Quireboys were at the Manchester Academy 3 last Friday but unfortunately no guest pass for me. Not one to miss out on Rock or Metal for the lack of a plan B, I headed to the small basement of a Manchester pub where foreign beers are served, The Peer Hat.
As I went down the stairs and entered the room, Paladin were in full swing, rocking out on a rather small stage for 6 band members. The poor lighting situation of this place like so many other venues definitely wasn't going to help me tonight, but I would try to make the most of it.
At face value, I think Paladin might possibly be musically influenced by Guns N' Roses. There is no shortage of headscarves tonight or Gn'R t-shirts. The band from Bolton were rather stiff in the first few songs but started to relax as their set went on with a mix of eclectic songs, from Hardcore to Punk, Hard Rock to Metal.
Next was Stormrider, a local classic Metal band with a beast of a vocalist, jumping from lows to highs à la Halford, with an epic delivery. Fantastic guitar chops by tiny MusicMan Cristiano Lopes is to be noted, although at times, it was heavily overpowered in the mix by the bass. Who's idea was it to put a mixing desk in the corner of the room.
Next up scousers Midnight Prophecy delivered their set of prog-metal with great conviction. Their set may only comprise 4 songs tonight but each one of them lasts 10 minutes. Craig Cairns vocals were tremendous as usual. Sure the guy is gifted and very reminiscent of the 70's great vocalists. From their humble beginnings at the Liverpool's Krazyhouse, I have seen him come along in leaps and bounds. Mind you, same goes for the rest of the band. Can they get any better?
After some technical issues and a slight delay, Damim took centre stage. I had never heard of this London Death Metal band. SInger-guitarist Nathanael Underwood has previously released 2 albums under the name Dam 10 years ago, and if I am correct, a change of band members led to a change of band name. Elements of progriness appear here and there, but overall, it is pretty much an assault on all your senses.
Me, I kept on smiling, imagining the people above in the pub reacting to the evil floor vibrations.