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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Taylor

Corey. Mother. Fucking. Taylor. London Palladium – 17th October 2022

Corey. Mother. F***ing. Taylor.

London Palladium – 17th October 2022

Support – Cherry Bombs

Words by Natalie Taylor; less of a review, more of a journey.



“Show starts in 5 minutes ladies and gents” the well-dressed doorman called to everyone milling around outside the entrance of the grand London Palladium. Hadn’t heard of the Cherry Bombs – wasn’t sure if I wanted to go for a drink or catch the first band.


Glad I opted to head straight in. What an awesome and very Corey Taylor way to open a show, the first of the UK run. Not a band, but a fun, energetic dance troupe performing what they introduced as Macabarét – a fantastic take on cabaret with a dark edge, performing to a well-known metal soundtrack. There was fire, metal grinders, pole dancing, silks, aerial acrobatics all to a backdrop telling us a story of horror, capture and torture, with the odd interjection of fun, frolics and a blonde bombshell that demanded the audience take a drink every time we heard her squeal an indescribable sound (I just tried mimicking it, and my dog ran over, you get the idea).



Despite some technical setbacks with the AV, Alicia Taylor, Corey’s wife, tried to keep the performance moving with the girls around her as the laptop feed stopped and started – the crowd cheering and screaming in sympathetic support. She took a final bow and departed the stage – an abrupt end to what had been amazing so far. As the Palladium lights went up, they’d fixed the sound issue and out they came again, to finish the act to rounds of applause. An awkward moment for anyone in this situation, it was handled with humbled blushes and a perfectly executed finale. Loved ‘em so much, I grabbed a vest at £25 (not bad) and now can happily say I’ve officially joined the Girl Gang. Go me.



After the unexpected start to the evening, I was feeling excited for Corey and the band. As a fan of most of his outlets, I had high expectations and they were positively obliterated.


CMFT in huge letters lit up the stage as Slade’s ‘Get Down With It’ blazed through the theatre – and suddenly, I was lost again. They rip into a cover of ‘Love Song’ by The Damned followed by HWY 666, the opening track of Corey’s 2020 solo album. By the end of this, we were all up on our feet. A seated gig suggested to me a more acoustic led set. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And when Corey Taylor tells you to stand up – you stand up.


The night continued strong with a selection of solo album tracks plus B sides, various covers and a good handful of Stone Sour songs – ‘Tired’, ‘Absolute Zero’, ‘Fabulous’ and ‘Song #3’ making a welcomed appearance as a full throttle band and additionally later towards the end of the set, bringing in the gentler vibes of ‘Bother’ and ‘Through Glass’.




Back to the solo stuff, and the rock n roll infused ‘Samantha’s Gone’ is a super catchy song featuring classic guitar riffs I a straight forward verse-chorus, repeat and lead break format – but they didn’t expect it to be the song that blew a cab. Cue the crew switching out the Marshall at the back as Corey addressed the crowd, “blew a fucking speaker, man!” before discussing the rise in temperature in the room and a plea of “hope you can’t smell my balls” with a quick flap of his t-shirt. I mean, it was heating up for sure, and yes, quite glad I couldn’t smell his balls, I imagine it was getting a bit sweaty in that department. But, as a frontman, it doesn’t really matter what he says, we’ve practically moved into the palm of his hand and set up camp there. As long as his hands are nowhere near his man-parts, of course.

Cab swap complete, the beautifully harmonised ‘Silverfish’ begins. The mix of effects on the guitar add so many layers as it moves from a fairly stripped back verse into an encapsulating solo from Christian Martucci. The great thing about the CMFT tracks is there is something for everyone – hard rock, rap, rock n roll, melodic grunge; it all comes through.



In terms of songs played outside of the CMFT album and B sides, particular highlights for me and I dare say many others were the Slipknot tracks. The night couldn’t go without the acoustic guitar and a crowd-led rendition of the SpongeBob theme… to which Corey exclaimed “as soon as I grab this God damn thing, you pricks!”. My only complaint is that we didn’t end with ‘SPONGEBOOOOOBBBBB SquarePANNNTTTSSSS’ (you know how it goes) which messed with my OCD haha. But that was instantly forgotten as he moved on to speak candidly, “I’m really f***ing stoked to play this here, as one of the best f***ing versions I ever did was in London, 6, 7 years ago, that was a lifetime ago – a pandemic ago” and the unmistakeable first notes of ‘Snuff’ started to ring out and goosebumps appeared up my arms. Everyone’s voice could be heard in the room singing along – these are the moments I live for. A group of nobody strangers all united by voice. Witnessing a raw performance by one of the most renowned frontmen in rock, whether you like him or not, you cannot deny the amount of talent he has, which translates to how he can hold an audience with one song. Captivating and emotional, this is one memory that will stick with me a long time – followed closely by the same crowd absolutely tearing the Palladium a new one when the band later exploded into Slipknot’s ‘Wait and Bleed’, a big two fingers up to everyone that complained that it wasn’t in the set at the last Download Festival that they headlined – which made it even more special for the exclusive 2000 fans packed into the theatre.

‘Black Eyes Blue’, a song that Corey wrote for his Cheery Bomb founding wife, Alicia, featured towards the end – the first solo single from the CMFT album. It’s a poignant track for the UK tour, having been inspired by his first trip to London with Alicia and her innocent and enlightened outlook on life as she looked upon the capital in awe. In previous interviews, Corey said “experiencing something through someone else’s eyes was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had” and “sometimes, you have to take a second and see what’s going on – realising that you’re finally with someone who encourages you to enjoy life and not just exist in it”. Hearing it in London then discovering the meaning later has given a different emotion to this song, now I listen to it back – guys, he has a heart beneath the mask and overalls!



They closed the night with ‘CMFT Must Be Stopped’ interlaced with the Kiss cover ‘Watchin’ You’, summing up a set of 20 songs plus an hour support from the Cherry Bombs. This was a gig that poured in as much as they could to please the fans. Having already entertained VIP guests prior to the show, battled cancelled flights, delays, lost luggage and gear, AV issues and little to no time to prepare on top of zero sleep since leaving the States the day before – it was an impressive evening with no lack of energy or effort.

The show was also available to worldwide fans as a very special livestream gig “Half Sold Out: Live at the London Palladium” – a benefit event for the Taylor Foundation, a charity set up by Corey Taylor that supports military veterans and their families living with PTSD. What a guy. Hoping this comes out as a release later as I’d love to be transported back there.

Coincidentally, I’ve just been offered spare tickets to go to the Swansea gig – and if it wasn’t for my day job, I’d 100% be there. In fact, as I write this, I’m trying to work out how to work and travel to the gig and also how to raid a bank for funds to get there…

Gig of the year for me. What a night. From heavy metal vintage Slipknot to acoustic tones of Stone Sour and upbeat tunes from his solo album CMFT, it’s incredibly genre-fluid, just how we like it here at the Riff Yard.

They say Corey-Mother-F***ing-Taylor must be stopped. But can he be?



Set List:

Love Song (The Damned cover)

HWY 666

Meine Lux

Halfway Down

Tired (Stone Sour song)

All This and More (Dead Boys cover)

Samantha's Gone

Silverfish

Lunatic Fringe (Red Rider cover)

Song #3 (Stone Sour song)

SpongeBob SquarePants Theme

(Painty the Pirate & Kids cover)

Snuff (Slipknot song)

Fabuless (Stone Sour song)

Absolute Zero (Stone Sour song)

Wait and Bleed (Slipknot song)

Black Eyes Blue

Bother (Stone Sour song)

Through Glass (Stone Sour song)


Encore:

On the Dark Side (John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band cover)

CMFT Must Be Stopped / Watchin' You

(KISS cover)




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