Walking Papers - The Garage, 04.05.13
When Guns N’ Roses legend Duff McKagan was brought in on bass duties for Seattle group Walking Papers, a ripple effect was triggered as to who this new group were. Upon their second jaunt to the UK, they have gained critical acclaim from fans and reviewers alike for a stunning debut album, and with more performances under their belt, we head out to see the difference live.
Once again Welsh quartet Buffalo Summer have joined them for the ride and there is a noticeable difference in their performance. A little bit bolder and braver than the last time, their tasty blues riffs and pounding beats have added extra snarling attitude from before, delighting the London crowd. Andrew Hunt bounces about the stage, the only thing missing is that hint of that rock n roll gravel in his vocals.
On to tonight’s main event and there is a great air of anticipation in the room as Walking Papers take to the stage. From the opening chords the audience are held under their spell as they are whisked through a set of powerful blues licks, hypnotizing rhythms and of course some fierce bass lines. Jeff Angell looks like a completely different person onstage, swinging his hips and engaging the crowd with his every move. His new found confidence gives him great stage presence to compliment his charming vocals. The Seattle foursome have perfectly clicked together and produce a gritty, tight sound from a combination of blues and grunge. The dirty grooves and crashing cymbals of Independence Day are a great example and topped with Jeff’s floating vocal, it is irresistible, easily encouraging the crowd to dance along. In contrast, the psychedelic, soft tones of The Butcher are mesmerizing and features some dramatic pauses in which Angell doesn’t even move. A beautiful rendition of Already Dead with it’s delicate, chiming keyboard melody cements the evening as a special one with a very special band. Walking Papers really have it all covered with each track standing on it’s own as a clever, charismatic piece of work.
Whilst the lure of Duff McKagan may have drawn people in, as soon as the intricate melodies enter your ears, both live and on CD, Walking Papers become a different entity entirely; one of musical prowess and brilliance.
Walking Papers - Ruby Lounge, Manchester 5.11.12
A bitterly cold Monday night, Bonfire night actually, in a very foggy Manchester and we are heading to the dark depths of the Ruby Lounge to watch the first night of the Walking Papers European tour.
Now, i have raved about these guys for a while and with great reason. Their debut has just been released to a plethora of great reviews (see ours here), so i was very excited to finally catch them live. The Ruby Lounge is a neat little venue, and with only a small crowd enclosed in its tiny surroundings it is the perfect setting for tonight’s show.
Starting things off low key, the band open with Already Dead, also the opener on the record and a soulful beginning to their set. They take it up a notch almost immediately with a powerful and passionate rendition of The Whole World’s Watching, moving onto Your Secrets Safe With Me, picking the crowd up, the band settle in and the atmosphere is electric. Jeff Angell mentions how this is his first time in the UK and how happy he is to be kicking off the tour in Manchester, and what a reception it is for them to get.
The crowd hang on every moment of music from the band, so enticed by what they hear it becomes apparent very quickly just how special it is to be witnessing these great musicians in such an intimate setting. The band work their way through more tracks from the record, with the crowd in fine sing along form, great to see considering the album hasn’t been out very long. Two Tickets sounds incredible live, and Angells vocals are full of fire, and the more sombre I’ll Stick Around brings an element of calm.
The band are introduced to rapturous applause, Barrett Martin on drums, Ben Anderson on keys and of course Duff McKagan on bass, whom Jeff thanks most of all for making the tour possible. They joke that Duff had to learn some of the tracks that day in order to play them tonight, but this does not tarnish their performance whatsoever, couple with the cheeky banter, they seemed to really engage with the small crowd and the whole show felt very close knit. We also get treated to a new song tonight, one written that very day, we don’t get a name but it sounds promising indeed.
The night ends with another go at Your Secrets Safe With Me, as apparently McKagan wanted to play it again, a song so good they played it twice! A great way to finish a fantastic gig. The love between the band shows, and their aura as performers is lovely to see. I urge you to check out the album, and try to see this band live in tiny venues while you can because they are certainly something very special indeed!
Walking Papers - Walking Papers
Since their formation last summer, Walking Papers have proven to be one of Seattle’s most promising new groups. Formed originally by Jeff Angell (The Missionary Position) and Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), they are being deemed as somewhat of a supergroup at the moment after adding Duff McKagan into the mix. They have even drafted in Mike McCready of Pearl Jam in for a few guitars spots here and there.
Their debut self titled album is a real trip into the heart of blues rock. A solid body of different styles, but each connecting to make one unified sound. The mixture of hard rock and blues works extremely well, especially when coupled with the raspy, growling vocals of Angell, and the addition of McCreadys undeniable guitar solos on a few of the tracks are nothing short of perfection.
The album opens with the soft Already Dead, providing a bit of a stoner vibe, it kicks things off nicely. Your Secret’s Safe With Me is a hard and heavy rock tune, with thundering bass and rough guitar, and The Butcher is an emotional ballad, with beautiful piano tones. One of the best tracks on the record is Two Tickets, a heavier one, it builds up and builds up throughout with a strong crescendo. Leading nicely to Independence Day, the albums closer, tying it all together nicely.
As a debut, it really is an outstanding effort, and the unbelievable talent of each member really shines. Take away the supergroup hype and what you have here is stripped down, bare bones, rock and roll. An absolute must listen for any fan of bluesy rock, and definitely a contender for one of my favourite albums this year.
Velvet Revolver reunion confirmed??
Scott Weiland has revealed to ABC News radio that he is indeed back with Velvet Revolver. I don’t think we really saw this one coming for a long time….
He told the station that he’s happy to be back making music with the band. “We’ve all grown a lot,” explains Weiland. “We’re able to put egos and differences and old conflicts aside and so that’s really cool.”
He went on to say that the writing process for the third album had already begun and that he would be getting together with guitarist Dave Kushner and bassist Duff McKagan in the next week. Pretty exciting eh? Not only that but he even revealed the possibility of tour plans towards the end of the year. “Slash’s solo album gets released on May 22 and so he’s gonna do some touring on that and then we’re gonna go and do some Velvet Revolver shows in the later part of summer into early fall.”
We eagerly await official news, but fingers crossed its for real!
Guns N’Roses Hall of Fame saga continues…
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider has blasted Axl Rose for his decision to boycott Guns N’ Roses induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
Speaking on the Black Carpet of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards to Guns N’Roses guitarist Slash, Snider said: “Someone just told me that it’s official Axl is not gonna sing at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame… and I said, it’s crap. I said, if he can’t put this stuff aside for an event like that, for a recognition like that, to do the cool thing, and just in respect of what you guys have done, I think it’s totally screwed up.” Slash refused to comment on Rose’s appearance but he did confirm he would be in attendance.
Speaking on his column for Seattle Weekly, bassist Duff McKagan was ever the diplomat and wrote, “My band, Gnr, will be inducted into the so-fancy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And on that night, I will honour not myself or the chicken dinner they will most surely provide, but I will be honouring all those people who call themselves the fans of our group called Guns N’ Roses.” He went on the add, “In the end, it’s not about who does or doesn’t show up from the original band, and I back whatever reason this guy or that has for not coming. It’s all good. The songs are the important bit here… and the message they most certainly still must carry.”
We couldn’t agree more Duff….
Guns and Roses performance at Hall of Fame a no no?
So the rumours have been flying around like crazy over the past few months since it was announced that Guns N Roses would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year! Will they or won’t they all turn up? Will they or won’t they perform?
Well, Slash has revealed in a recent interview that the original line up will NOT be performing on the night. “We’re not playing, Slash said. “I would imagine that they asked us to play, but I know that we’re not playing.” I guess that’s that then.
The original line up are expected to be in attendance, but there are a few questions over whether Axl Rose shows up or not. Speaking most on the subject, bassist Duff McKagan confirmed his attendance but also advised he wasn’t sure on the other members. He told Rollingstone.com, I know I’m going to go. I can’t, at all, speak for anybody else. And won’t. I’ll be there with bells on.” But he added, “There’s been no communication about anyone playing. There was probably a day in the mid-1990s where I would have tried to gather the troops, but I’m just not that guy anymore. It’s too frustrating to change anyone else … I’m not even sure I’d want to change how anyone else sees a situation.”
On whether he hoped that the original lineup would perform together at the event, McKagan said, “I think it would be killer. Do I hope to? That’s a tricky question. It would be awesome. You have those day dreams like, ‘We’ll go up and play ‘Nightrain’ and ‘Brownstone’ and throw down the microphone and drop off! That’ll be killer!’ But I doubt that’ll happen.”
I guess, as we keep on saying, we will just have to wait and see….