Well it been quite a while since I have seen Nick Oliveri live, last time was back in 2001 when QOTSA were still mere pups in the music scene and Nick was known for occasionally appearing on stage wearing nothing more that his bass guitar.
Thankfully this evening he is fully clad on a sparse stage with only a couple of acoustic guitars and mike stands to keep him company. He is currently part way through a UK solo acoustic tour and also has upcoming dates planned with the reformed late 80′s Santa Cruz heavy fusion act Bl’ast who he has joined on bass.
Not the largest of crowd’s here early doors tonight for the support act but over the night it filled up a bit more to decent numbers. Support tonight was billed as ‘Martin Jackson’ but he was joined onstage by fellow band mate from ‘Emperor Chung’; ‘Danny Beardsley’ and between them reel out a very good acoustic set of their own normally heavy rock tracks.
There was some searing guitar licks and solos from Danny and great vocals from Michael and certainly if they sound this good acoustic I would really like to see them fully plugged in with the whole band.
After a short break Nick strolled out with his manager and wife ‘Igone Oliveri’ and set himself up. While I knew some of what tonight’s setlist would be I didn’t have any idea of how he would play it.
That was soon made evident when he blasted straight into Mondo Generators ‘Bloody Hammer’ and his delivery was manic to say the least, in fact Nick described it himself during the set ‘ You’ve heard of Death Metal and Death Punk well this is Death Acoustic’ which aptly is the name of his 2009 album, and boy was he right.
As he ripped through covers from QOTSA, and Kyuss some tracks worked extremely well but a few lacked in musical power but this was made up by his vocals and delivery of them.
Sometimes nearly swallowing the microphone and with the veins popping out from his shaved head he put in 110% and the appreciative crowd calling out for specific songs and with a setlist that included great covers from Turbonegro, Ramones, Rory Erikson and the Dwarves and a good helping from Kyuss, QOTSA and Mondi Generator there was certainly a good range to listen to.
Indeed during QOTSA’s feel good hit of the summer he asked for a budding vocalist to join him on stage for backing vocals, a number dutifully jumped up and got their 5 minutes of fame. The whole feel of the night was extremely chilled and laid back and indeed Nick stayed round after the show to meet the fans and posed for photos.
Definitely a gig where even Johnny Cash (if he were around) would have approved of the acoustic rough raw punkish delivery of the tracks.
Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley
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