Torous

The Flapper Birmingham 20th August 2016.

Back in June of this year, we spoke to Torous and the guys promised us a tour in August, with a rather special night planned for Birmingham. Well, that night has come and also bringing an extra kick to it, are The Mighty Wraith, Devils Playground and Black Asteroids.

I’ve not seen Black Asteroids before but heard good things about them so their set tonight was a must see occasion. Comprising of Simon Donovan and Chris Allen, these guys give a new classification to drum and bass and as the name Black Asteroids suggests, there is definitely a cosmic connection to be found in their dark and heavy sound. The band released a new EP earlier this month and if tonight’s set is anything to go by, then this is definitely an EP you need to check out!

Black Asteroids

Our next band of the night were the local metallers Devils Playground who never fail to whip up a storm at each and every performance of theirs that I’ve seen. Metal and harmony go hand in hand within the sound of Devils Playground with the song by the same title, being a perfect example of this. According to the band’s Facebook page they are set to start work on some new material which hopefully we will get to hear when Devils Playground perform at Hils Ovations Midlands Metal Crusade in November, so that is something I will look forward to, as that will be a must go to event for sure!

Devils Playground

The Mighty Wraith are always a familiar and much welcomed addition to any metal gig but tonight’s set at The Flapper brought a slightly different line up due to the absence of Chris Muzz (drums). Stepping in at very short notice was Torous’ very own Tom Fenn and by short notice I mean only a couple of hours to learn the drum parts to the songs and if that ain’t the sign of a talented drummer and all round top guy, then I don’t know what is! As for The Mighty Wraiths performance tonight, Matt Gore and the guys rocked out and rawked with all their usual gusto and intensity, and delivered yet another blistering set!

Matt Gore - The Mighty Wraith

Torous have certainly climbed a few mountains in their two short years of existence and during that time, their combined talents have created a wealth of well written, imaginative and down right unmistakable songs, which precisely capture their individuality in it’s full integrity and tonight’s set from the band saw that excellence delivered the full.

GMT - Torous

The band have also just released a new 10 song compilation CD which includes just about all of their recorded tracks and believe me when I say, this is a must have purchase for all fans of the band.

Marc Malone - Torous

Tonight’s gig marked the midway point of Torous’ ’God Game Suicide’ tour, with dates at the Bridgnorth Festival (27.8.16) and Giff Fest Wolverhampton (28.816) still yet to come. So for all those live music aficionados who couldn’t make it tonight or any one who just wants more Torous, fear not, as you still have time – just head on over to the bands Facebook page for details of these events and get ya self sorted!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Diamond Head

 The Robin2 Bilston 18th August 2016.

As the steam cools on the heels of Bloodstock tonight’s gig at the Robin2 is set to raise the metal momentum again with none other than the cult metallers Diamond Head fired up to raise some horns in true British metal style.

But first up and definitely a band never to miss were Fire Red Empress, whose enigmatic delivery of fully charged rock is fast becoming second to none.

Jen Diehl - Fire Red Empress

With the impending release of their debut album including a track co-penned by Brian Tatler himself, the song ‘Black Morphine’ was a must have and fitting inclusion in their set tonight and judging by the hearty cheers of appreciation it received from the Robin2’s audience, this song is set to become a firm favourite from the band.

Benny Picken - Fire Red Empress

Fire Red Empress are one hell of a great band to see live and tonight’s set from them has definitely gone down in my book as first class!

So what can I say about Diamond Head that hasn’t already been said over the past forty years – probably not a lot as here we have a band who have consistently and continuously made their mark on the NWOBHM scene.

Tonight’s set from the band was ablaze with adrenaline from start to finish and was a powder keg of songs that included the long standing crowd pleasing tracks ‘Shoot Out The Lights’, ‘It’s Electric’ and a particular rare live performance of ‘Knights Of The Sword’.

Brian Tatler - Diamond Head

But as much as those great songs will always remain iconic of Diamond Head’s achievements, it was the opportunity to hear some of their new material, including the songs such a ‘Diamonds’ and ‘Bones’ played live, which really did hit the spot for me tonight!

Andy Abberley - Diamond Head

There is something quite awesome about the bands recent writings and self titled release ‘Diamond Head’ as it marries both their ageless sound and style, which we all know and love, with a freshness of energy and to me, that all equates to the start of great things still to come from the band.

Dean Ashton - Diamond Head

As for the highlight of the evening, well for me that has to be without doubt, the most anticipated song of the set ‘Am I Evil?‘. A Highlight not just because it is synonymous to Diamond Head but because both band and audience gave it 150%, which really was the most fantastic experience to be part of.

Rasmus Bom Andersen - Diamond Head

The next couple of months will see Diamond Head touring the UK and judging by tonight’s performance for the band, what a tour that is going to be!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Hils Ovation

O2 Academy2 Birmingham 30th July 2016.

As far as having the chance to attend a rather special live music event goes, tonight’s show at The O2 Academy2 looks set to epitomise all things great within the local music scene. Our headlining band Stone Broken are currently flying very high indeed and with support tonight coming from Theia, Cower Hounds and Sonata Fall, there is every reason to expect this event to be one of a kind!

Starting the night’s music off and in fine form too, were the Staffordshire based band, Sonata Fall. With influences such as Alter Bridge and Tremonti shinning through within their song writing style, the vocals of Justin Reeves certainly worked their magic with the duel attack of razor sharp guitars, courtesy of Alex Dutton and Andy Burns. The band currently have an EP out titled ‘Gravekeeper’s Lantern’ which I can wholeheartedly recommend checking out and for details of how to get a copy of this, just hop on over and check out the bands Facebook page.

Justin Reeves - Sonata Fall

Our next band on stage who were just as fearless as ever and a firm favourite of mine, were the Cower Hounds. For a band comprising of only three musicians, these guys have a huge sound and an energy to match and it was that aspect of their set tonight that delivered the wow factor for me. It was also great to stand amongst the audience and hear the comments which were being made about the band so I’m sure they picked up a few new fans tonight! If you’ve not seen the Cower Hounds live before, then you really do need to.

Paul Reynolds - Cower Hounds

Tonight’s line up really was a match made in heaven with our main support being none other than Theia! I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing this band grow and evolve over the years and tonight’s set marked the next new chapter for me, as this was my first opportunity to catch Jake Dalton on drums. I have to say that it was also quite a buzz to finally see the band on a stage the size of the O2 Academy2 as a live Theia performance is never a quiet or subdued affair and tonight their gifted ability to rock an audience absolutely shone!

Kyle Lamley - THEIA

The last few months have brought a hive of activity and success for our headlining band Stone Broken and tonight’s gig at The O2 Academy 2 was anticipated as being one of a kind as not only had it been upgraded to Hall 2 due to selling out Hall 3 in a very short time span, but tonight’s event also comes following the wave of celebrations for the bands signing of a record deal with Frontiers Music.

As the band took to the stage amidst the warmest of West Midlands welcomes, their was an atmosphere akin to a triumphant home coming which set the mood for the entirety of the Stone Broken’s set.

Chris Davis - Stone Broken

With the note perfect vocals of Rich Moss and outstanding guitar and bass work of Chris Davis and Kieron Conroy accentuating tracks such as ‘Stay All Night’, ’Better’ and ’Not Your Enemy’, it was clear to see how and why the bands popularity is growing as fast as it is but for me, it was the amazing talent of Robyn Haycock on drums that I found the most captivating as tonight, we were privileged to witness one of the most impressive drum showcases to be seen outside of a stadium.

Robyn Haycock - Stone Broken

Given the calibre of the bands set and entire performance this evening, I would have expected it to be damn near impossible to identify one particular highlight that stood out above all others but hand on heart, I’m so very happy to have been proved wrong in that thought. As all those familiar with the tracks on the bands debut album ‘All In Time’ will know, there is one particular rock ballad which stands firmly in the same league as many of the timeless greats and tonight’s acoustic version of ’Wait For You’, made a memory not to be forgotten.

Rich Moss and Kieron Conroy - Stone Broken

And the lasting memory came not just from it’s perfect performance but from the moment of revelation on the bands faces as The Broken Army jumped in and sang the chorus back to the band – and when an army of some four hundred plus people does that with such feeling, that memory is a keeper.

If you ever hear anyone saying that nothing will ever come of being in a band and dreaming big, just point them in the direction of Stone Broken as these guys and gal are well on the way to proving that combined with hard work, dreams can and do come true!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.