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.
Hard Rock Hell 6 - Fistful of Rock - Review
So the end of the year approaching, and time for another festival, Hard Rock Hell, and the first time for the team here at LTMDTT! Recently moved to a new venue, we set out on a little road trip to Wales ready for a weekend full of rock, glam, blues and metal. A festival in December? Why not!
Things kicked off on Thursday evening with a special pre-party over at the Jagermeister stage where we were treated to a whole array of rock goodness. Sets from the brilliant Sons of Icarus, and legendary glamsters Tigertailz were a highlight, as well as TNT who served up the classic rock till the early hours. The perfect opportunity to get settled in and wet our appetite for what was to come.
Day two at HRH for us began with the superb Blackwolf. A very promising new band who are beginning to make quite a name for themselves. Plenty of riffs, plenty of grit and some stunning vocals, a brilliant way to get the day started. Next up were a big highlight of the day, The Burning Crows. Right in the middle of a tour with Quireboys, they treated us to a fantastic set, and they are really something special. A lot of swing, plenty groove and hips swinging, keep your eyes on these guys! Electric Mary took things up a notch with their heavier sound, and the HRH crowd lapped it up, followed by Motherload who were also out to impress with their breed of hard rock. The fantastic Slam Cartel also impressed with their set full of fuel and charisma, they did the trick on winning round the people.
The big headliner this evening was Mr Skid Row himself, Sebastian Bach. After some technical issues and a lot of waiting, he finally got himself on stage and delivered a storming set. It is safe to say, his voice is not what it once was, but you cannot deny that Bach give it his all on stage. Classic like Big Guns, 18 and Life and of course Youth Gone Wild sent the crowd…wild. I Remember You sounded particularly lovely and brought the evening to a great end.
Saturday, day three, and after a great couple of nights already filled with brilliant music (and partying), we are beginning to feel it. Luckily, we had a lot more to look forward to on the main stage today.
Electric Boys were first up for us today. They brought the funk and showed us they have lost none of their appeal and are still fantastic live, with Conny Bloom proving the perfect frontman. After a bit of a slow start, they turned it up and by the end of their set the whole place was singing along to All Lips N’ Hips. Bonafide brought the fire, quite literally with some unexpected pyro from The Inferno Girls. A heavy dose of classic rock, they have swagger and the right amount of cockyness and provide us with a tight and thrilling set.
Big highlights of the day come from the legendary Quireboys. Full of charm ad wit, Spike Gray won us around with his gravelly, whiskey tainted voice, and Seven O’Clock it may not have been, but we were certainly having a party. LTMDTT favourites Jettblack were up next, another big highlight. Sadly missing Will who is off currently off on tour War of the Worlds, the band were on top form regardless and brought us some tight riffs and fist pumping moments, brilliant fun. Followed by Dogs D’Amour who were back and showed they are still on the top of their game once again, with Tyla working his way through their hits.
Ugly Kid Joe were the headliners tonight, bringing skater friendly rock to the masses and providing one of the biggest singalongs of the whole weekend with Everything About You. A set with bounds of energy and from both band and crowd, very fun indeed. Closing the stage tonight were the ever incredible Graveyard. It pains me this band were not on earlier in the day as i have no doubts they would have wowed. Absolute perfection musically, they still managed to pull quite a gathering and remain one of the greatest live bands i have seen. Please check them out, you will not be sorry.
And so we reach day four, the last day, and no doubt many hangovers being nursed, but we took to the main stage yet again for another solid day of rocking.
A set we’d been looking forward to did not disappoint, the Red, White and Blues wowed us with their bluesy roots, a really great live band. Sadly Kobra and the Lotus did the opposite. Full on metal riffs that did sound great, but unfortunately we jut weren’t feeling the energy from them at all. Fozzy brought a storming set, Chris Jericho showing the crowd he has exactly what it takes to front a rock band, but it was Soil who won the evening for me. Heavy, loud and grinding metal that united the crowd into chanting the words to Halo in unison. Brilliant.
Headliners tonight and bringing HRH to a close was Buckcherry. Drowned in clouds of smoke and blue light, they commanded the attention of the whole place from the offset, ready for a set full of all their hits, All Night Long, Next To You, Sorry and Lit Up. Something didn’t seem quite right however, the band slightly vacant, not too engaging and Josh Todd’s voice slightly tarnished, perhaps from the current tour. Crazy Bitch of course ended the evening, an anthem if ever there was one, but sadly not reaching it’s full potential tonight.
All in all, Hard Rock Hell proved to be a great festival, a great first time for us and a whole lot of great bands on offer. One of the last independent festivals left, the guys in charge certainly know how to put on a party. Bring on next year!
(photos courtesy of Joe Winn)
A New Tomorrow - Incandescent
Whilst many rock bands like to focus on the ideal of sex, drugs and rock n roll, Londoners A New Tomorrow utilise their music to get across messages of hopes and dreams in a bid to inspire their fans. They achieve this through thought provoking lyrics and catchy riffs; what better way to get someone’s attention!
Brighter Than The Sun features some soaring vocal lines, delicate guitar work and a soft, yet driving rhythm section. The track is dynamic with well worked chorus anticipation in the bridge and sharp cut offs. Taking on a heavier approach, Love Utopia’s tasty opening riff, reminiscent to Black Stone Cherry’s Devil’s Queen, will get your foot tapping and fist pumping. Alessio Garavello’s neat falsetto vocals show off his impressive range mixed with a clever counter melody on guitar weaving in an out; both equally as impressive as each other. Ending on a frantic high, the almost spoken, punk style vocal lines of What They Can’t Steal From You combined with pounding drums gets the adrenaline rushing. It is without doubt the best track on the EP with the transitions into each section fitting together perfectly compared to the more dramatic differences in it’s predecessors.
Incandescent is a strong debut and demonstrates the ability this four piece have. Their experimentation with music will only enhance their future work and enable them to settle into a more stable sound.
Twins of Evil Tour - Manchester Arena, 27.11.12
On paper, the Twins of Evil tour has the potential to be completely mind-blowing, like nothing you have ever seen before or will again. Two of the music worlds greatest showmen coming together for a show full of off the scale props and amazing songs. Too good to be true right?
Up first tonight in the coupling of madness is Marilyn Manson, king of goths, the God of Fuck himself. There has been much speculation over his live shows over the last few years, and it has been widely reported by many that he just doesn’t cut it anymore, but tonight in Manchester there is a hint of optimism in the air as Manson’s set draws near. Many fans dressed up as the star, and deafening screams as he takes to the stage.
Kicking thing’s off with Hey Cruel World, it isn’t the most exciting start to things, but as soon as Disposable Teens kicks in it is a different story. An exhilarating version of Love Song shows that Manson has still got it, somewhere still within him he has the power to command an audience with his screams.
His set wavers from brilliant in parts to lack lustre in others. Slo-Mo-Tion is, slow and bares the fact that Manson’s voice is lacking somewhat these days, but his rendition of Coma White complete with fake snow falling to the stage was pretty magnificent. King Kill 33, Antichrist Superstar and Beautiful People steal the show as being the best tracks of the set. Whether good, or bad, you cannot deny just how entertaining Manson is capable of being, but their is definitely the air of ‘warm up act’ and his days of being the main man may sadly be over.
The night takes one hell of a turn when Rob Zombie hits the stage. Manchester Arena becomes a horror movie heavy metal party and the crowd go wild. There is so much to take in. Giant LED screens blazoned with shocking scenes, green eyed monsters, demons, robots, and a ridiculous amount of confetti, and not one bit of it is over compensating or in place of the music, because that is amazing too.
Superbeast, Living Dead Girl, Sick Bubblegum, the list is endless, and every bit of it flawless. Throw in a few White Zombie hits and you got yourself a winner of a show. The atmosphere is a complete change and it is electric. Two stunning solos from (former members of Marilyn Manson) Ginger Fish and John 5 go down a storm and Zombie himself makes his way around the arena, greeting his followers.
Ending on a brief cover of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out and the classic Dragula, Rob Zombie shows he still has what it takes as a showman and he certainly knows how to rock a crowd.
There is no question really who comes out on top of the Twins of Evil contest this evening, Zombie is the King, and Manson needs to take it up a notch next time but there is no denying what an incredible evening it has been.
Adler - Back From The Dead
Back From The Dead is an apt title for ex Guns N Roses drummer Steven Adler’s new album. After parting ways with Guns N Roses back in 1990, he never quite found his feet, but now he’s back with a new band and is ready to show us what he is really made of.
The opening few seconds of the title track sets the bar firmly on an 80s rock feel, which is not really surprising, but with a bluesy, gritty ruff and the emotion of the lyrics, it starts things off perfectly. The One That You Hated was the first single to be released a few months ago and was the perfect taster for what was to come, but there are so many other great tracks to rival it. Own Worst Enemy, Dead Wrong and Another Version of the Truth are suitably punchy tracks, and Diamonds is a super catchy track and has a chorus that will pull you in and have you singing along instantly.
Guitar legends John 5 and Slash also make a very special guest appearance which only adds to the quality of the record. John 5’s fretwork on Good To Be Bad is instantly recognisable, and Slash makes an incredible impression on the nicely subtle ballad Just Don’t Ask.
Adler has done a great job and surrounded himself with some fantastic musicians. Jeff Pilson of Dokken (who also produced the album), Lonny Paul who played with Adler in his former band Adler’s Appetite, and Jacob Bunton whose songwriting is incredibly good, and whose vocals are perfect for the feel of the record.
The mixture of that classic rock sound with a more modern twist makes Back From The Dead, one of the most exciting albums of the year. Pleasantly surprising, it is a very strong record and one Adler and co should be very proud of making!
Soundgarden - King Animal
“I’ve been away for too long / Though I never really wanted to stay.” A line that speaks volumes. Taken from the comeback single for grunge pioneers Soundgarden Been Away Too Long it says a lot about the band’s attitude to returning. With a new album in tow, their first in 16 years, what’s the verdict on King Animal?
Soundgarden were one of the those bands that drama never seemed to follow. They came, they made their mark on music then they sort of disappeared without a bang. Solo albums and supergroups followed, but the announcement recently that the band were to join forces again to make new music was a very welcome one.
King Animal as a comeback album is a good one. I don’t want to say excellent, i don’t want to say bad, but it is good. Drawing it’s strength from the likes of Superunknown, it is classic Soundgarden but upped for the 21st century. They have always had a great ability to combine deep grooves with a dark lyrical content, and that is still evident here. And Chris Cornell’s ever distinctive voice is as powerful as ever.
Tracks like Non-State Actor and By Crooked Steps are stand outs, and remind us of how fantastic Soundgarden can be, but there are a lot of run of the mill songs here. Black Saturday, Bones of Birds and Worse Dreams tail off and are almost too similar to what we have already heard many years ago. There isn’t really a fresh feeling to the record, more of a they went away, and now they have crept back in unnoticed feeling, which is a shame.
Don’t get me wrong, the album is a good album, and very worthy of listening, it is just maybe lacking a little of what was expected. I had hoped they would come back with a monster of an album to outdo everyone, but instead they have returned with one that would not sound out of place a decade and a half ago when the band called it a day.
Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Koi No Yokan, Japanese for the feeling of love at first sight and also the title of the new album from Deftones. Koi No Yokan is the follow up from 2010’s highly acclaimed Diamond Eyes, and once again proves just how important and innovative Deftones are as a band operating today.
Balancing between moments of brutal heaviness with gut wrenching riffs and moments of pure tenderness, these tracks layer off every way possible but always come back to the same familiar Deftones sound, with crashing soundscapes and Chino Morenos undeniable voice. The experimentation of their previous effort is still very evident but there is so much more on offer this time around with this record.
Opening track, Swerve City, shows instant promise with a menacing riff and a dark sense of mystery about it. Leathers is fantastically aggressive, the rage of the guitar is so in your face you can almost feel it. The franticness of these tracks weave in nicely with the softer more thoughtful tracks on the record. The likes of Romantic Dreams and Entombed are layered with dreamier, more winding riffs, with lighter, breathier vocals from Moreno, conveying a lot more emotion and feeling. Rosemary, along with Tempest, break the mould, both epic in length and in style, both masterpieces in their own right. Tormenting and beautiful at the same time.
Even as they enter their third decade of making music together, there is no denying the importance of Deftones and what they bring to the world of metal in 2012, still leaps and bounds ahead of the rest. The hope, the pain, the questions of life are all here on this record. Love at first sight never sounded so good.
Graveyard - Lights Out
Every once in a while a band comes along that takes your breath away, last year Graveyard was one of those very bands. Hisengen Blues was a brilliant album; a mix of metal and blues rock with that 70’s psychedelic vibe. First single Goliath gave a taste of what we expected to be a great follow up. There’s only one way to find out if this rings true…
The echoing sirens of An Industry Of Murder sets the tone for another intriguing musical journey, Graveyard style. From pulsing drum beats and Sabbath-esque distorted guitars straight into the smooth melodies of Slow Motion Countdown; the variety and musical knowledge of this quartet are unquestionable. The Suits, The Laws & The Uniforms is jam packed with funky riffs and particularly enticing vocal from Joakim Nilsson. His raw, gravelly tones really add an extra dimension to the group through a charismatic, passionate delivery. Goliath provides a big belting chorus, nifty guitar rhythms and intricate layers; a great live track to be sure. Whilst only containing nine tracks, they are nine tracks of face melting rock finishing on the charming 20/20 (Tunnel Vision). Full of grandeur, howling vocals, tasty riffs and pounding drums, Graveyard have covered all the bases with charm and class.
Who knew a blend of heavy metal, blues, psychedelia with a dash of swagger would create such a compelling sound. Graveyard have produced three killer albums and are mind blowing live; definitely worth investing some time into!
Steel Panther - Manchester Apollo, 10.11.12
Upon approaching Manchester Apollo, the increasing number of men in spandex and crazy wigs can only mean one thing, Steel Panther are in town. With a new backdrop of huge video screens, inevitably used to project titcam, this is their second visit to the city this year. In support are Falling Red; received well by the crowd they have some catchy songs but all in all it gets a little repetitive and Rozey’s vocals start to falter as the set wears on.
9pm comes round, the lights go out and the screen flashes up with a short backstage skit of the band playing strip battleships before they burst onstage. The crowd are in fine voice as they blast through Supersonic Sex Machine followed by Tomorrow Night. Steel Panther style witty banter and band introductions come next including a small trick of Michael Starr launching a drum stick behind his head for Stix with a crude consequence if he misses. The audience are then treated to a couple from the first album involving fan favourite Asian Hooker before a trio from the new album, a real good mix of their material. Satchel then erupts into a blinding guitar solo featuring snippets of Sweet Child O’ Mine, Iron Man and he even adds his own drum accompaniment towards the end. Acoustic guitars are brought out for a rendition of Girl From Oklahoma and shows that behind the characters and obscene lyrics, they are really talented musicians. Then comes that time of the night when a throng of girls are pulled onstage to help prove That’s What Girls Are For, much to the male dominated audiences delight! The killer Death To All But Metal rounds off the set and the cheers echo round the room until the band re-appear. Armed with acoustic guitars again, Satchel teases the crowd telling them it’s the first time they have played this particular song in Manchester; it of course turns out to be their biggest track Community Property. A huge sing along and swaying accompanies the track which unexpectedly gets the biggest cheer of the night. Ending on 17 Girls In A Row and promises of a new album, the enthusiastic crowd begin to filter out still bursting into chorus.
Even if you have seen Steel Panther a handful of times, their witty charm and crude jokes never fail to entertain. Coupled with catchy tunes and fun lyrics, they are one of the most enjoyable bands out there to go and see at the moment. We eagerly await the new album!