Live Review: Ministry [Albert Hall, Manchester] July 20, 2018

The last time this writer found himself watching Ministry it was well over 10 years ago, Bush was president and Uncle Al was pretty miffed off with the US government […]

The last time this writer found himself watching Ministry it was well over 10 years ago, Bush was president and Uncle Al was pretty miffed off with the US government then, it’s safe to say we were looking forward to see how he’d react to Trump.

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First act on is Chelsea Wolfe, an act whom we are very familiar with but had the pleasure of viewing, you’d expect that the blazing sunlight pouring through the stained glass windows of the Albert Hall would draw away the atmosphere from a show but not for Chelsea Wolfe!

Shrouded in black, the four-piece slam into the title track of their latest LP, ‘Hiss Spun’, lying somewhere between folk and doom this music fits the venue perfectly. we admire how tight this band is from an instrumental and vocal point never missing a note. The set consists of 45 minutes of tracks mainly from ‘Hiss Spun’ and Chelsea’s previous album Abyss playing crowd favourites such as ’16 Psyche’, and ‘Carrion Flowers’. They may seem an odd choice of support for a Ministry show but for every confused Ministry fan unfamiliar with Chelsea’s work was a new fan rapidly heading towards the merch desk!

As the daylight subsides, and day turned to night it is time for the headline act to take stage but not before inflating two large chickens with anti-nazi symbolism and Trump haircuts. This indeed is a sign of a man who is still very much pissed off with the US government! The band takes to the stage and jumps straight into their latest single, ‘Twilight Zone’, a clear stab at Trump. I can’t help but notice this more recent Ministry lineup is truly a star-studded one, featuring Sin Quirin of Society 1 and Tony Campos of Static-X.

Al doesn’t mess around when picking who he works with. A personal favourite moment of the first half of the set was when the band played the riot-inducing track, Antifa pulling on stage two people in full Antifa outfits and flags, as the track finishes Uncle Al barks to the crowd, “we’re all the Antifa!” a disgruntled fan doesn’t agree so much, Al takes the time to acknowledge this individual with a simple “well if you’re then you’re not” with a shrug and a smile, the band moves on to the second half of the set playing a selection of classic favourites appeasing fans both new, original and everything in between. They run through bangers such as New World Order, Just One Fix and ‘So What?’ and leave the stage to a chanting crowd.

After a moment, the band returns and genuinely from back of to front of house we’re all expecting one track and to all of our surprise they ended on ‘Bad Blood’! Now, not to take anything away from this set but everyone wants ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’ and to not end on a crowd favourite may seem ballsy, but can be a little alienating. All in all, though a great show and it’s great to see Uncle Al ripping it up after over 35 years.

Adam Milner

About Adam Milner

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