The Union - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 19.02.13
After another success story coming from Pledge Music, The Union headed out to support the release of The World Is Yours, finding themselves in Nottingham this particularly chilly evening.
Up first were Leicester trio SKAM, delivering thumping riffs and gravelly vocals, they went down well with the early comers. BlackWolf followed doing a great job warming up the crowd with plenty of audience participation sandwiched between raw, punchy tracks infected with blues. Scott Sharp’s vocals were simply stunning, commanding your full attention.
Kicking off with Step Up To The Plate, The Union have identified their audience well and cater to their musical taste. They are on fine form and Peter Shoulder’s vocals are spot on, the only thing they lack is a bit of character. The energy level is fairly stagnant which is a shame as musically they perform so well. Obsession’s dirty grooves are a highlight in the set and provide some much needed charisma to their set with snarling vocals and gritty blues hooks. Ending on Siren’s Song, featuring a crowd sing a long, the cheers echo round the Rescue Rooms for their return. Watch The River Flow brings the night to a close, a night performed brilliantly, and well suited to the audience but sadly missing that injection of life.
Pictures by Sean Larkin.
Tremonti - HMV Ritz, Manchester, 17.02.13
Sending tremors through the rock world and surprising the majority with some mighty strong vocals; Tremonti came to shake Manchester’s foundations, even after another bomb scare!
First up were Glaswegians Logan who warmed up the crowd nicely with brutal drum beats and plenty of enthusiasm. However; any thoughts of the quintet were quickly forgotten as Heaven’s Basement took to the stage. Aaron Buchanan prowled this stage with charismatic intent and had the crowd wrapped around his little finger from the get go. Backed by an explosive classic rock sound, it’s not surprising the group are turning heads and gaining momentum.
The moment the room had been waiting for arrived and guitar hero Mark Tremonti walked out to a wall of cheers. Opening with Leave It Alone, the band ripped through all 12 tracks on the solo album, and the 2 bonus tracks, matching the energy of the passionate, rowdy crowd; so rowdy the last time infact, that they decided to film their second visit to the city. From the ferocious All I Was to the fiery So You’re Afraid, the audience screamed the words back as Tremonti dazzled with prolific shredding and booming vocals. New Way Out added a tender moment to the evening, followed by the thundering Decay; complete with audience participation. Leaving to rapturous applause and chants of his name, Tremonti shortly returned to deliver the explosive Brains.
It’s rare to attend a gig with such an electric atmosphere with energy levels never fading; the band and the crowd encouraging one another, Tremonti & co are at the top of their game, that’s for sure!
Picture from Rich Booth.
The Virginmarys - King Of Conflict
Emerging from the shadows, and gaining big name fans on the way, come Macclesfield trio The Virginmarys. Recruiting a loyal fanbase through two fiercely strong EP’s, they’ve taken on the task of producing their first album.
From the opening chords of first single Dead Man’s Shoes, you can hear the distinctive twang of The Virginmarys; that punchy, raw rock n roll sound. Ally Dictaty’s gravelly, distincitve tone really commands your attention and he cleverly utilises the textures in his voice to great effect. The screams in the brilliant Portrait Of Red showcase Ally’s vocal talents accompanied by sharp riffs and crashing drums. Those of you familiar with the EP’s will recognise a few tracks that made the debut; the super catchy Bang Bang Bang and captivating Out Of My Mind join forces with new blood creating an exciting, enchanting record. Taking The Blame’s simple, yet addictive riff matched by a bold chorus and dramatic build up, followed by the pounding off beats of You’ve Got Your Money, I’ve Got My Soul, display the trio’s creative growth and add to the anticipation surrounding their future.
The Virginmarys have taken a step back from today’s electronic world and gone back to pure, simplistic rock n roll at it’s best. King Of Conflict is a strong, powerful and damn addictive debut album!
Crashdiet - Savage Playground
Named as one of the leaders of Swedish glam rock, Crashdiet return with their fourth studio album, one they claim is their best yet. In the build up to the release the group stated that they wanted to reflect their edgier live performance on record as well as finding new ways to express themselves; have they pulled it off?
The album begins with a dramatic speech leading into sparky, off beat rhythms and pounding drums; an enticing introduction. Whilst the opening track demands your attention, followed by brilliant first single Cocaine Cowboys; The Savage Playground somewhat fades into background music with a couple of tracks reaching out to try capture your full concentration once again, such as the seductive whispering of Snakes In Paradise. Cocaine Cowboys divided the incredibly loyal Crashdiet fanbase, however, it’s bluesy slide guitar and huge chorus cement it’s position as an album highlight. The cracks start showing in Calfornia; whilst showcasing some delightful vocal harmonies, the track seems to lose it’s way with no real focus or direction. Simon Cruz’s dynamic vocal deliveries are a shining positive; from his snarly performance in Lickin’ Dog to the short and snappy Circus, it’s great to hear a handful of diverse vocal approaches within one album. Sin City features an anthemic chorus and sounds like it could belong on previous record Generation Wild, a classic sleaze track complete with fist pumping chorus.
Whilst The Savage Playground may not have quite reached expectations, there are some cracking tracks hidden within, you just have to skip through the rest to find them.
Songs I’d Recommend: Cocaine Cowboys, Sin City, Circus.
After a quiet, and bitterly cold January, Winter gig season is rolling back into town with some great names hitting the UK this month. Here’s our recommendations…
Finishing up the Apocalyptic Love tour, Slash & co return to our shores for just 2 more dates in Nottingham and Blackpool. Always guaranteed a brilliant night with a great variety of Slash’s back catalogue getting an airing, it’s not a show you want to miss!
Tickets are still available for Nottingham here.
After wetting the UK’s appetite last October with a couple of shows, Tremonti is back for a handful of dates across the country in support of his debut album. It promises a night of pounding heavy metal and killer riffs.
Dates and tickets can be found here.
Having just released their debut album and confirmed US dates for later this year, the future shines brightly for Macclesfield trio The Virginmarys. Harnessing that rock n roll spirit and producing gritty, irresistible music, we highly recommend you join their party!
See what the fuss is about for yourself and get your tickets here.
After successfully reaching their target on Pledge Music, The Union are out on their first headlining in tour in a year. Bringing their catchy, blues infused rock to a host of UK cities, they also have up and coming rockers BlackWolf in support.
Get tickets to a show near you here.
With their new album receiving rave reviews, Deftones are back to shake the UK’s foundations this month.
Get involved and get your tickets here.
Introducing…Never Ending Reason
What springs to mind when you think of pop punk? Punchy riffs, pounding drums and high energy vocal lines? Well 15 year trio Never Ending Reason from Otley in Yorkshire tick all the right boxes!
With a mixture of classic and punk rock influences, Never Ending Reason have identified their audience and produced energetic, catchy tracks which you can’t help but tap along to. Runaway features ferocious riffs covered by a smooth vocal from Louis Tucker; very similar to Blink 182. The edgy guitar rhythms of Figures is reminiscent to early Green Day with a delicate melody weaving in and out of the crashing drums. Displaying their mellow side, Hold On is heartfelt and shows the groups potential.
For such a young band, their sound is well developed and highlights their promise for the future.
Thin Lizzy - Leeds Academy, 16.12.12
After making the executive decision to not release a new album under the Thin Lizzy name, the group then decided to make their recent run of European dates their last as to not see the Thin Lizzy status wither and die. A brave choice and one that many agreed with, so did they go out with a bang? We headed to Leeds to find out.
First up were Jettblack, currently without lead singer Will Stapleton who is touring with War Of The Worlds, Jon Dow once again took up the frontman duties. They ripped through a 45 minute set with vigour, unleashing their tasty riffs and catchy chorus’ on a very receptive crowd; a great start to the night.
As 9pm approached, the atmosphere was filled with anticipation and chants of ‘Lizzy’ began to build. One by one, the band take to the stage and burst into Are You Ready. Their enthusiasm and love for the music they’re playing shines in their performance and is soaked up by the crowd. Heading straight into Jailbreak, the room echoes with the audience singing back, particularly the memorable riff and of course the chorus. Tonight really is a celebration of how great Lizzy were and it is reflected in the setlist, with Killer On The Loose, Waiting For An Alibi, and the huge Whisky In The Jar all getting their time in the spotlight. Ricky Warwick really does a great job of handling the vocal duties. His voice is strong, charismatic and even manages to capture the essence of Phil Lynott without attempting to emulate him. Ending on The Boys Are Back In Town, audience participation is encouraged and met with great enthusiasm. Endless cheering and chanting ensue for the encore in which the band pay tribute to the legendary Phil Lynott and the late, great Gary Moore as well as adoration for their fans. Roisin Dubh (Black Rose) brings the end of an excellent evening of celebration and appreciation.
Whilst it brings the Thin Lizzy era to a close once again, tonight feels like a perfect way to pay tribute to the brilliant band they were.
Photo’s courtesy of Ed Fielding.
Little Angels - Leeds Academy, 11.12.12
After a mighty return at this years Download Festival, Little Angels decided they couldn’t just leave it at that one performance, and to the delight of their fans announced a UK tour, 18 years since their final show. Was it worth the wait?
Up first are Chrome Molly, these two bands go way back having both toured together before. It was the groups first tour in a handful of years and it started to show a little, particularly in Steve Hawkins vocals. Nevertheless, their catchy riffs and chorus’ were a great opener. Next are Skin, whose first tour was in support of the Little Angels in 1993. Neville MacDonald’s powerful voice is in fine form and he makes a valiant effort to get the crowd involved. Take Me Down To The River and Look But Don’t Touch are met with huge cheers as the crowd dance and sing along; finally loosening up from the frosty evening air.
The jaws theme rings around the room before the familiar clonking noises of She’s A Little Angel accompany the bands entrance to the stage. They blast through fan favourites Boneyard and Radical Your Lover with ease like they’ve never been apart; they are just as delighted to be back onstage together as the fans. Frontman Tony Jepson oozes charisma and is keen to keep the crowd involved. An acoustic section, featuring Don’t Prey For Me, lets Jepson’s melodic vocals shine with a dedication to former drummer Michael Lee. The pace is picked back up with Soapbox and a cover of Bryan Adams Kids Wanna Rock goes down a treat. Closer Too Much Too Young has everyone singing and clapping with the band leaving to rapturous applause. An encore of I Ain’t Gonna Cry and Young Gods brings the night to a close with waves of a appreciation flowing both on and offstage.
For many people, including the band, this was a chance to relive the wonder years and tonight it was done with style and passion.
Stone Sour confirmed for Download
Stone Sour have joined the trend of leaking the news that they will play Download 2013 with frontman Corey Taylor confirming their appearance onstage. They will take to the main stage in fourth slot on the Sunday and will be Taylor’s second performance of the weekend with Slipknot headlining on the Friday.
Stone Sour are currently on their UK tour in support of their recent release House Of Gold & Bones Part 1; check out our review here.
AC/DC to celebrate 40th anniversary with 2013 tour
After many hints from various band members, guitarist Angus Young has come forward and confirmed that AC/DC will be touring next year! Speaking to The Sun, Young said “Now we’re thinking, ‘How can we ever better the'Black Ice' world tour?’ But we will.” With no information regarding dates yet, we eagerly await the announcement!
The band will also be attending the premier of their recent release Live At The River Plate at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on 6th May. The DVD filmed in Buenos Aires marked the bands first appearance in 13 years where they played to nearly 200,000 over 3 nights.