The release of new album “The Spell” was a good reason for a tour in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Because they were by bus, they could actually make a stop in Utrecht on the way home (Switzerland). The support band of the tour was already at home so we had to deal with just the three Ex-Eluveitie members: Anna Murphy (vocal and hurdy-gurdy), Ivo Henzi (guitar) and Merlin Sutter (drums). Live they are supported by ‘permanent’ bassist Nicolas Winter.
So, actually “an evening with Cellar Darling”. For a Tuesday evening it was already quite busy when getting in and that with only one band, Cellar Darling. What we also noticed, the merchandise was still in full set-up. It looked that they were somewhat late. Although no timetable was published, it seemed there was some delay at the start too. It was the last show of a tour however without support, making the weird stuff that you can usually expect with a last show is not there. This actually suits better to ‘serious’ Cellar Darling. Anna is more in playing music than talking and entertaining.
Nevertheless, she had to get in action due to some technical problems in the beginning of the show. The audience in the well-filled venue responded nicely to her chats that were needed to fill the time. Since batteries of the in-ear no longer needed to be replaced, the only spoken interludes later in the gig were a simple ‘ thank you ‘ and an announcement of the next song. Everything is focused on the music with Cellar Darling.
The setlist was a mix of songs from the debut album “This Is The Sound” and the new album “The Spell”. It’s great to do a show on a weekday. The visitors make a conscious choice and therefore really there for the band. With the more known songs like ‘Avalanche’ the audience joins in singing and responded to every hint for clapping. After each song sounds a warm applause and a lot of cheers. A real great atmosphere for band and public.
Outside the small issues in the beginning the sound set-up was fine. The new song material, more layered, atmospheric and progressive could be listened to as it should be. Subtleties can be heard same as the instrumental setting. The hurdy-gurdy and flute are incorporated very well. Highlights of the show were the new songs ‘Death’, ‘Love’ In ‘Insomnia’.
A lot has happened until now. Previously shows as support to Delain and Lacuna Coil were the route to get familiar with Cellar Darling. Last year, the first headline show at FemME and now a headline tour. The well-filled venue proved this is a nice and justified development. The hurdy-gurdy not in a standard anymore, did give Anna a bit more flexibility. Although the men are still reasonably static, there is also progress in that respect. As said earlier, It’s all about music but the eye wants some too.
When returning for the encore, Anna asked which number should be played. All was OK, when not a Queen song. And for sure, it became ‘The Prophet’s Song’, a Queen-cover with an own twist and beautiful acapella part. The set was closed with ‘Redemption’, interpreted very emotional by Anna.
The public was invited to the meeting at the merch afterwards and to have some drinks, they had some left from the tour. A good move because the foyer was busy for a long time and they did good business. A very successful evening for both band and audience.
1. Black Moon
4. Six Days
8. The Spell
12. Love Pt. II
13. The Prophet’s Song (Queen-cover)
Different full set photos: Cellar Darling