- 18 Sep 18
Cruachan’s 25 year anniversary show was a celebration of folk metal and all its accoutrements (including lots of swords)
There is an exuberant sense of community in the room when the genre defining band take the stage. Cruachan have given us 25 years as the founding fathers of folk metal. Well, 26 years in actuality - frontman Keith Fay reveals halfway through their set, “We forgot to do the anniversary show last year!”
Rewind back an hour, the Button Factory has been immersed into an atmosphere of medieval carnage. Between valiant support from Waylander and Skyclad, battle reenactment actors swinging giant swords and clasping shields duel amongst the crowd - waging war upon each other with their very sharp weapons. This coupled with the nights’ union of folk and metal has transformed the packed Temple Bar venue into an ancient banquet hall fitting of Brian Boru himself.
Closing their set with a rip roaring rendition of Thin Lizzy’s Emerald joined by Fay, Skyclad leave the audience hungry for the night’s celebrated brigade. Taking the stage met with a much adored appreciation, Cruachan rip into their set with ‘Born for War’. Joined onstage by the evening’s ironclad warriors, Fay duly proclaims “Those who said folk and metal doesn’t work, fuck you!” The evenings set features a variance of Cruchan’s newer material from this year’s ‘Nine Years of Blood’ and their older tracks such as the frenzied classic ‘To Invoke the Horned God’. The new material sounds great, with the anthemic ‘The Harp, The Lion, The Dragon and The Sword’ going down a storm.
The latter portion of the evening is a venture into nostalgia, as members of the original line up including singer Karen Gilligan join the band. The fellowship and allegiance to both Cruachan and the genre itself is robust. The room is a throng with a number of attendees that have travelled overseas to see the show. Somewhat of a rarity for a gig of this capacity in Dublin, but a testament to the resolution of their many disciples.
Finishing off the show with their signature cover of Jimmy McCarthy’s ‘Ride On’, the crowd are left in a state of craic-induced delectation. Needless to say we’ll be looking ahead to the 30 year anniversary.