For those who don't follow (fairly) popular music, I'll explain. HIM are a Finnish rock band. To be more precise , they are known for melodic hard rock in a gothic vein. If this doesn't strike a chord (pun intended), don't worry, I'm sure you'll catch up.

My daughter is a fan of HIM, Nightwish and the likes of Cradle of Filth. Since I firmly believe that the best place to judge a band's music is to catch them live, I take her to see most of them. Thankfully, she loves live concerts as much as me.

Of the bands mentioned above, the only one I disliked was Cradle of Filth. Now that's probably a personal dislike, maybe because I prefer singers to actually sing, not just growl and scream.

Anyway, enough digressing.

The HIM concert was at the Carling Academy in Glasgow. Date the 23rd April. This was rescheduled due to one of the band getting injured at Christmas.

Now, I have absolutely nothing against Goths, but to see so many of them at one time was amazing. The queue outside the venue was HUGE!!! The concert was a sellout and the touts were having a hard time trying to persuade anyone to sell them tickets. It was that busy. One bit of hilarity amongst all the painted faces (mostly pentagrams) was the young couple who went up and down the line with a sign saying free hugs on it. Sad to say, not many took them up on it. Maybe it's a Glasgow thing........although one wag offered to let them give him a hug if they gave him a pound coin.

After the eternity of waiting outside for almost 30 minutes over the doors opening time, we got in with the obligatory search. I might be slow, but why do bouncers always ask to see your camera and check if it takes video? Surely they know that the majority of digital cameras take video? Why bother when newer mobiles take video as well. It's trying to hold back the tide, and we know where that leads.

The concert was packed as befits a sellout and the front was jammed. We did manage to get near the front but not as close as I'd have preferred. I decided to take all my pictures in natural mode on the camera which meant the flash wouldn't operate. According to Fuji, this brings up natural colours. You can see the results all through this article.

The support band was Anathema. I hadn't heard of them beforehand and although they weren't bad, the crowd didn't pay all that much attention to them as they waited for Ville Valo.

As I said, Anathema weren't bad, in fact, you can go to their website and find out more about them here http://www.anathema.ws/

The band doesn't have a record deal at present but are definitely worth a listen. Their website currently has a free song download on it.

It also has a donate button if you'd like to support them and help them get an album out. This type of thing is growing and may help hasten the end of the record companies deciding what you can listen to.

Who wants to listen to manufactured bands for ever more anyway!

On to the band everyone came to see.

I must admit to liking HIM.

In the flesh, the band didn't disappoint.

The light show was good, the music was sufficiently loud, and hard rock and Ville Valo is definitely a front man.

The band itself (Burton, Mige, Linde, Gas and Ville) are tight, with no sloppy endings and play as if they mean it.

They tore through some of their better known songs like Buried alive by Love, Razorblade Kiss, Join me in Death and the newer Wings of a Butterfly. Others like Poison Girl, Under the Rose, The Sacrament, Soul on Fire, It's all Tears also got an airing.

I was most impressed by Ville.

The guy kept the crowd going and has one of the most curious microphone techniques I've seen. He constantly drops and catches it after it falls a couple of inches.

Things never change. In my earlier concert going days, the crowd always sang along with the band, It's nice to see the tradition continues today.

He's also known to be a chain smoker and lamented the fact that he wasn't allowed to smoke in Scotland on stage. As he put it, if he smoked on stage he'd get fined £1500, if he smoked grass on stage , he'd only get fined £300. Would they pay him if he smoked crack on stage? A nice point which I'm sure would have had the nicotine nazis sticking pins in a voodoo doll of the guy .

As you have probably noticed, the set had enormous candelabras overhead and lots of dry ice.

Moshing was kept to a minimum by the attentive bouncers at the front and I noticed that they now pass out cups of water for those at the front. a nice touch. The front rows reciprocated for those further back by throwing it at them........

You may notice all the displays from camera phones and other cameras at the bottom of the picture.

If you want to see a modern rock band in full flight, I can recommend HIM.

The guys put on a great show and generate real excitement in the audience.

All in all, a wonderful concert. Their website is also good and will allow you to listen to their music. Lovely melodic rock with a nice touch of angst to the lyrics.


RIYAN Productions