When Slough Feg announced their summer European tour for 2018, it was an unexpected but welcome surprise for fans of the California-based power metal band. Having started in the 90s, Slough Feg are still touring across the U.S. and Europe. They played for the first time in Scotland in 2016 in Glasgow at the Audio, and I remember that gig fondly. I was excited when I saw that they were coming back this year, this time playing Bannerman’s Bar in Edinburgh.
Bannerman’s Bar calls itself the “student’s den” and it definitely feels like the hip place to be in Edinburgh. Its outside appearance betrays how spacious it is inside, accommodating both a bar and a stage in the back. The bar is decorated with framed pictures that give it a cosy traditional pub feel, even with heavy metal blaring from the sound system. The stage meanwhile featured atmospheric lighting as well as ventilation, which was appreciated during Slough Feg’s pounding, energetic performance.
Slough Feg kicked off immediately to raucous cheering and raised fists. Mike Scalzi, guitarist and vocalist, kept standing as close as possible to the audience, so as to share the intensity of the music with them. Adrian Maestas’s high energy bass performance exhilarated the crowd, while Angelo Tringali’s wailing guitar solos tore through the atmosphere as he shared lead guitar duties with Mike. Slough Feg played beloved classics of their discography, most notably High Passage/Low Passage, The Wickerman and the anthemic Warriors Dawn, as well as two new songs on the night, New Organon and Synchronicity II. These were available as a limited press vinyl, I was lucky enough to buy a copy and get it signed.
The band’s enthusiasm was highly contagious, clearly having as much fun playing as the audience was listening to them. Mike entertained the fans with stories and jokes, eventually getting off the stage to sing in the crowd. At the end of their set, the audience begged them to play “one more tune” (in the way only a crowd of Scottish metal fans can) and Slough Feg obliged, ending the show with a brilliant encore of Headhunter and Sky Chariots.
Photography & Words by Federica La Marca of Slough Feg at Bannerman’s Bar, Edinburgh on 1st August 2018.