We have been waiting for tonight’s gig for a while now. Yes the Rivals Sons are headlining and are one of my current favourite bands but this is also the first chance to see The Graveltones as since being introduced to their music I’ve been unable to make the dates.
Leeds Met is a great venue, 1100 capacity and a good stage and facilities so all is looking good for the night. A few beers across the road in the ideally situated Dry Dock and then onto the venue.
First up is Ulysses, they were also on the previous Rival Sons tour and went down so well they have been invited back. This Bath based quartet bring their own unique style to the proceedings, dressed like they’ve stepped out of a 70’s pop video and sporting deer stalker and woolen hats they are definitely ready for fun.
Their sound is a strange mixture of rock, psychedelia and mid 90’s stoner, but the overall sound is a gutsy roots rock that is held together by the backline of Shane Maxymus (Drums) and Julyan Wells-Cathedral (Bass) allowing the Guitars and main vocals to be taken care of by Tom Sartoryal and Luke Smyth (Main Vocals). Yes, those names are the only ones I could find reference to!
Most of the set tonight was from their recently released ‘Kill You Again’ album and certainly goes down well with the assembled crowd. After the set the band emerge in the merch stall and greet their followers old and new and spend time signing and posting for photo’s as all goods bands should do.
The Graveltones, mainstream these guys aren’t but I guarantee they will set alight any crowd at any venue they play. They are Jimmy O (Vocals & Guitar) and Mikey Sorbello (Drums & Noises. Originally from Australia but now based in London and have been playing extensively over the past 2 years, no doubt gaining more followers from each gig.
Like many of the two-piece bands around their sound is dirty rock blues and perform which such style and attitude you wonder where is all comes from. Jimmy’s high vocals are reminiscent or a young Steven Tyler with a touch of Don Glen Vliet thrown in and he commands every inch of the stage whilst wringing every last note from his poor guitar.
You can tell from the state of the warped cymbals that Mikey does not take his task lightly and he attacks the drums to produce the tight powerful backing to complement Jimmy’s guitar.
The set kicks off with ‘Take it from Me’ and straight away you hit by the piecing vocals and guitar, the set continues with ‘Blame it on you’ and ‘Throw it over me’ all from the current self titled EP. Next up are new tracks from the soon to be released new album also.
The set finished with ‘Sullen Blue’ which sees Mikey make use of elbows/finger tips and even an air pipe to alter the drum sounds in an inspired solo. Awesome sound by this two- piece, hopefully some headlining gigs later in the year once the album is released.
Setlist: Take it from me, Blamin’ It On You, Throw It Over Me, I Want Your Love, No Good, Money, Catch Me On The Fly, Sullen Blue.
The venue is now full to the brim for this sold out gig and all are waiting for the Rival Sons. Now on their third Album and second label album they have gone from strength to strength and will soon be selling out the larger venues which will be great for the band but unfortunately will mean the gigs become less personal. The mixture of ages in the crowd shows the strength of their music.
Tonight they kick off with ‘You Want To’ and ‘Get What’s Coming’ to the delight of the crowd and the rest of the set covers all three albums and the EP. Jay Buchanan (Vocals) and Scott Holiday (Guitar) are upfront and personal with the crowd whilst Robin Everhart
(Bass) as usually takes a more backline yet ever cool approach to the show.Mikey Miley (Drums) as ever look to be totally enjoying the set and seemingly catches sight of people in the crowd throws them a smile.
The set is now in full flow and it seems that all is not good with Jay who although is giving it his all and is sounding just as good as ever spends quite a time coughing, obviously not used to our lovely warm climate over here, because of this we can forgive him for calling us ‘Manchester’ in one of his chats between songs.
‘Until The Sun Comes Up’ gives us another nod to the psychedelic influences to some of the songs on the ‘Head Down’ album, Mid-set we are get two slower tracks in the form of ‘Jordan’ and ‘Manifest Destiny’ which although Jay was struggling he sounded excellent.
‘Keep On Swinging’ and ‘Pressure and Time’ gets the crowd dancing again and builds us up the end of the set. Encore time and Mikey kicks us off with a cracking drum solo and straight into ‘Burn Down Los Angeles’ and finally ‘Soul’. The set tonight was one of the best so far and was delivered with such passion that you couldn’t help but have a good time.
You Want To Get What’s Coming/Wild Animal /Gypsy Heart /Torture /Memphis Sun
All the Way /Until the Sun Comes/Jordan /Manifest Destiny, Part 1 /Keep On Swinging
Pressure and Time /Sacred Tongue /Face of Light Encore: Drum Solo /Burn Down Los Angeles /Soul
Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley
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