The great country of Germany has given the world many splendid and wonderful things including top notch cars, tasty meat-snacks and Heidi Klum.
However, their reputation as exporters of fine, heavy rock should not be neglected amid thoughts of the Audi R8, sausages and supermodels. And we don't mean the sight of David Hasselhoff performing at the Brandenburg Gate or that whistly bit from the Scorpions' 'Winds of Change'.
No, we're talking about hard, heavy, sweaty, rasping, ear-bleedingly loud metal. Bands like Rammstein, Helloween and power rockers Edguy. Formed in Fulda in 1992 by teenagers Tobias Sammet, Jens Ludwig and Dirk Sauer, Edguy were named after their favourite maths teacher, Mr Edgar Siedschlag.
Nearly twenty years later and the trio still forms the core of the now five-piece Edguy, a band popular across continental Europe and veterans of nine studio albums, two live records and a couple of DVDs. Lead vocalist Tobias Sammet has also found time to create the Avantasia project; a metal opera featuring well known vocalists and musicians from the rock and metal scene.
Edguy's ninth record, 'Age of the Joker', was released in August and has been their most successful to date; peaking at No 3 on the German chart and making the Top 20 in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Despite a lack of chart success in the UK, Edguy nonetheless have a significant and loyal following here and are continuing their Age of the Joker Tour into 2012 with three dates at key UK venues. They play the Manchester Academy on Thursday 2nd February, followed by Birmingham's HMV Institute on 3rd and finally the Islington Academy on Saturday 4th February.
We will have tickets for all three dates when they go on sale at 9AM on Friday 21st October, priced £16 for London and £14 for Manchester and Birmingham.