StVitSaint Patrick’s Day, one of the biggest party days of the year in London as all the Irish and those who need to find an excuse to have a drink ventured out to packed pubs, but it was a different Saint entirely that I was going out to celebrate. Venturing past the rowdy groups of big green floppy hatted simpletons, I made it to the venue just as the first band were taking the stage. The Garage was still quite empty at this time, but as I grabbed myself an early pint I noticed several members of established UK bands already in the building in anticipation of the main event. There was that feeling in the air, it was going to be a good night.

Witchsorrow are long established members of the UK doom scene, but have really hit their stride in the last couple of years, performing with increasing confidence and polish and tonight was to be no exception. Kicking things off with ‘Aurora Atra’, Witchsorrow wasted no time in setting the tone for the evening with some low, slow and crushing traditional doom. Whilst the growing crowd clearly appreciated the slower material, it was during the much more energetic ‘Breaking The Lore’ that the assembled masses really began to wake up, and by the final track ‘God Curse Us’ the crowd were filling up at the front, nodding and throwing the horns in appreciation. Nick ‘Necroskull’ is sounding in fine voice and is really starting to develop his stage presence. You can’t help but feel that Witchsorrow are on the brink of bigger things.

This was my first experience of Mos Generator and I had no idea of what to expect, but the buzz coming back from those who had caught them the day before at Hammerfest was overwhelmingly positive. From the moment that they took the stage and before they had even played a note, front man Tony Reed had the crowd’s attention with his relaxed, humorous and disarming manner. When they launched into first track ‘Lumbo Rock’, I along with everyone else present was instantly hooked by their groovy blues laden stoner rock and the growing crowd were packing out down the front with a sea of nodding heads. New track ‘Lonely One Kenobi’ grooved like a bastard and I was starting to realise what a friend of mine had meant when she said that she had stumbled across them playing the day before and was dancing her arse off in minutes. By the end of their excellent set they had a new fan in me and I scurried to the merchandise stall to grab a handful of albums. With heavy nods to Orange Goblin and Clutch, these guys are well worth catching if you want to get your groove on.

The main event approached and the room was starting to pack out nicely, although I was stunned to hear that the show had not sold out. Not that this really mattered as Saint Vitus appeared on stage, with the legendary Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich standing front and centre; his stage presence able to hold the room with nothing more than a look. The opening salvo of ‘Blessed Night’ and ‘I Bleed Black’ was a powerful one, with Wino in brilliant form and Dave Chandler unleashing all manner of sonic wizardry on the guitar. With a setlist more varied than their last show in London, we were treated to a mixture of material from the depths of the past in the form of ‘War Is Our Destiny’ and ‘White Stallions’, to the best of the material from last year’s awesome Lille F-65 album with ‘Let Them Fall’ and ‘The Bleeding Ground’. The encore of ‘Dying Inside’ and the iconic ‘Born Too Late’ saw both Wino and Chandler leave the stage to play in the front rows of the crowd in what was to be the climax of an incredible show. So with 3 fantastic bands playing, this show still didn’t sell out? Shame on you London! You can wear a silly hat and get drunk any time you feel like it. A Saint Vitus show in town though, now there’s a real reason to celebrate!

Lee Kimber