Red Dragon Cartel

With Support From Syron Vanes and Jupiter Falls.

The Rescue Rooms Nottingham 7th June 2014.

On the gig guide page for the Rescue Rooms, tonight’s support acts remained as tbc, so it was a great surprise, when we got to the venue and there was in fact two support acts performing! First up, all the way from Leeds were Jupiter Falls. This was a first time encounter but I doubt it will be the last! This band is as diverse as they come, fans of early GnR’s, Shinedown and Avenge Sevenfold should definitely check these guys out. Although still in its infancy as only formed in 2013, they haven’t been lazy, not by a long shot. The bands debut album, “Revolution” is due to hit the streets any day now and I’m sure it will hit the ground running, what with the bands extensive tour schedule planned around of its release. Clearly being given a slot as one of Red Dragon Cartel’s main support bands, has helped to give this band a massive boost and boy it shows.

Lead singer James clearly wears his “Hart” on his sleeve but like the headline act, this bands strength lies in the superb guitar playing abilities of their lead guitarist Deano. When a guitar solo was in full flow, we, the public, couldn’t help but stop and admire the mans abilities, even the band couldn’t help but watch in ore as Deano went off on one. In doing so, he and the rest of the band did an awesome job of entertaining us throughout their set. Sure as hell beats watching Britain’s Got Talent, on that thing called a TV! Unlike that show and the hapless half wits that appear on it, this band actually have playing ability and plenty of talent to support it! I’m really looking forward to the bands debut album and will be getting a copy on its release!

Danny Backhouse - Jupitar Falls

Swedish Heavy metal, courtesy of Syron Vanes on the menu next, washed down with a few ales, to get us in the mood! Unknown to me, but these guys have been around for the best part of 30 years!!! Hailed as one of the pioneering bands of the NWOBHM era back in the day, these guys have had countless reviews and interviews in the press, along with many appearances at prestigious music festivals, but above all, they have sold many copies of their albums over the years. Their latest album “Evil Redux” has been kicking up a bit of a storm since its release in 2013. Thanks to the support and strength of that album, it has help to secure them a slot on this tour with the legend Jake E Lee, so that being said, they must have something about them that’s worth sticking around and listening to, no?

Anders Sellborn - Syron Vanes

Yes, tonight’s set was a powerful and rocking affair that really helped to set a precedent for the main act. With no BS, these guys ripped through a blistering set, with minimal fuss but with maximum professionalism, that we could hold our horns and beers high too!

Rimbert Vahlstroem - Syron Vanes

The comment “HE’S BACK” rang loud and clear tonight! Actually classically trained in piano, Jake E Lee is one of the all time great guitarist of our generation, yet, by in large, he’s self taught, which is an inspiration in its self and gives me hope in my own quest to learn to play the guitar! Having grown up listening and supporting bands like Black Sabbath, Lee’s biggest claim to fame is being Ozzy Osbourne’s lead guitarist during the mid 80’s which must have been a real honour. Credited as one of the writers for Ozzy’s double platinum selling album, “Bark at the Moon”, Lee has surely written himself into the history books for sure. Do you remember that really annoying, yet totally addictive computer game Guitar Hero? Well, if it wasn’t for people like Jake E Lee, that game would never of existed, as he truly is a guitar rock god and has helped to inspire many a great guitar player during his time, with his distinctive and unique style of guitar playing, Lee is ranked highly amongst his peers and adored by many a music fan!

Jake E. Lee - Red Dragon Cartel

Now in the band “Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel” and touring the world again, it’s easy to see Lee’s musical preferences shining through on this bands self titled debut album, which is phenomenal by the way! Tonight, mostly featured Jake ripping out many killer guitar solos and producing a barrage of guitar trickery, while the rest of the band provided Lee with a heavy undertone of metal blues.

Ah, yes, the rest of the band, I almost forgot about them in my haze of hysteria! On bass, we have the uber-cool, Santana look-a-like, Ronnie Mancuso, complete with his blue suede loafers and hat, this cat is a real dude. He seemingly relished playing along side Lee and the rest of the band and consistently showed emotions of complete joy and admiration during Lee’s solos. He did a sterling job throughout the set and gave us a show of his own, complete with a bass solo which was admirable. His constant, thunderous bass tones kept our hearts beating in time – that’s for certain, aswell as participated in some on-stage wrestling matches with Lee, which were comical!

Ronnie Mancuso - Red Dragon Cartel

On drums, we have the young, boisterous and energetic Jonas Fairley, who did a phenomenal job maintaining a continuous beat throughout Lee’s solo’s. He showed real passion and determination and gave his all throughout the set, which was great to see. Lastly, of course, we have lead vocalist Darren James Smith, who is a real character and great front man. He has the looks of Slash, yet he has the dance moves, made famous by Axel Rose, you know, that head swaying from side to side thing he does, very funny!

Humour ran throughout tonight’s set, courtesy of Darren, who interacted very well with the “comedians” in the crowd. Other than Lee’s truly inspiring guitar playing, which was the main attraction, by a country mile, Darren provided us with some memorable moments of his own!

DJ Smith - Red Dragon Cartel

Moments like, cooling himself down against a wall during one of Lee’s solos, as it was bloody hot in the Rescue Rooms tonight. Getting pissed off with continuously asking the sound guy to turn his monitors down, then back up again, when he finally lost it and threw his mic away, only to lose it completely and end up searching the stage for it again. (All in good humour, I might add, he wasn’t being a diva) My personal favourite moment, of which there were several, was how well Darren played up to the camera, which only enhanced my photographing experience, I just wish more bands had the showmanship of these guys!

Red Dragon Cartel

I can’t stress enough how, if you’re a guitar fan, you should see this band play live. I know their UK tour dates are few and far between, but you can catch them playing Download this year and I know many of you are going, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to be both amazed and entertained at the same time!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)