Tonight I thought I was taking you to the Wild Wild West. My (t)rusty Megane was headed towards the sunset and I’ve been to Wales before so can attest to its wildness. I’d fastened on my spurs, talked the Grumpy Husband out of wearing his Dolly Parton wig, and was ready to roll my wagons. All my cowboy homilys were poised and ready to be slipped into the review. Well until I got to the venue and discovered that tonight’s triumvirate of bands are actually Southern Rock and not Country and Western. Damn. Foiled on a technicality! Genre fail!Read More
We start tonight with a female-fronted metal band from Romania. Scarlet Aura tried really hard, but as first band up on a Monday evening in rainy Manchester they didn’t really stand a chance. The music was OK, generic Metal, some rather intrusive use of backing tracks for intros though. The singer had a pleasant voice, she was in tune, but it wasn’t a Voice if you know what I mean. She was kind of a minor version of Doro. A moon of Doro. Doro-lite even.Read More
First band tonight The Clan I have mentioned in these hallowed pages previously. They are a local 3-piece, competent, who play pub rock. Dad rock even. They have all the clichés (waistcoats, raccoon tails, synchronised guitar necks, songs about rock and motorbikes) but they do it with a smile. They are easy on the ear, they won’t set the world on fire but I bet they play at an awful lot of bike rallies.Read More
Rockwich Saturday is a bit of a strange beast. Technically Rockwich was (is?) a one-day festival, The first one was part of a town-wide initiative and was intended to be very much a one-off event. But organisers Promethius Promotions had other ideas and having secured themselves a venue they set about organising a few years of what have turned into killer line-ups. This meant that, as word got around, people from far afield wanted to travel to attend, so to ease their travelling woes the campsite was opened on a Saturday evening and it kind of grew from there. This year they have moved to a new, better venue with much better facilities and more space for camping so once the local football team have trounced their opposition and gone home we start to get pitched up and begin the rock takeover.Read More
The night didn’t start well. The Creamfields Festival was on the same weekend in my home town of Warrington, and I forgot. This meant that I spent a whole lot more time than I had planned for sitting in barely-moving traffic on the M56, resulting in me completely missing tonight’s first band Hollowpoint. Bah. Sorry Hollowpoint, I’ll catch you next time. The next thing I realised was that my “proper” camera, which had been on the coffee table in my living room while the battery was charging was….. still on the coffee table in my living room. Damn. So I apologise in advance if the pictures aren’t up to our usual standard, the bands were great, the lighting was great, your reviewer is a fuckwit. Onwards!Read More
Thirteen Stars, aka The Cumbria Cowboys, have been a little quiet of late. A couple of years ago they were all over the place, you couldn’t go to a gig without tripping over a misplaced cowboy boot or bumping into a tasselled suede jacket but recently? They seemed to have dropped off the radar. Probably had real life and stuff to deal with I expect.Read More
I was a bit meh tonight when the support act came on. I mean when you have come to see an acoustic show by a very famous bloke with a good voice and a guitar it would really make sense to have something different supporting right? Maybe a woman? A skiffle band? A dog act? I mean, KISS had a painter recently on their arena tour and if it’s good enough for Gene and Paul…..Read More
A night out in Liverpool is quite a rare thing for me, and with two of my favourite bands on the bill plus another that I’d heard good things about I was looking forward to a good night, tonight.
With 3 bands to get through, Last Great Dreamers hit the stage early, and the room was a little more empty than I think they deserved. They powered through a short but wonderful 8-song set of their power-pop-tastic songs, starting with ‘Primitive Man’ from their most recent album “13th Floor Renegades” and ending with ‘Oblivion Kids’ from the previous one “Transmissions From Oblivion”.Read More
Day 3 starts with a stonking set from Atlas. I reviewed them at some length fairly recently so I won’t bore on about them too much. Suffice to say they were just as good as last time, Craig still has a fabulous voice, I still think they would be improved with more backing vocals and I enjoyed them very much. My friend said that although their songs are good they have not yet written their That Song, and I kind of agree.Read More
Another mad dash up the motorway for me, and much to my delight I managed to catch all bar the first song of openers Hell’s Gazelles. They are a young band from Oxfordshire who play traditional metal – big riffs and soaring vocals abound. There’s been a line-up change since I saw them last but stalwarts Nate (guitar) and Cole (vocal) are still holding the whole thing together nicely.Read More
This year sees the 12th edition of Manchester’s SOS (School’s Out for Summer) Festival, and it will be the 5th one I have attended. The festival was originally envisioned by Lynne Hampson from Rocksector Records to be a family-friendly indoor gig. It continues on that basis to the present day, providing a platform for local bands whilst also adding some national and international acts into the mix.Read More
There’s a very famous comedy show that gave us the now immortal line “and now for something completely different” and that’s what I’m expecting tonight.
First up, we have local band Bad Dog, who I have seen several times before but not recently. So the different thing about them is that they have improved. Immensely. I recall a young band whose enthusiasm way outstripped their talent, and what I got tonight was a badass blues-rock band with a distinct twinge of Southern boogie about them.Read More
I’ve known Theia for a while now, but I have a confession to make – I’m still not 100% certain of the correct way to pronounce their name! Thay-a? Thee-arh? Thy-ah? Nope, not a clue. Which makes it a bit difficult to tell people in person how good they are if I’m honest. They are a young 3-piece outfit from the Midlands. Guitarist Kyle and bassist Paul have been the mainstay of the band over the last 7 years, because they have a bit of a Spinal Tap thing going on with drummers. There have been a few, although to the best of my knowledge none of them have actually exploded yet.Read More
I love Eleven as a venue, it’s a cracking place. Total pain in the bum to get to in time for a gig start on a week night though! However, I persevered and best efforts of the M6 notwithstanding, I managed to get there in time to see all the bands. This was just as well, as tonight’s bill was a bit of an epic.Read More
I’ve been watching the Waterloo evolve over the last 18 months or so, and it’s been quite a sight to see. It started as a run-down pub used mostly by the local bowls club, with a tiny room and a tiny stage in one corner. Gigs got booked, bands and fans came. Walls got knocked out, the loos got renovated, a decent-sized stage was built, a new floor installed, a PA arrived, and now there is even a barrier to create the tiniest photo pit in the world. It’s all good, and kudos to Ian and his team who are grabbing some really great Rock and Punk bands to play and putting on some excellent nights of live music these days.Read More
Tonight's entertainment comes courtesy of two relatively new British rock outfits that are either coming or going. Support band, Bigfoot are going, having decided to call it a day after only 5 years together, and headliners The Treatment, despite suffering from exploding singer syndrome in recent years, are still coming, and currently busy promoting their recently released 4th album “Power Crazy”.Read More
Early start at Rebellion tonight as apparently we are being followed by a punk festival. Which is nice! So Gorilla Riot are onstage by 7.30, which I suspect was a shock to their systems as well as mine. This is because Gorilla Riot are a late-night kind of band. They’re bluesy, and sleazy. The kind of band you feel you should be drinking neat whisky and chainsmoking Marlboros to. Oh and none of your Marlboro lights either!Read More
Sadly (for me at least) Mike’s current touring support Rob Wylde was unable to make tonight’s show, so we had two local acoustic musicians I wasn’t aware of to open up for us.
First up was Junior Dayvies. He turned out to be a tall man with a twinkly smile, and he played laid-back summery music. Occasionally the lyrics became slightly edgy and there was a [Ben Elton Mode] touch of politics [/Ben Elton Mode} involved, but mostly it was polite, slightly melancholy and very much in tune. He was a nice way to start the evening.Read More