The Electric Ballroom, London
added: 8 Oct 2012
// gig date: 1 Oct 2012
reviewer: Paul Chapinal
Pint Size Hero were first on. The bandís name was obvious, then forgotten. They play pretty average blues based rock and while entertaining for a while soon grated but its early days yet.
Ulyssesís opened with a newly y rediscoved Thin Lizzy number or thatís what it sounded like. As the set progressed they started to reveal their own sound though anchored to America with some Kinks thrown in and Prog leanings.
Rival Sons have spent a lot to time over here. Over the past 18 months theyíve played a successful small venue tour, Download, an outing with Black Stone Cherry, and now they are back with another full headline tour, in larger venues. All this and theyíve managed to record a very good album; their hard work is starting to pay dividends. The fact that Jimmy Page was in the venue and curious to see them play too should say something about the quality of this band.
After an introduction from whispering Bob Harris the band launch into Keep on Swinging from the new album and from there the main part of the set is almost a track by track run through until they get to Memphis Sun. Though thereís no doubt the quality and strength of the new songs Ė the grit of The Heist in particular is going to be a set regular - it was maybe it was a little too much unfamiliar material in one go as the crowd was a little muted and restless for a while. However, Torture signalled the home run of tried and tested songs from Pressure and Time and then the crowd took off. Back to the new album for the encore and, bravely, the genuinely epic Manifest Destiny Pts. 1 and 2, and some of the best guitar work this side of Bonamassa from Scott Holiday.
Bassist Robin Everhart with flat cap and sunglasses looked cool. Frankly he can wear a mankini, if he wants; the real point is that he and Mike Miley are developing into a rhythm section of exquisite skill and touch. Fly in the ointment? It has to be said that while Jay Buchanan is a singer of great soul, passion and power he appeared a bit unsure of himself and his stagecraft was stilted. Maybe he was uncomfortable, as he took skis, sorry boots, off midway through the set. Itís a minor thing, could have just been a bad day, and isnít going to detract from what was a performance that can only enhance their reputation.
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