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Pit Stories: Paradise Lost Flees The Stage After A Room Clearing Prank

Every week metal bands from across the globe check in with Metalunderground.com to share their favorite stories from live shows. Today vocalist Nick Holmes of U.K. outfit Paradise Lost offers up this tale of an end-of-tour prank gone wrong:

On the last show of a tour, it’s “customary” for headline bands to play tricks on support acts, and the other way round—if you get along that is! Just small pranks, lowering small stonehenges from the ceiling, walking on stage dressed as a “zombie”—mostly unfunny stuff like that. But unaware of my absolute hatred for fish and seafood in general, our Swedish support band decided to play one of the worst pranks imaginable.

Back in the day, Paradise Lost used to use two industrial high velocity fans on either side of the stage to blow dry ice in the right direction to coordinate with the light show, etc., and this is where the “fun” started...Most people reading this won’t know about the northern Swedish delicacy “Surströmming.” It’s fermented herring, basically “tinned rotten fish,” and it’s hard to put into words just how bad this stuff smells!

For a “great” end of tour prank, the bass player from said Swedish support band decided it would be funny to pour the oil from a tin of “Surströmming” onto one of our industrial fans! All hell broke loose! Once the smell hit me, I began to projectile vomit, and couldn’t stop vomiting. My face turned as red as a strawberry, and my eyes nearly popped out. It was impossible to continue, and we had to cancel the concert and flee the stage after only four songs! Meanwhile, the whole room was in chaos. I have had the misfortune of being at a concert where tear gas was expelled, and the crowd reaction was pretty similar to this - combined with gagging!

Needless to say, the backstage atmosphere turned rather sour! Also, since the incident, I have it on good authority that the entire venue smelled like “Davey Jones’ Locker” for many months to follow.

In addition to last year's "Tragic Idol" full-length (reviewed here), Paradise Lost will be releasing a collection titled "Tragic Illusion 25 (The Rarities)" on October 21st in Europe (digitally on October 29th in North America). Full details can be found at this location.

Check back in again next Tuesday as we continue to share more band stories from live metal shows.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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