As normal with gigs at The Plug they are preceded with an afternoon session at Nelsons Rock bar which also usually hosts any aftershow meet and greets that are happening. This works very well as the bar is just round the corner and always get the night off to a great start.
The Plug itself is a great little venue and has a decent, if a little low, stage with decent lights and sound. The place fills up pretty quick tonight and as the support band – Brighton based Cage The Gods – take to the stage they have a good full crowd to entertain.
They are great four piece rock band that really do deserve to be heard if not for their music then for the amount of effort that they put into promoting themselves over the past year or so. They have an energetic classic rock sound and are just as energetic on stage delivering a tight set of self penned tracks.
They are very well received by the crowd and hang around after the gig to catch up with new fans.
Setlist: The Ending, BadLands, Bruce Willis, Sacrifice, Falling, From The Start, Promises
Tracer have been very busy in the past number of years, 3 albums 3 UK tours and also 3 bass players!. Original bass player Leigh Brown (brother of Michael Brown, lead guitar/vocals), departed back in 2012 and was temporarily replaced with Pat Saracino for the 2012 autumn tour.
Now on board is Jett Hicks and with him comes a slightly heavier and fatter feeling sound to the new album ‘El Pistolero’. Constant touring and albums has bought them a lot more fans and also such accolades of 2012 Best New Band (Classic Rock Magazine). Their sound is a mix of Rock and Grunge but is also very clean at the same time and Michael’s vocals work very well to bring it all together.
The whole rhythm is driven by Andre Wise on drums who along with Michael are the two original members of the band. The show tonight is the first of the UK tour and is not surprisingly sold out before the event and blasts off with ‘Too Much’, ‘Manic for Ya’ and ‘Walk alone’ which certainly gets the crowd going and it’s not just the music it’s also the energy these guys give out during their performance which is infectious.
Over the set we get six songs from the new album which gives the night a slightly heavier feel that some of the previous tours which is a good thing in my eyes. The title track ‘El Pistolero’ is an awesome sounding track and is received very well, in fact there are a number punters in the crowd tonight sporting El Hombre cowboy hats to support the album.
Apart from a little scuffle between a few over excited fans the gig was an absolute treat, the
band have now hopefully got Jett on bass for good while as he is a great addition to the sound and feel of the band and fits in very well indeed.
The gig ended up with a great encore of ‘Santa Cecilia’ and ‘Devil Ride’ and what a way to end a brilliant gig.
As planned the whole band turned up at Nelsons and partied with the fans till the early hours giving autographs, photo’s and generally chatting and having a good craic with their fans, nice to see this as its means a lot to the fans.
I must also mention the band’s photographer, Benon Koebsch, who has covered all the tours with them and given the fans a great insight to the behind the scenes antics of gigging as well as on stage with his photography.
If you want to catch the band it shouldn’t be a problem as later this year they are supporting The Answer and also appearing at Hard Rock Hell, as are Cage The Gods.
Setlist Too Much, Manic for Ya, Walk Alone, Dirty Little Secret, Won’t Forget My Name, Voice in the Rain, Spaces in Between, El Pistolero, Wreaking Ball, Lady Killer, There’s a Man, Dead Garden. Encore Santa Cecila, Devil Ride.
Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley
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