Hils Ovation

Hils Ovation 7th June 2013

Diamond Lil/ Fury/ Vandaliers/ Dead Star Coalition

and At The Mercy.

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 7th June 2013.

June is once again upon us and the mighty internet is heaving with all the talk and anticipation of the impending summer festivals. With the weather being what I would class as a poor excuse for this time of year and having a longstanding emotional allergy to tents, a night at The Slade Rooms complete with weather proof roof over my head, is looking to pretty much be my idea of heaven!

With doors opening at 7pm and five bands on tonight’s line up, time was prime and first band on stage were At The Mercy. This four piece band, originate from round and about the Cannock area and have been hitting the metal since early 2012. Looking back through their history, they’ve weathered a line up change aswell as one or two other set backs, but from where I stood tonight, these guys seemed ready to make that next step forward happen.

Bryn Sharratt - At The Mercy

Tonight’s set contained a mixture of covers along with their own original material, and choosing to bring their set to a close with the epic Metallica anthem ‘Enter Sandman’, was a great call. It’s always a pleasure to see a band starting to make their way and I look forward to the next chapter from At The Mercy.

Mitch Halden - At The Mercy

With no time wasted and a quick change over on stage, our second band up tonight were Dead Star Coalition. A new band experience for me, but a name that I’ve heard on at least one or two occasions, and given that the comment’s were all good, seeing them play tonight was certainly an interesting proposition.

Jim Witts - Dead Star Coalition

Dead Star Coalition were nothing less than great metal in motion, and packed out a sound that was both brutal and bloodthirsty in it’s delivery. Having said that, this band aren’t afraid of showing their softer side and there was one song towards the end of their set, which stood out for that reason and also for the fact that it remained equally as powerful as their harder material. Dead Star Coalition easily met my expectation and are certainly a band to look out for.

Phil Hingerty - Dead Star Coalition

Having now reached the halfway point of this evening’s intriguing shenanigans, Vandaliers took to the stage and introduced us to a slight change in this evenings musical direction. This five piece classic rocksome, have been on the West Mids music scene for a couple of years and as far as looking and sounding like a band that fits well together, these guys certainly have mastered that characteristic.

Danny Jenks - VandalierS

Not as big an audience for Vandaliers tonight as that which these guys deserve but it needs to be said that this in no way reflects upon the set that these guys delivered. With music steeped in a swell of bassy blues lines, the progressive headiness of classic rock guitar riffs and the sheer vocal disposition of the iconic 70’s, Vandaliers couldn’t really fail to capture my attention and interest. Top performance from these guy’s tonight and I hope that we’ll be seeing and hearing more from this band in the month’s to come.

Jackie Boy Sargeant - VandalierS

I’m beginning to loose count of the number of times I’ve seen our next band Fury, and with each past performance of theirs that I’ve witnessed, my like and respect for them all as both serious musicians and general all round good guys, has never failed to grow. Having made their way up from Worcester to Wolverhampton along with a small army of fusiliers, there was no shortage of Fury T Shirts to be seen in the audience and it was also pretty cool to see that some of those T Shirt wearers were of an age where they had already gone way past their bedtime!

Martin Trail - Fury

Tonight’s set list contained six songs of magnificent Fury metal but with a twist of something different at its tail. Of all the unlikely songs I’ve heard covered by bands in years gone by, Fury’s version of the infamous sea shanty ‘Drunken Sailor’ absolutely earned itself first prize in the ‘Never Saw That One Coming’ awards! Words fail me in describing how great and infectious their performance of that song was and even now when I’m sat here days later, I’m still chuckling away to myself just thinking about it. Bloodstock beckons Fury this August and if tonight was anything to go by, Derbyshire is in for a proper treat!

Julian Jenkins - Fury

With our headlining act Diamond Lil still to come, and them also being faced with the unenviable task of picking up the musical baton after what The Slade Rooms had just experienced, the change over time between these bands seemed to take a lifetime. Finally, front man Ellis Wilde took to the stage and with microphone in one hand and resolute determination in the other, Diamond Lil were unleashed with relentless velocity.

Ellis Wilde and Jamie Downes - Diamond Lil

Tonight’s set can only be described as victorious in many ways, as not only did it include several Diamond Lil essential’s including ‘Misfits Of Society’ and ‘Reach’ but we were also introduced to not one, but two new songs, which I believe to be titled ‘Mind Over Matter’ and ‘Seen It All’. Diamond Lil clearly loved being up on stage tonight, as did their audience appreciate them being there and the cheers and applause that came at the end of the set, made it quite clear to the band that there was no way they were leaving the building without an encore.

Harry Colley - Diamond Lil

Well, I certainly enjoyed my little slice of summer tonight and having experienced such a great combination of performances, I’m heading home tonight a very happy gal indeed. Bring on the next gig and another helping of rock ‘n’roll sunshine!

Words and Photography by Sue Wardle.