Category Archives: Gig reviews

Dead Posey

Supporting Theory of a Deadman at Rock City Nottingham 21st November 2019.

Every day we receive countless emails regarding band releases, tour dates and information about what’s going on in the music world, which we are eternally grateful for. We appreciate every single one and the people who work tirelessly to send out this information regarding the artists they represent, so we do everything we can to support them. Although we can’t act on all the information we receive, we do read every single one.

Every so often we get notified of a new band we’ve yet to see live, such as the email we received regarding a Los Angeles based alt rock band known as Dead Posey and after listening to the material they currently have available to the public, we were intrigued to find out more. So, as per usual, we requested to attend the show at Rock City and were kindly granted permission to attend and review, however, we were also granted an interview, which I personally love to do as it gives me an opportunity to meet the talent behind the music! Although our interview was scheduled for before the show and we got their early enough to conduct it, we were asked if we could do it after their set as the band didn’t have that much time to get ready for their set, which we didn’t mind doing, as it still meant we got to see the main act.

As Dead Posey were the only support act tonight, they took to the stage relatively early. Knowing Tony was a multi-instrumentalist, I was intrigued to see how they’d fair on the live stage. As predicted, they had an additional guitarist and a separate drummer backing them up and to make the sound as it should be, although they mostly stayed at the back of the stage. What was surprising was that they didn’t have a bassist!

Danyell, the bands vocalist is a real live wire on stage and a born performer! With so much energy, it was hard to keep up with her! Thankfully, Tony was a little easier to handle, photographically. The lighting wasn’t the best for these guys and that is always disappointing from our perspective, as it’s the photography we love the best!

That interview is available here, if of interest? We think it’s an interesting insight into the band and as they’ve just announced they’re playing Download Festival next year, we’re predicting there will be much more interest in these guys after their appearance at that festival! It’s for this reason I love interviewing bands, so when we go to the festival next year, we can say, yeah, we spoke to Dead Posey and they are uber cool man, check’ em out!

Our favourite track, produced by these guys, is titled ‘Monster’ and we feel it represents what these guys do and are capable of, perfectly!

Theory of a Dead Man headlined tonight and again, I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing them live or know of any of their material even after researching the band, both before and after this show. These guys have a massive following on social media, probably due to the fact they are the massive record label, Roadrunner Records.

A credible rock band, who do what they do well although they’re not to my usual taste. I can listen to anything but I have to be impressed or I lose interest very quickly. Sadly this was the case with this band, so I left the pit earlier than usual to go find the reason I came in the first place and go talk to the incredible support act, Dead Posey!

Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other! Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope to see you all again, in 2020! To see more photographs from the day, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Buckcherry

With support from The Treatment, Rocky Kramer and THEIA at The Robin 2 Bilston 9th November 2019.

We arrive at The Robin 2 in Bilston narrowly missing doors after finding out earlier that day, that times had been shifted back by 30mins. Outside the venue, there is little evidence of tonight’s event with only a handful of people smoking, huddled under the gazebo avoiding the relentless rain.

We collect our passes just in time to catch the start of Theia, a young hungry hard rock three piece from Burton, who kick open the night to a now steadily filling venue. They get things moving right from the off with the punchy ‘Throw Me A Bone’, a politically tinged rock and roll anthem that provides an insight into the mentality of the trio. Flaunting a combination of solid rock and roll grooves, soaring catchy choruses and charged lyrics, these guys play and write with a maturity beyond their years and had themselves a small but loyal following present in the crowd tonight, with Theia shirts visibly dotted throughout.

Frontman/guitarist, Kyle Lamley, holds the stage with a confident charisma, engaging and encouraging the audience throughout the set by continually addressing and involving them in the performance, which they responded well too. It’s worth noting the tightness of the rhythm section here, in part due to the fact that the current drummer has only been with them for four short months. Though if it hadn’t been mentioned during one of the many crowd interactions between songs, nobody in the room would have been any the wiser.

By their third track, ‘Just Go’, from the 2017 album ‘Back In Line’ the room had nearly filled up to capacity and by the next song, ‘Paper the House’, a bouncy and driven offering detailing the live gig experience, the band had firmly “got you by the balls”.

The set closes on ‘Whoop De F**king Do’ a lively, energetic and angsty, rock and roll anthem of anti-celebrity culture and anti-materialism, with an undeniably catchy chorus that the crowd are all to eager to join in with. All round, a solid offering from the young Burtonians, signalling themselves as a band to watch and the ideal choice to open up this night of hard rock.

The second act of the night was the American based Norwegian musician/composer/actor, Rocky Kramer and his band, the aptly named Rocky Kramer band, consisting of Matt Grossman on keys, Michael Dwyer on bass and Alejandro Mercado on drums.

Featuring an eclectic mix of 80’s tinged classic hard rock combined with symphonic arrangements, it was very hard to pin down the actual sound of this band. In between the hard-hitting rock sections, there were slow ballads and prog influenced instrumental sections that seemed slightly out of place in tonight’s hard rock driven soundscape.

Playing through tracks such as ‘Alcohol’ and ‘I Wanna Know’ Kramer did his best to connect with an audience whose interest was slowly waning. Unfortunately, the Norwegian born showman’s crowd interaction was as cheesy and off the mark as his set, with lines such as “this next song is for those with an attitude” falling flat on the audience. The set picked up slightly during the middle as the band leaned into a brief section of heavy metal, complete with thundering double kick, but this was short-lived and soon settled back down after.

Kramer struggled to hit the fine line between frontman and guitarist, compromising both in the process, with his falsetto vocals regularly offset by indulgent guitar lead work. The highlight of the set was the recently released ‘Rock Star’ which has had some airplay on the BBC. In another setting the band might have gone down better but after the intense well-crafted momentum created by the opening act, Kramer fell flat and his neoclassical prog tinged hard rock felt out of place.

Next up were the penultimate band of the night, Cambridgeshire’s hard rockers, The Treatment and this band are certainly no strangers to supporting major rock acts, having previously toured with the likes of Alice Cooper, Slash, W.A.S.P, Steel Panther and Thin Lizzy during their career.

The buzz for this band could be felt long before they took to the stage, with whispers and murmurs rippling throughout the bar and the outside smoking area in anticipation. As the ominous and atmospheric intro track played out from an empty stage, the crowd had already started wailing and cheering for the band. When they finally detonate out, they were met with the reaction you’d expect for an established touring headliner, which these guys will easily be given a few more years to grow their fan base. The band blend influences of AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and Tesla to create their own distinct brand of high-octane classic rock, repackaged for the modern era. All of the elements of a true hard rock show were present and on display here, from intense driven riffs and huge choruses to powerful vocals, all performed with an undoubtable dynamism and showmanship. This is exactly what a rock band should sound and look like.

Guitarists Tegore and Tao Grey energetically bound around the stage laying down ever tastier licks and riffs, feeding off of each other and the crowd while bassist Rick ‘Swoggle’ Newman provided the meat of the sound, locking into drummer Dhani Mansworth’s thundering beats. Recent new addition, vocalist Tom Rampton, both sounds and looks like he’s been part of this band from the start and has already integrated and established himself, with his Bon Scott tinged vocals perfectly complimenting the auditory attack of the guitar driven sound.

Powering through material from 2019’s ‘Power Crazy’ interlaced with classic offerings from their back catalogue, the band firmly held the attention of the audience throughout the duration of the set and provided the perfect warmup for the main act of the night.

Now it was time for the band everybody was clearly here to see, the almighty Buckcherry, now two decades on in their career (though only vocalist Josh Todd remains from the original line-up.)

The band exploded onto the stage with a heavily cherried up cover of the 1990 Nine Inch Nails classic, ‘Head Like A Hole’ taken from their latest album, ‘Warpaint’, which went down a storm with the eager crowd and kicked things off properly. Whilst it’s relatively uncommon for a band of this magnitude to open with a cover, they pulled it off flawlessly as if were their own and their fresh funked up spin gave it that distinctive Buckcherry sound. With the whole room now firmly in the palms of their hands, the band proceeded to blitz through a career spanning set comprised of brand-new tracks, inter-weaved with nostalgic classics and masterfully executed covers.

Legendary frontman, Josh Todd’s unbounded and seemingly limitless energy was completely infectious and fueled the crowd into a frenzy that lasted throughout. Guitarists Stevie D and Kevin Roentgen owned their respective sides of the stage matching equal parts showmanship with musicianship, interacting with the audience and each other while bassist Kelly LeMieux and drummer Francis Ruiz locked down a solid slab of funky groove that had the whole place moving. The band were all on top form tonight and as air-tight as you would come to expect from a band of their calibre.

By the time they reached their classic debut single – ‘Lit Up’, the energy in the room had already reached fever pitch,  and everyone was now transported straight back to 1999, joining Josh in reliving his first night on the show. With everyone unquestionably along for the ride they knocked through the likes of ‘Somebody F**ked With Me’ and ‘Bent’. At this point in the set, Todd asked the audience for requests and we are treated to an impromptu cover of the Kenny Loggins 1984 classic, ‘Footloose’ which once again, whipped the crowd into a frenzy and got to whole of the venue moving front to back.

The set climaxed with the infamous ‘Crazy Bitch’ from hit album ’15’ and had the whole of The Robin 2 screaming along to every single word, with each ‘f**k’ shouted louder than the last one by the ravenous audience. This was clearly the song that everyone had been waiting for and it definitely showed. The show could very easily have ended there, but as an added bonus we are given an encore, another cover in the form of the 2013 Icona Pop hit, ‘I Love It (I Don’t Care)’ aptly altered to ‘say f**k it’. After a strong finish, the band said their thanks and goodbyes before guitarist Stevie D gave us one last spectacle by launching himself into the audience and crowd surfing on a sea of screaming fans! As the night drew to a close, we funneled our way out of The Robin 2, back into rainy Bilston and gained back the 20 years we managed to briefly shake off inside, this certainly isn’t California but for the duration of their set, it certainly felt like it.

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review by Jamie Barker with Photography by Klare Sherwood

A Pale Horse Named Death

With support from OHHMS at Craufurd Arms Milton Keynes 31st October 2019.

We’re back at the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes this Halloween night to review OHHMS and A Pale Horse Named Death.

We arrived on time to see the full set from OHHMS, whose Exist album was released last year and after seeing them at the Uprising Festival in Leicester two months ago, we knew what to expect to some extent – as soon as they started playing, the slow tempo bass riffs churned out low notes which was followed by an explosion of upbeat groove.

It’s obvious to see what these guys are about politically and what they stand for in their amazing song ‘Shambles’ – “A worthless and devalued class is broken up and boiled in acid baths” which delivers the ultimatum of prevailing doom and the grinding out of pure emotion. These songs from OHMMS obviously come from within,  life changing moments filtered out in an epic forty minute set, with one song rolling into the next, with little breaks in between. Catch OHHMS on tour if you can, a great British band to be proud of.

A Pale Horse Named Death started a little slow but I guess this is when everyone in the band is getting the feel for the songs and performance. With such a tough touring schedule, this is totally forgivable and I believe they only arrived at the venue just a few hours prior. This is our first time seeing A Pale Horse Named Death, who are a gloom death progressive metal band from New York and hearing their new album ‘When The World Becomes Undone’.

After the second song they got into their set, with it challenging musically, technicality and being full of imagination it all started to make sense like filling in the blanks of a jigsaw puzzle until all of a sudden a picture appears. Highlight of the set was their song ‘Vultures’ with lyrics “They show up when you stink and rot, taking everything that’s precious to your heart” with the enclosing synchronicity of the pounding drums and the deep tone within it, it echoed through with the feeling of being out in the desert and waiting to be eaten alive.

As it’s Halloween after all, the audiences costumes embraced the atmosphere of these two bands, a scary scene not from Dracula’s Castle or gravestones but from Death itself and provided a great atmospheric catch for the band. By the end of the show I was left amazed, bewildered and wanting for more. A Pale Horse Named Death you did The Craufurd Arms proud.

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review by Lucy Greene with Photography by Masaaki Black