If you accidentally wandered into the Astoria on this night without knowing what to expect you could be forgiven for being very confused indeed. For here were a bunch of obvious metal-heads screaming and shouting for a group of hunky men strutting about the stage and posing like a boy band playing to the crowd while the rock chicks screamed like the worst E17 crowd in the early 90s.

Apocalyptica are four rather well structured Finnish cellists who, accompanied by their drummer, play surprisingly faithful renditions of metal classics. On tonight’s evidence they are some combination of the Chippendales, Metallica and a classical string quartet.

If it’s likely to result in the little- and index-fingers being pointed skywards while the ring- and middle- fingers are folded, it’s likely it was played to a delirious crowd this night. It may have been completely trashy but it was highly enjoyable trash. The band obviously love their music and as they strut the stage and exhort the crowd to rock harder the only thing that seems out of place are the cellos, which actually seem more like violas as the towering rockers loom over them.

What brings Apocalyptica above the level of a talented covers band with a (classical) gimmick is that it hearing these songs arranged for cellos is actually hugely effective. There is something infinitely sinister in hearing cellos doing 'For When The Bell Tolls'.

While they may steer dangerously close to kitsch on occasion it would be a brave man indeed who said they don’t rock, and hard.













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