band! [Laughs] It came out on CD too, it did alright, and it filled a hole for us. As hard as Covid was, it was kind of a productive period for us.” Since forming in 1995, Orange Goblin had been an unstoppable and united force, with Ward, Turner, Hoare and bassist Martyn Millard as permanent fixtures. To the surprise of many, Millard announced his departure in 2020, marking his farewell with livestreamed shows in London. With apparent ease, a replacement was swiftly found: Harry Armstrong, a long-time friend and peer of the band, and a multi-talented bastard to boot. “After the final shows with Martyn, we weren’t on the road, so that gave Harry a chance to learn what he needed to learn,” explains Ben. “When we did finally pick up the reins in the live setting again, he was well equipped. It was seamless, really. It was heart-breaking to lose Martin, you know, an original member and my best mate, but Harry stepped into his shoes really well and he was the obvious choice. If I’m honest, it’s been invigorating. We knew Harry from back in the days when he was playing in Hangnail, and even Decomposed before that, and we knew he was an accomplished bass player and an accomplished singer and he’s a great guitar player as well. He contributed to the songwriting and I really think that comes through.” Orange Goblin have made many great albums in the past, but none as deep and dynamic as Science, Not Fiction. From the explosive death-boogie of opener “The Fire At The Centre Of The Earth Is Mine” onwards, the band’s tenth album crackles with energy and belligerence. With the new line-up fizzing with chemistry, the hard rocking likes of “(Not) Rocket Science”, “The Fury Of A Patient Man” and “The Justice Knife” breathe new life into some classic Orange Goblin tropes. Meanwhile, twisted prog-doom detours like “False Hope Diet” and “Cemetary Rats” take the Londoners into epic new territory, with everything from skull-shattering punk ‘n’ roll to transcendent space rock hurled into the swirling brew. “It is a continuation of what we’ve been doing, and that’s because when we write, it’s a big mixing bowl of all of our influences and favourite artists, and we try and create the perfect band that we always wanted to hear,” Ben states. “This album, it’s just more accomplished and mature, I guess. None of us are spring chickens anymore and we’ve got ten albums under our belts now. I feel like we’re more professional in the recording studio, I feel like we’re better musicians and writers, and now with me looking after myself, I feel like my performance is better as well. It’s all moving in the right direction.” Science, Not Fiction was recorded at Woodworm Studios with producer Mike Exeter manning the controls and occasionally making the tea. Isolated in a pretty Oxfordshire village, the studio proved to be the perfect choice for Orange Goblin, whose last few recording experiences have taken place amid the perpetual, stressed out skirmish of London. “Woodworm is like an old chapel that’s been converted into a set of live rooms, with a mixing room upstairs,” says Ben. “We found it through Mike, who’d worked with Tony Iommi there, I think. It just seemed like the perfect environment. There was one village pub and you are miles from anywhere else. For me, and my current lifestyle transition [Ben has quit booze and embraced a healthy lifestyle, documenting his progress on social media], it was ideal, and the others could still go down the pub if they wanted! [Laughs] We did this album over a period of a few weekends, and we could just take our time. We could arrive when we wanted, get in the studio and do what we needed to do, but then have a week away from it and come back with fresh ears. That gave us the opportunity to fix or redo things. So it’s all worked out really well.” Determined to maximise the potential of their latest incarnation, Orange Goblin have poured their hearts and souls into Science, Not Fiction. All of the band’s deafening trademarks are there, from loose-limbed Sabbath riffs and flagrant Motörhead worship, to trippy space rock jams and moments of frostbitten fury. The new line-up has hit the ground running, with fizzing, fresh chemistry in abundance, and Ben Ward has never sung with more power and conviction. With its psychedelic depths and prog rock pugnacity, Science, Not Fiction confirms that the greatest bands never stop growing. “It was probably the easiest and the most fun album we’ve ever written,” says Ben. “We didn’t feel any pressure at all, it was just, ‘You know what? Let’s just fucking do it in our own time, and do exactly what we want to do.’ Mike Exeter had the same approach, so it was fun, and we went into the studio better prepared than we’ve ever been. All the lyrics were written prior to the start of recording, which never happens! [Laughs]” One change will inevitably be followed by another. As Orange Goblin reveal the evolutionary leap they have made with Science, Not Fiction, they will do so as new representatives of legendary underground metal imprint Peaceville Records. A natural home for a band with such deep roots in the UK scene, the label’s eagerness to work with the OG boys was apparent from day one, and mutual respect between the two parties was already a done deal. “When we first started doing this it was with Rise Above Records and working with Lee Dorrian, who was a huge influence on the band, so it was the perfect home for us, and we were really well looked after,” Ben says. “After that, we went out and explored other opportunities, and we’ve done well and got on well with all the labels. Everybody’s always done the best they could for us. We just felt it was time to move on [from Candlelight Records] after the last record, and Peaceville came to us, really. It was great that they had that enthusiasm. For me personally, it’s a huge honour because I grew up on My Dying Bride and Anathema and the early Paradise Lost records, and obviously Darkthrone and Autopsy too. It’s such a great stable of bands to be with, and they’re still signing great new bands like Hellripper. For us to still be considered important and exciting to Peaceville is a feather in our cap.” Built to last and still hell-bent on glory, Orange Goblin enter their fourth decade in the greatest of health. Science, Not Fiction is simply the strongest and most substantial record they have ever made: a bold stride forward, with riffs to burn. And while veteran status may suit them, the OG boys are now more inspired by the sound of heavy metal thunder than ever before. It’s not rocket science. It’s heavy metal, baby! “This is an honest album and we’ve always been an honest band,” Ben concludes. “We’re not pretentious, we don’t think we’re better than we are, we don’t think we’re the new kids on the block anymore. We know where we stand, we know what’s expected of us and what you see is what you get. But thirty years down the line, we’ve come to realise that the reason we’re still here and stronger than ever is that, at the heart of it, we’re a fucking good band. We believe in what we do, we’ve never sold out and we still enjoy it. You’re stuck with us for a while yet!”

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