Leeds is tonights port for the Piratefest tour. Held in the university there were pirates as far as the eye could see and they were here for a night of rum and metal.

Up first were the The Dread Crew Of Oddwood.

Now this is a band with difference, with no electric guitars just  Double bass and drums along with  flutes mandolins and accordion. This pirate band dressed in their best gear played through an array of their hits from “Side Quest” to “Heavy Mahogany”. They were engaging with the crowd and put on a great performance dancing across the stage and playing with gusto.

Captain Yarrface and his good ship Rumahoy stormed the stage next. Heading straight into “Ahoy!”, these pirates were ready to party. Having released their debut album just a few weeks ago they played through some of these great songs such as the slow “Netflix and Yarr” as well as the faster “Forest Party”. Captain Yarrface makes a great front man and is even running for election in the University as it’s Politics week. Obviously his main point is free rum for all and I can see this making him king of the university with ease. With chants of Yorkshire being thrown at him he continued the show unfazed. As the set draws to an end there was only one song to end this party and that was “Pirateship” with  it’s sing along lyrics and breakdown, this crowd went wild!

A large inflatable duck and a mini bar with spirits attached to the drum kit can only mean one thing – It’s Alestorm time! But while we wait for the duck to be inflated this allows this crowd to sing along to Queen and more specifically “Bohemian Rhapsody” .. timed perfectly to end as the inflatable reached its full size. This is just one of the many great songs played between bands that have had the crowd joining in and keeping the energy up in the room.

As the intro to “Keelhauled” begins the crowd are beyond ready for this band to take stage. As the song kicks in the crowd can be heard singing along with every word as they continue to be a vocal group of fans. The band continues the set with “Alestorm” and “Magnetic North” which are all fan favourites. They even recovered from some slight technical difficulties as front man Christopher Bowes stalls the crowd while they try to fix the problem. Bowes is another great front man engaging with the crowd but being part of one of the biggest pirate metal bands I imagine it comes naturally.

As the set continues on with “Mexico” , the night really was just starting. The band played through a mixture of their music spanning the whole 10 years with tracks such as “The Sunk’N Norwegian”, “Nancy the Tavern Witch” and “Hangover”.  As the night goes on both the band and the crowd get more and more into the feeling tonight which is no surprise with the drinks both are consuming (remember the drum kit bar). But this is what pirate metal is all about having fun and having a drink while doing so.

As the set starts to draw to a close it was time for “ Captain Morgan’s Revenge” to be played and what a storm this track went down. Closing the first part of the set with “Shipwrecked”  this crowd was not ready for the night to end. Which means it’s time for the encore and before the band enter the stage the intro to “Drink” is played and the crowd goes wild for this track. Continuing the night with “Wenches and Mead” and “Fucked with an Anchor” this vocal crowd went for it. And what other way was there to end the night, well the “Mr Bobby” track seems as good as any!

It was a night of ale, rum and pirating which was everything that can be asked for from a Piratefest.  Images: Mark Ellis