The Rival Sons

Rock City Nottingham 3rd April 2015.

Tonight’s gig promises to be a good one, especially when you consider its actually Good Friday! Getting to the venue was a delight tonight too, as there was absolutely no traffic at all!

On arrival, it was refreshing to see the queue of punters was half way down the street! This isn’t an unfamiliar sight at Rock City, but it does help to demonstrate how eager everyone was to see The Rival Sons who you could almost consider a local band these days, seeing as they’re signed to the cities only record label Earache Records!

Before tonight’s main event, we had one other band in support tonight who go by the name of The London Souls, although these guys come from the big apple, New Your City, their choice of name is somewhat misleading! A two piece outfit, Chris – drummer and backing vocalist and Tash – lead singer and lead electric guitar! These guys optimize everything that’s cool about the NYC music scene and emulate nothing but original rock and roll goodness!

Chris - The London Souls

Currently unsigned, this hasn’t prevented them from acquiring a major supporting slot on one of the biggest tours around, alongside the Rival Sons! They also have a new album out soon, which gets released on the 7th of April, titled “Here Come the Girls”. I’ll certainly be interested in hearing that!

Tash - The London Souls

Tonight’s performance was a triumph, especially when you consider there are only two of them! They managed to capture and maintain the imagination of the crowd, with their mixture of blues/soul/rock music. Tonight’s highlight has to be watching Tash making his guitar gently weep throughout tonight’s set, he’s certainly a true master of his weapon of choice! They remind me of Jimmy Hendrix, a little bit, you could even say Tash looks very similar to the man himself! Great band, glad I got to see them play and a very good support band choice too!

Every generation will produce an era defining band, for me, Rival Sons are that band! Having known about these guys for sometime now, what with the regular info I receive from their label, Earache Records, I was certainly looking forward to tonight’s event! Seeing them perform on Jools Holland’s TV show helped to give me an idea of how good these guys are live but that was nothing compared to tonight’s epic twenty track performance!

Dave Beste - The Rival Sons

With the intro music playing ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’, the band took to the stage and then led us into the first track “Electric Man” which is a personal favourite of mine, so to be stood 3ft away with only my camera between us, it was pretty special! After the first track, from my vantage point I could clearly see the joy on Jay’s face, after receiving the adulation of the crowd, he then embraced Scott as if to say “they like us”. Seen as a second home for these guys, I can only imagine the pressure of performing well in front of tonight’s crowd was high, but they needn’t of worried, as these guys are phenomenal!

Jay Buchanan - The Rival Sons

This tour has been given the title “Million Mile Ride Tour” I only know this because I bought a t-shirt to help remind me of tonight’s fabulous performance! This title probably isn’t too far from the truth either, as these guys are originally from California and this tour will see them travel the length and breadth of the UK and mainland Europe! So with that in mind, tonight’s set was heavily biased towards the new album ‘Great Western Valkyrie’ which is a superb album indeed!

Scott Holiday - The Rival Sons

The entire band look like rock stars as far as their appearance goes, with plenty of leather, jewellery and swagger, these guys know they look and sound the part, but don’t mistake confidence with arrogance as these guys are as humble as they come and I got that impression just from how they conducted themselves at tonight’s gig! Ironically, Someone made the statement that Jay sings from his socks but he wasn’t wearing any, which I could clearly see as his leather trousers were rolled up, but his shoes were very shiny and stylish, as you’d expect!

Jay Buchanan - The Rival Sons.

Tonight was close to being a sell out and it was nice to see the locals getting behind their favourite adopted band, Rival Sons of the City! FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC! Can’t wait to see them again, although this was the penultimate UK show of this tour before they head off to Europe, but expect to see them in the UK again very soon!

Until next time music fans, stay electric!

Full Set List; 1.Electric Man 2.Good Luck 3.Play the Fool 4.Secret 5.Manifest Destiny, Part 1 6.Torture 7.Set [Acoustic] 8.Nava 9.Long as I Can See the Light (Cover) 10.Burn Down Los Angeles 11.The Man Who Wasn’t There 12.White Noise 13.Rich and the Poor 14.Belle Starr 15.Where I’ve Been 16.Tell Me Something [with Radio Intro] 17.Get What’s Coming 18.Open My Eyes 19.Pressure and Time 20.Keep On Swinging

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Hils Ovation

The Slade Rooms 20th March 2015.

I’m really liking the line up of tonight’s Hils Ovation gig as it‘s a great mix of bands familiar and new to me but first and foremost, I have to give huge apologies to Merciless Tide for missing their set. Traffic and parking was an absolute bitch tonight due to a football match and I just wasn’t expecting that.

Thankfully, I did make it in time to catch Electus and these guys were just the job as they are 100% rock ‘n’ roll with a touch of Jimi Hendrix blended in for good measure. One of the greatest pleasures for me, from being part of music224, is coming across a band for the first time and watching where the future takes them and despite Electus’ laid back feel and good time vibe, I sense we have a band here who are very serious about making music and have their sights firmly fixed forward upon the horizon.

Russell Peak - Electus

Some bands don’t just settle on rocking our world but strive to carve out a new one of their own and the Cower Hounds are one such band who never fail to make their sound or each performance, an eccentric excursion through that twisted black hole into the world where the Cower Hounds live. There is something incredibly inspiring about this band as each time I’ve seen or heard them play, they always manage to propel themselves to a new level of creativity and that was once again the case tonight – top set indeed!

Rob Stimpson - Cower Hounds

Our penultimate band for this evening and another new experience for me were Wolverhampton locals, The Infinite Struggle. These guys sure know how to metal up and with front man Paul Hamilton having such an impressive voice and raging persona to match, I anticipate we will be hearing a lot more from these guys as the year rolls out.

Paul Hamilton - The Infinite Struggle

Our headlining band for tonight were Black Tongue Messiah who consist of Rich Sewell – vocals and guitar, Dale Jones – guitar, Dan Angelides – bass and Dene Haddon on drums.

Dale Jones - Black Tongue Messiah

The band have been together for just over two years now, and a productive couple of years they’ve been aswell and most notably topped off by the recording session at Hellfire Studios last November for the creation of their new EP, ‘ Propaganda Bomb’.

Rich Sewell - Black Tongue Messiah

Black Tongue Messiah’s set was ram packed tonight with their abundance of heaviness and with the title track of the new EP being a clear highlight for me. Do go check the band out over on their Facebook page and grab yourself a copy of ‘Propaganda Bomb’ first chance you get!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Black Acid Souls

Zombie Hut Corby 20th March 2015.

Tonight we were invited all the way down to Corby to a new venue for us, the Zombie Hut which is located on the Rockingham Road – and that says it all really! It’s a pretty cool rock venue which shares a space with the local rugby club and looking around the venue I could see that it’s a popular venue for metal bands to play at, as I recognised many familiar names who we’ve regularly enjoyed watching and reviewing. If it wasn’t so far away and had slightly better stage lighting, I’d probably consider going to more shows at this venue but who knows!

The first band up tonight, I’m gonna call them TBC’d, simply because that’s what it said on the gig flyer and also for the fact that the lead singer tried making me look a dick during their set. There’s a saying ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds’ and for this reason I can’t be arsed to find out anything about them or waste any more of my precious time talking about them.

My best mates Fury were part of tonight’s line up and they too had made the long journey from Worcester to play tonight’s gig in Corby, they even stayed right to the very end to show their support for Black Acid Souls, which speaks volumes and solidifies my belief that these are some of the nicest guys in metal.

Julian Jenkins - Fury

For my troubles and getting down here tonight, I was awarded with a new track from these guys, called “Star Trippin”, which continues to tell a story that started with the track “Out Beyond the Stars”, which features on the band’s latest album ‘The Lightning Dream’. The band have got a busy year ahead of them with many shows already scheduled in, so be sure to check out their Facebook page and website for more information. I love this band so much, they will be big one day, they’ve got the stage show to support playing larger shows, they’ve even got the long pause between guitar change overs covered, as I saw tonight, when Jake the snake ripped into a masterful guitar solo, keeping us all entertained! Seriously, check um out!

Jake Beesley - Fury

Rest of the set consisted of: In To The Dark, Star Trippin’, Warrior’s Prayer, Out Beyond The Stars, Britannia, Prince Of Darkness, Haul Away and Drunken Sailor.

Black Acid Souls have been a little quiet of late, mainly because they’ve been locked away in the Studio along with the legendary producer Mr. Tsangardes, recording their new album ‘Shadow Walker’. We were lucky enough to be given a promo copy of the new album ahead of its official release date in May and after giving it several listens in a row, I can safely say this album will be received greatly as it has some awesome tracks on it. Personal favourites so far are ‘Bitter Taste Sweet’ and ‘Fight Back’, the later of which is an absolute belter, with some great air guitar moments in there aswell!

Tonight’s gig was the first time I’d been introduced to the bands new guitarist Zed. Fans of the band who’ve yet to see him in action, all I can say is he’s a very competent guitar player and you’ll not be left disappointed!

Zed - Black Acid Souls

I was a little shocked to see Dean the bands vox master, come onto the stage in his pants tonight and when I asked the reason why, he stated ‘If my girl friend wasn’t at the front, I was going to strip off’ thankfully, she saved us all the embarrassment of watching Dean’s bollox for an hour or so long set! ahhh… young love!

Flakey - Black Acid Souls

Chubbs was on another level tonight too, with his guitar playing being second to non, a very talented young man indeed, who loves to stick his very long tongue out – a lot…

Chubbs - Black Acid Souls

Hearing the new stuff live really helped me to understand this new album as the live setting is were it’s at – but we all know that and I’d strongly suggest getting yourselves a copy when it comes out in May, as it’s a work of art!

Hoff - Black Acid Souls

Until next time music fans!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)