Live Review : Doro + No Sleep For Lucy @ Rebellion in Manchester on March 12th 2019

Tonight’s support were a bit of an odd choice considering Doro is the Queen Of Metal. No Sleep For Lucy are Swedish, and their style started off as a sort of mish-mash of indiepop and 90’s emo. I’d just written in my notes that they had a bit of a sound of U2 when sure enough they went into a cover of ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’. The songs were catchy if somewhat lightweight in timbre, and I really enjoyed them but I could see they weren’t to everybody’s taste and I think the audience was a little bemused by them. They also covered an Alice Cooper song although the bulk of their set was their own material. The crowd were polite, and there were a few bursts of enthusiasm and a couple of singbacks, with a song that was a bit of a rollicking sea shanty and finally something bouncy and a lot more “rock” so overall it didn’t go too badly for them. I think they may have got a better reception with a different headliner though.

Doro on the other hand is a total legend. The former frontwoman for German metal band Warlock has been in the business for over 30 years now, and from the first moment she hits the stage she had the crowd in the palm of her hand. Over an hour later they were still held in her iron grip, and obviously totally happy to be there. After all these years, Doro has barely changed, her tiny frame belied by the power and range of her voice. She starts with a hammerblow of a song, ‘Raise Your Fist In The Air’ and the punches just keep on coming. Song after song, riff after riff, these are anthems, battle songs, tunes for heroes – or indeed heroines! All the well known songs are there, her solo ‘Bastardos’ ‘Soldier Of Metal’) as well as Warlock’sBurn The Witches’, Für Immer and ‘Metal Racer’ . The band are tighter than a tight thing, pounding out the tunes and battering us with them. All the while this hard, fast music is punctuated by Doro’s remarkable voice. She can growl, she can scream, and she can hit any old note in between. The pace picks up or slows down as required, every now and again verging on ballad territory but never ceasing to take you with it. Yes watching Doro involves some clichés, but in this case that just adds to the enjoyment of the experience. She still sounds fresh and exciting even after all these years, no matter how often you have seen her before. The main set closes on her That Song, which is of course the stomping anthem ‘All We Are’, and there isn’t a fist in the building that isn’t raised in the air in salute.

Can it get any harder and faster? Well yes, a double encore of ‘All For Metal’ and ‘Earthshaker Rock leaves the crowd sated, satisfied and (in my case) totally rocked out. For power metal that you can just immerse yourself in, for a gig that is an experience rather than just a night out, you really can’t beat spending time with Doro and her band.

Words by Jo Crosby
Photography by Paul Nash of Rebel Rock Photography