Okilly Dokilly’s left hook left the Nottingham crowd wanting more.
Flanderdoodles, Godspeed Little Doodle or White Wine Spritzer are certainly not track names typical to the metal genre but with a band like Okilly Dokilly, it’s what you get and you cannot help yourself from falling in love with them. Last night, October 2, 2018, Ned Flanders themed metalcore band Okilly Dokilly from Phoenix, Arizona graced the UK with their presence for the first time at Rescue Rooms in Nottingham; just five minutes from where this writer happened to be settled for Uni.
To cut anticipation short, I’m simply short of adjectives to describe the experience in order to do it justice.
The commanding lead ‘Head Ned’ and his army of Flanderinos commanded the arena with a mesmerising concoction of typical metalcore rage and energy with the sobering and happy-go-lucky persona of Ned Flanders. The raw ferocity and heat that drives an extreme metal performance is undoubtedly a spectacle in itself, but to couple it with the God-loving, good-willed and warm-hearted nature of America’s cartoon saint gave the audience one of the most unforgettable sights we’d ever seen; and I’m proud to have been able to.
Of course, it could have been easy to just slap on some cheesy costumes, give themselves a clever name and blast out some ordinary metalcore; it would have made for a good laugh for a minute or two. What makes these guys able to tour across the US and now here in the UK, which warrants them the creation of an entire studio album with a second in the making, is how the presence of Ned Flanders was brought into the show. Between each song the ‘Head Ned’ would thank his fellow ‘Flanderinos’ with a commendable impression and a cheesy grin as well as each song itself being crafted upon a famous phrase or moment from particular ‘Nedisodes’ whether that be the cursed ‘White Wine Spritzer’ or the precious ‘Flanderdoodles’; they lived and breathed Ned.
Now I would hate to review this band as if they were a gimmick as its far from the case. The group are genuinely talented – take off the moustache and the sweaters and you still have a brutally heavy metal band capable of giving you a powerful left hook if you’re caught out by their sombre interludes. The vocalist; screams and growls of a banshee. The lead guitarist; thunderous riffs and fantastic solos. The bassist; lines that hit you as fast as you can band your head. The drummer; easily one of the craziest guys I’ve seen behind a kit. The synth; never has a synth machine looked so damn metal. The crowd was moshing, they were screaming and they were jumping; this is not a band to sit back and laugh at.
To top the gig off was some nice additions to what would be their ordinary line-up. The Neds pulled out some new singles from their ‘in-progress’ LP ‘Howdilly Twodilly’ which from initial impressions expands on their previous work, one track in particular showing off the capabilities of drummer ‘Dread Ned’. While I would think, that from a band which may not expect to be taken so seriously, that simply more of the same would be more than welcome, I’m pleased to see some possible evolution in their sound. Us ‘Nedalheads’ were also treated to a cover of the classic ‘Yellow Submarine’ by the Beatles with a little Flanders twist along with some metal punches thrown in for the verses; the concept is simply a gift that keeps on giving.
This writer, and now massive fan of Okilly Dokilly, would find it difficult not to recommend seeing these guys live if you have even half a chance or maybe just giving them a listen on Spotify; metalhead or not there is an aspect that any Neighbourino can enjoy with ‘Okilly Dokilly’.
By Alex Mace