Live Review: Bat Sabbath and Margarita Witch Cult – The Key Club, Leeds

We’re rather excited as we arrived at Key Club Leeds. The last time we witnessed Cancer Bats performing a Bat Sabbath set was at the side of the stage at 2000 Trees last summer. That set was an absolute gem so let’s see how tonight shapes up in our familiar stomping ground.

Before the bats get in our collective hair, Margarita Witch Cult bring their brand of classic metal which, whilst having a bit of Sabbath worship about it, is also shot through with anthemic NWOBHM vibes. The classic tones are all present and correct and there’s a great gravelly vocal delivery at play. There’s lots of stealthy, fluid, guitar playing and everything that makes vintage classic metal so alluring after 50 years in our collective consciousness. A brilliant dirge take on Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ seals the deal. It’s your time to burn almost sounds a bit like Cancer Bats in places too so it’s not a complete retro fest, they finish on a slinky ‘Sacrifice’ with nasty fry vocals and heavy sludge riffing, grimy and grisly just how we like it.

Now “it is time for Bat Sabbath!” Liam lets us know his expectations of the mosh pit and the Key Club duly obliges! This is clearly where the term, ‘Batshit crazy’ comes from. There’s so much prime Sabbath material to plunder Bat Sabbath toss out ‘Supernaut’, ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Iron Man’ surprisingly early into the set opting to indulge in deeper cuts (for Sabbath anyway) in the central set.

Stage divers erupt and it becomes abundantly clear how tricky Liam and the Bats are to get an unblurred shot of! They laugh in the face of shutter speeds as they tear around the stage. Sabbath were never as energetic as this! Liam then tells Leeds that they have proved themselves to not be posers and are saved from poser hell! He also notes that the throng should stop hanging from the “shit pipes” as we don’t want to end the show due to an outbreak of dysentery! With that he says we’re off to outer space and ‘Symptom Of The Universe’ blasts off taking us with it, before dragging us back ‘Into The Void’.

Musically this is awesome, as you’ve never heard Sabbath done in such a hyperactive lively fashion. Liam doesn’t try to sound like Ozzy and it’s so much better for it, Liam sounds like…well, Liam. That Cancer Bats sound is present and correct even when they finish with ‘War Pigs’, turning the funky mid-section into a pogoing super beast like only the Bats can. Most of all this is super fun! A proper homage to the mighty Sabbath by the most lovable balls of energy ever to plug in and rock the fuck out! Cancer Bats’ no bad shows ever record remains untarnished and Leeds will be talking about this one until they next arrive to destroy our town.

Review & Photos By George Miller –

Margarita Witch Cult

Bat Sabbath