Sometimes you come away from a gig and you just want to shout ‘WOW’. Tonight was one of those occasions and even though I had seen the same line-up a few days before at The Institute in Birmingham my excitement wasn’t diminished.
Yes ‘The Graveltones’ were the headliners for tonight but all the bands really did stand as equals in the quality of material and stage presence which what really made the night so good.
The atmosphere that the Live Rooms creates also plays a huge part of the experience, great stage and sound system/lights, friendly staff and reasonably priced bar, this newish venue is well on its way to becoming a major venue in the north west and is pulling in some great bands over the coming months.
Late addition to the bill was The Loving Cup based in North Wales these guys are have been around for 10 years or so and kick out great country southern rock. Vocalist Jaz has a great southern twang to his voice which lifts the sound out from the norm as does the guitar work from Andy Vickers who plays some excellent slide. Great set that fitted into the night perfectly and set us up for what was to come.
Buffalo Summer are the Welsh rockers who put out a great modern ballsy rock sound with influences pulled from the 70′s classics and AOR all brought together with a chunk of Welsh flair.
Formed in 2010 they have had some major support slots already and have appeared at a number of festivals. A lot of tonight’s set came from their self-titled debut album ‘Buffalo Summer’ with a few newbie’s thrown in for good measure.
From the off with ‘A Horse Called Freedom’ Jonny Williams (guitars) is laying down the big riffs and solid rhythms whilst the tight backline of Gareth Huint (drums) and Darren King (bass) hold it altogether with the clean/clear vocals of Andy Hunt completing an extremely tight package of music.
These guys have a swagger of coolness in their stance and delivery of the music as they lead us through the set and into a favourite of mine, and indeed the crowds – ‘Down to the River’ – a chance for the crowd to sing back as we are hit with searing guitar work and a great tune.
Finishing the set tonight with ‘Rolls On Through’ these guys have played at their best and certainly added a huge amount to the night’s atmosphere. They are touring in Europe for the next few months with The Graveltones and also with Skid Row/Buckcherry, expect to see them on a headline tour very soon.
The Cadillac Three – forget what you hear on the LP their live performance is taken to a completely different level with their maverick approach to country rock evident not only the music but also the stage set.
With their roots firmly set in Nashville they take the punk attitude and love of country from the likes of Johnny Cash or Waylon Jennings and add a huge slab of gutsy southern rock to produce a charged set of tracks from their album ‘Tennessee Mojo’.
Jaren Johnston (vocals and guitar), Kelby Ray (steel), and Neil Mason (drums) ooze energy on stage rip through their set which includes ‘Im Southern’,'Tennessee Mojo’ and ‘Days of Gold’ and ends with Jaren dismissing his guitar and joining Neil on drums for a kickass solo. Really a band you need to see to get the best out of them and one which will be around more this year.
I’ve been following The Graveltones for a while now and it still amazes me how 2 guys can create such a soundscape onstage. Jimmy O (vocals, guitar) and Mikey Sorbello (drums and thingies) are London-based Aussies and have been toting their garage blues now for few years prior to the release of their debut album ‘Don’t Wait Down’.
Kicking off tonight with ‘Lightning Bolt’ and ‘Off The Shelf’ they then break into a favourite of mine ‘Dying On Yer Feet’ which has some amazing drumming throughout the song.
Their style is hard to pin down but from previous conversations with them I know that Jimmy’s writing and vocal style is influenced by Don Glen Vliet and Mikey holds John Bonham as one of his influences, so certainly diverse backgrounds which is what makes them so exciting to watch and listen to.
As they roll throught the set tonight if you watch them carefully you see that during the manic set the eye contact between them is constant so the tightness of the music is never lost whilst what looks like mayhem is happening.
‘Sullen Blue’ shows Mikey’s skills and expansiveness off to its best as he plays and modifys the drum sounds like an orchestral percussionist, Playing the bass tom and drum like a tympani and modifying the sound with his hand and elbow to using a pipe which he blows down he alters the tone of the tom, all rolled into a awesome display of drumming expression. They are currently working on some new numbers of which a few were tried out tonight and fitted in well with the set.
Again this is a band that really does show its style and passion at a live show and really must be seen, they are currently touring Europe and will be back in the UK later in the year for some major festival appearances.
Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley
Buffalo Summer: A Horse Called Freedom, Truth From Fable, Bird On A Wire, As High As The Pines, Money, Down To The River, Rolls On Through.
Cadillac Three: I’m Southern, The Sticks, Im Rockin, Tennessee Mojo, Bock it up, While Lightining, The South, Days of Gold.
Graveltones: Lightning Bolt, Off The Shelf, Dying On Your Feet, Trouble, Bang Bang, Blamin It On You, Money, Throw It Over Me, Sullen Blue, Never Going Back, I Want Your our Love, St Lucia, Catch Me On The Fly, No Good, Six Billion, Boom Boom, Take It From Me, Can’t Tell A Man, Newby, I Am A Liar.
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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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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