Voodoo Vegas are a Bournemouth-based hard-rock quintet destined to set asses aflame on a global scale, having already toured across Europe to support luminaries such as Uriah Heep, Glenn Hughes, The Quireboys, Blaze Bailey and Gilby Clarke (Guns n Roses / Vains Of Jenna)!

If last week’s brief stint at the Barfly is anything to go by, then Voodoo Vegas, who just released their turbo-powered debut album ‘The Rise Of Jimmy Silver’ (as reviewed by my colleague Andy Snipper) are an outfit that soon will command he rise of countless fans – never mind the rise of one Jimmy Silver.

It’s always a rather unthankful task to play the opening slot, especially if several other acts are to follow. It gets worse if we’re talking an opening slot as early as 7.45pm on a Friday night in Camden. I mean really, we’re talking about a territory that effectively gets livelier with the passing of each hour!

Still, the band impressed assembled ‘early birds’ enough to get them rockin’ along to a brief set of killer tunes, with the mercury rising quickly in the venue.

For one, frontman Lawrence Case - a guy with a flowing blond mane - is blessed with a terrific rock ‘n’ roll voice! He’s not the only one in the outfit sporting a flowing blond mane – in fact, that honour should go to Meryl Hamilton (guitars). It’s always good to see a female amidst the still predominantly male world of hard rock, in particular talented ones like Meryl – the only woman in Europe endorsed by PRS Guitars! Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that she’s a guitar teacher when not busy touring.
Rounding off the quintet are Nick Brown (also guitars/acoustic guitars), Ash Molton on bass, and Matt Jolly on jolly drums.

Crushing the usual “ok, we’re bored let’s wait and see what happens” attitude of onlookers (and ok, some fans were present too), Voodoo Vegas wasted no time and unleashed sonic pandemonium with ‘Mary Jane’, a number filled with ferocious drumming, super-cool solos and segueing change-of-pace acts.

Next came ‘Ferry Song’, and it gave the band ample opportunity to indugle a little honky-tonk swagger during this blues-orientated number, showcasing Nick Brown’s slide guitar talents.
The band conjured up the spirit of bands like AC/DC with ‘King Without A Crown’, and what am I saying! They might not be wearing crowns, but Voodoo Vegas’ musical skill makes them kings (and queen) in their own right. It was most enjoyable to watch Nick and Meryl locking into sizzling grooves and stage a mock-compete on the riff-work front.

The simply gorgeous ‘Lost In Confusion’ – one of my faves on the album – was performed in a cranked-up manner during the Barfly set. This classic power-rock piece highlighted Lawrence’s incredible vocal skills, and it’s not as if he’s in need of any specific song to highlight the wizardry of his voice.

The punters got good, solid hard-rock with ‘So Unkind’ and Ash’ bass and Matt’s drumming contributed as to the song’s dynamic as the rest.
However, it was final number ‘Jimmy Silver’ that sounded as if someone poured particularly high-potent rotgut into an open fire! Super-fast, merciless and without pause for even breathing, this was Voodoo Vegas at their meanest best! With its chorus stating “I love rock ‘n’ roll in my heart and in my soul / I love rock ‘n’ roll it’s so good to lose control”, the song has anthem potential written all over.

It was an impressive but unfortunately way too short set by a band we’ll sure hear a lot more about in the not so distant future. Let’s face it, Voodoo Vegas blast out enough noize to penetrate our collective brains! Mind you, a little brush-up on the ole’ image might not hurt, in order to penetrate that little bit deeper…