With Support From Piston and Samuel Taylor.
The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 26th June 2013.
It’s always a shame when you go to a gig and the majority of people are only there for the headline act of the night. The main issue with this for me is that people miss out on some absolute gems. In this case, people missed out on the opening act of the night, Samuel Taylor.
Originating from Sheffield, Taylor is a singer songwriter currently residing in London Town. Within the first few bars of his opening song, Taylor captivated the unfortunately small crowd. I was blown away by this one guy stood on a stage alone with only his acoustic guitar and harmonica (and a suitcase sporting his name in case anyone forgot) for company. His musical influences were clear for anyone to see as he strummed his way through his honest, genuine songs that screamed Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Bruce Springstein.
As he picked his way through the five tracks off his EP entitled “Some Nobody to Me” (which has now made its way into my own CD collection) no one could deny that this guy has passion and this was reflected in his music. As the tracks unfurled the audience were treated to a musical journey as Taylor told the story of how the songs were a collection of tracks written over the last year or so which gave the crowd an insight to the last twelve months. If you like your music stripped down and heartfelt then Taylor is the musician for you.
Next to take to the stage were local boys, Piston. These five lads dropped the pedal to the metal and took the tempo up several knotches! They even managed to grab the attention away from the bar as the increasing crowd strayed in to hear their blues infused hard rock. Some bands are just born to be rock stars. They’re the kind of bands that take the stage and right from the first song you know you’re seeing a top quality, high energy performance that can barely be contained in the room they’re playing. That is exactly what my first thoughts were as I stood watching Piston. They too were performing songs off their new EP entitled “Playing with Fire” (yet another addition to my playlist). Opening their set with “Dark Angel” the bands gritty blues based rock is well suited to Steve Nunns powerful vocals and the twin screeching guitars of Jack Edwards and Luke Allatt. These guys have an enormous full and fantastic sound.
The guys rocked their way through their set with expert ease playing tracks like” A Hand In Yours”, “Playing With Fire” and “Misery”. Guitarist Jack Edwards never stands still for more than a few seconds as he runs around the stage trading guitar licks with fellow guitarist Allatt while singer Nunn leans into the crowd drawing on the increasing energy from the growing masses. As their set came to a close there was just enough time to play current single off the EP “Proud Mary” a fantastic foot stomper and a crowd pleaser in its own right. Piston are definitely one of my new favourite bands and these guys aren’t going to let up until the entire world knows who they are. Look out world, Piston are coming!
It was going to be tough to follow Pistons set and despite not actually knowing much about the Temperance Movement personally, I was assured by several members of the audience that “if anyone could, they could!” By now the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton was bursting at the seams with Temperance fans. It appears the band have managed to amass quite a following in their relatively short time on the scene and expectations were high. There was definitely an air of excitement coursing through the audience. Not surprising given the band have already supported bands like Rival Sons (a right of passage for bluesy rock bands) and are now playing festivals like Hard Rock Calling.
Their opening track “Be Lucky” had a slight country feel to it, not what you’d expect from a bunch of guys hailing from London/Glasgow. Combine the rich, smooth vocals and swagger of front man Phil Campbell with the riff-oriented guitar work of Luke Potashnick and Paul Sayer and you have a melting pot of sound that can’t help but grab your attention.
It’s no surprise at how accomplished the band is considering that most of the guys have been session musicians for several other well known acts. Campbells voice continued to shine as they performed “Ain’t No Telling,” and “Only Friend” from their debut EP “Pride”. Even on the classic ballad type tracks like “Pride” and “Lovers and Fighters” Campbells voice was truly amazing. Mix together Rod Stewart, Chris Robinson and Paul Rodgers and you start to get the idea of just how good his vocals are. With their own unique bluesy, soulful rock n roll sound it’s obvious to me now why these guys have gained such a following after a five track EP and I’ll certainly be going to see them again.
In my opinion, this was one of those elusive “I was there” gigs that many of the audience will look back on in years to come.
Words and Photography by Mark at Amplified Gig Photography.