Breaking a quiet January for gigs, the cramped surroundings of the Barfly was the London stop on a brief UK tour by I Am I, the new musical vehicle for former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart.
As with many bills at this venue, four bands were crammed in to what was effectively a showcase gig, all with wildly contrasting styles, from the dark and eclectic nineties influenced soundscapes of the Mercy House to Reach Back, who had a more accessible sound, albeit one at odds with energetic squeaky voiced singer Ruby Williams coming over like an Essex Gwen Stefani.
The downside was that I Am I were only scheduled to play a short set and with the show overrunning they hit the stage only half an hour before the (theoretical) curfew.
If not a musical about-turn, I am I have taken a slightly different approach, forsaking Dragonforce’s all out speed for a melodic yet still muscular hard rock with a strong European feel. They still have a two guitar line up, with Jacob Ziemba in particular reeling off some tasty solos, but always within the confines of the song.
ZP himself (why do so may South Africans seem to lack a first name?) is a quintessential rock frontman, who would be at home on far larger stages than this, with tangled curls making him look like an 18th century courtier and a soaring, pitch perfect voice.
The latest single ‘See You Again’ had a melodramatic feel and as the set progressively warmed up ‘Cross the Line’, ‘Stay Awhile’ and ‘Pave The Way’ all went down well, the latter featuring some crowd chanting. A rocked up cover of ‘You’re The Voice’ seemed appropriate before they ended with the somewhat more power metal strains of ‘Silent Genocide’.
Despite the short length of the set here, this gig confirmed I Am I as a strong force (pardon the pun) in their own right who can appeal to a variety of audiences in the rock and metal spectrum.
Review and photos by Andy Nathan
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)
Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)
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