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With Black Star Riders at Rock City Nottingham 10th March 2015.

Tonight’s doors opened at a much more realistic time of 7pm, as with it being a Tuesday it made more sense, however, people were still moaning that the later start time meant a later finish…. so you just can’t win! Well I appreciated it, as it meant I could get to see tonight’s only support act, The Amorettes. Usually, it takes a while for the crowd to make there way into the arena, but tonight it seemed that everyone was punctual, most probably to see what all the fuss is about with tonight’s first act!

This three piece all female band who originate from Scotland and are signed to Off Yer Rocka Recordings, are starting to turn heads with their up beat rock’n’roll style of music. I had the pleasure of interviewing these young ladies at last years HRH 8 event but sadly missed their performance, so tonight I finally got to see what all the fuss is about for myself. Lately, it seems some female acts are trying to rely on outrageous stage costumes and sex appeal to win over fans but The Amorettes look to succeed based upon their musical talent, that being said – these three ain’t all that bad in the looks department, but I’m sure they’d rather be appreciated for their musical talents though! Coincidentally it was National woman’s day on the 9th, so I can’t think of a more appropriate band to see as these gals are keeping it real with their classic hard rock sound.

The Amorettes

As stated, tonight was the first time I’d had the pleasure of seeing these ladies live and for me, it was like I was transported back to the glory days when Joan Jet and Girlschool ruled the airwaves. I’d like to think these three grew up watching and listening to these and thought “Do you know what, we can do that but better” – throw in a bit of Airbourne stage presence and BOOM we have what we see before us today, a great female classic rock’n’roll band, The Amorettes. Their debut album, ‘Game On’ gets released on the 23rd of this month, so be sure to grab a copy and hear it for yourself as these ladies ROCK!

Tonight we had not one but two headline sets courtesy of Europe and BSR’s, with the latter taking to the stage first.

Since we last saw Black Star Riders at HRH, they’ve been busy producing their second album under their new band name which is titled “The Kil Instinct” and follows on from where “All Hell Breaks Loose” left off – a hard hitting, classic “Thin Lizzy” esq. sound that we’ve all grown to love. The album title track is a firm favourite of mine and sounded great live tonight, but the track “You Little Liar” has captured my imagination and is a really original sounding track that I’ve fallen in love with. It seems I’m not alone in loving the new material either as this instalment has managed to get to #2 on two top 40 UK charts, as well as featuring high on three American billboard charts and doing well in Europe also.

Damon Johnson and Scott Gorham - Black Star Riders

They kicked off tonight’s set with the now classic, ‘Bound for Glory’, which is very upbeat and got the crowd going. Several tracks from the new album featured tonight all of which the crowd lapped up but for those not yet familiar with the new material, they got to revel in some firm Lizzy favourites, which are always a pleasure to hear. The band seemed upbeat and in high spirits, including their new bassist Robbie Crane, who I saw live for the first time tonight. Some may disagree, but I think he’s just as talented and his predecessor and as for attractiveness, I’m under qualified to comment on that!

Ricky Warwick - Black Star Riders

The current tour still has five dates to play in the UK before these guys head off to the USA for a further five shows but they’ll be jetting back to get ready to play at the mighty Download Festival, which is fast approaching!

Full Set List:

1.Bound for Glory 2.Jailbreak 3.Kingdom of the Lost 4.Charlie I Gotta Go 5.Hoodoo Voodoo 6.Soldierstown 7.Are You Ready 8.Bloodshot 9.The Boys Are Back in Town 10.Through the Motions 11.All Hell Breaks Loose 12.Emerald 13.Finest Hour 14.Rosalie 15.The Killer Instinct 16.Whiskey In The Jar

Having seen Europe when they recently supported Foreignerat Nottingham’s Royal theatre, I knew these guys would put on a great show. Now considered veterans when it comes to entertaining a crowd, but for me it’s all about the music and in all honesty these guys are rather good at that too. Their new album, ‘War of Kings’ has just been released this month and they opened tonight’s set with the title track off the album. The new album has a great swagger about it, loads of guitar riffs and it all sounded so good live tonight and different to anything I’ve ever heard these guys produce before – and a million miles away from ‘The Final Countdown’. Love it or hate it, it’s still a classic! This album is a great body of work and I’d highly recommend giving it a listen, as whilst I’m sitting here writing this, I’ve got it playing and it’s so different, I can’t get over it.

Joey Tempest - Europe

The lighting tonight for these guys was terrible so at times I just stood there watching Joey Tempest pulling his usual shapes and praying for a glimmer of light so I could capture this great front man in action. I did manage to get a few shots though, which do help to depict this guys amazing stage presence, but then the same can be said about both John Levén – bass and John Norum – guitar as they too made some shapes and sounds of their own!

John Levén - Europe

For me, I thought Europe sounded the better out of the two headliners tonight, I just felt that they had their set down to a tee and they all sounded really tight with Joey giving his all, so you can’t really go wrong. Others I managed to speak to afterwards said they preferred Black Star Riders, others even said they preferred The Amorettes…… so watch out you two, you may be supporting these three Scottish lasses in a few years to come, who knows!

John Norum - Europe

Full Set List:

1.War of Kings 2.Hole in My Pocket 3.Last Look at Eden 4.Girl From Lebanon 5.Superstitious 6.The Second Day 7.Scream of Anger 8.Praise You 9.Sign of the Times 10.Riches to Rags 11.Firebox 12.Rock the Night 13.Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll 14.The Final Countdown.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)