Pythia were (another) band that I didn’t know a lot about prior to their appearance at Bloodstock Open Air 2012, but as we had an interview lined up with them I thought it would be a good idea to check out their set prior to speaking to them.
So I did.
Bloody good job too, they were ace.
What I DID know about Pythia was that they were fronted by Mediaeval Baebe Emily Ovenden, so I thought I had a rough idea of what to expect, although I’m not entirely sure I expected her to be wearing antlers
The Band’s visual imagery is certainly unusual, with the guys wearing roman legionnaire-esque outfits (without antlers).
OK, OK, enough about the antlers….
Judging by the crowd that had assembled for Pyhtia’s set, they were a very popular addition to the BOA bill, and the cheer that greeted their arrival on stage had them all grinning from ear to ear. I guess with weather and stage clashes and stuff bands are never quite sure what sort of response to expect at these festivals, and it’s always great to see the band, and their fans, getting really into the performance.
Given my limited knowledge of the band prior to this show, I kind of expected them to be the Emily Ovenden show, and although Emily does have the kind of voice that demands your attention the vocal delivery was never allowed to overshadow everything else. Emily’s mic stand was even set back a bit on the stage, allowing the guitarists to have their time in the spotlight.
Symphonic type metal, especially “female fronted” symphonic type metal has a habit of being a bit overindulgent, but Pythia were anything but. For a start I was surprised by just how heavy they were. I was also really impressed with the moods they channel and the atmosphere that they portray. Gothic is a sadly misused term these days, but with their darker passages and symphonic and even folk touches it’s a word that seems (to me, anyway) to be appropriate… it just seems to fit.
The lineup in the Sophie tent was impressive, and the array of bands was diverse to say the least, but for me Pythia were Friday’s band of the day in there.