Sub89 is a decent sized venue in a less than salubrious part of Reading, McD’s and Nandos being the classier places in the street! It has a decent sized stage and the only downside was the sound which wasn’t great at times, particularly during the support band.
Local band Louder Still were the support act, a fresh faced four piece who love to play classic hard rock and loud as their band name suggests. Very impressed by them, with a vocalist who wasn’t shy in geeing up the crowd, as any decent support band should do ahead of the main event.
They had a decent set of tunes, with the faster paced songs going down well with the crowd – no mean feat as some prog rock fans are not always the most open to hard rocking! They were hampered by sound issues as it was hard to hear the guitar at times, still impressive stuff and a band to catch live if you get the chance. They would be a perfect fit for the HRH and classic rock festivals circuit.
As this was the album launch gig for John Mitchell’s Lonely Robot’s new album, ‘The Big Dream’, there was a decent sized crowd, including Go West’s Pete Cox, former Threshold vocalist Damian Wilson and John Beck (It Bites). Instrumental ‘Airlock’ opened the set, allowing John Mitchell to get a guitar solo in early. He really a very distinct style of playing switching from a big riff to a more subtler solo with ease.
The set was geared heavily to the debut album as the new album wasn’t officially released until the day after the gig, although the gentle refrains of ‘In Floral Green’ from said new album fitted in nicely to the flow of the set.
One of the things that sets Lonely Robot apart from other prog rock bands is John Mitchell’s ability to pen a decent pop tune, none more so than ‘The Boy In The Radio’. He did say he hoped he could do the vocals justice, as on the album Pete Cox sings this one and having him watching in the audience must have added a little more pressure!
‘A Godless Sea’ taps into the cinematic sound of the band’s music, as well as highlighting the musicianship on the stage. Kim Seviour came onstage for ‘Oubliette’ to reprise her vocal parts and one of the set highlights song-wise for me.
The encores started with a drum solo from Craig Blundell – he is like a human windmill when in full flight – before the band joined him for ‘Everglow’ off the ‘The Big Dream’. Brave move to have the two encores off an album not officially released, although both ‘Everglow’ and set closer, ‘Sigma’ have been aired on YouTube.
Another fine gig by Lonely Robot and if you don’t have ‘The Big Dream’ album what are you waiting for, go grab a copy now.
Review by Jason Ritchie
Airlock/ God Vs Man/ The Boy in the Radio/ In Floral Green/ Lonely Robot/ A Godless Sea/ Oubliette/ Construct/Obstruct/ Are We Copies?/ Humans Being/ The Red Balloon/Encores: Drum Solo/ Everglow/ Sigma
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT
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 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)
Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)
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