Rebecca Downes – The Met Lounge, Peterborough – 29/03/2019

01 Rebecca Downes

Rebecca Downes
The Met Lounge, Peterborough
29/03/2019
Review by Paul Monkhouse

Many bands have turned to acoustic sets in the past but very few as well as the Quireboys, a band with the charisma and material to make it really work for them. When this is perfectly teamed with an opening slot by the brilliant Rebecca Downes it proves to be an evening when all you can do is be swept away by the music.

Having toured regularly up and down the length and breadth of the country with her full band playing support to bands such as Magnum, tonight sees her shorn of her full band but joined by partner in crime guitarist and vocalist Steve Birkett. The duo fill the sound with ease and you can’t help but warm instantly to Downes, her great humour and down to earth personality shine, displaying not a shred of over inflated ego. ‘Take Me Higher’ is an excellent showcase for her soulful vocals and really got the attention of all there. As has been proven many times before, huge talent isn’t always enough but needs to be matched with great quality material to really highlight the artist. The songwriting team of Downes and Birkett have that by the bucketload. Next song ‘It’s Not Easy’ is a prime example of this as it twists and turns in unexpected directions whilst the stripped-down acoustic arrangement really lets the vocals shine.

Refreshingly, Birkett doesn’t just play second fiddle to the singer as the two are evenly matched in musical chops and it comes over as a perfect partnership. There is a genuine warmth exuding from them and when showcased in such great fare as the sparkling ‘Waving Goodbye’ it’s pretty unbeatable. The richness of the voices glides perfectly over a hooky chorus, as the track has a classic, almost pop, soulful tone. It would have been difficult to follow that gem but the Radio 2 playlisted ‘Sailing on a Pool of Tears’ ups the ante even more. A big, spellbinding ballad, it contains elements of chilled flamenco and is both instantly catchy and heartrending.

The pace changes with ‘1000 Years’, an upbeat blues number with a truly cocky strut that easily dispels the narrow view that the blues is solely downbeat tales of suffering. The short set finishes with the title track from last album ‘Believe’, another forceful wake up call that is both defiant and life affirming. Featuring an acoustic breakdown, its sense of dynamics proving it was the perfect number to finish on. Returning later for an incendiary duet with Spike for the Quireboys encore, Downes was the ideal choice as touring companion for these dates and was clearly having a ball on the road with a band she’s long been an admirer of. With her expressive Midlands accent she doesn’t sound like one of the Windsors in conversation but, make no mistake, when she sings Rebecca Downes is UK Blues royalty. If you want to know the roots of hard rock and metal, get yourself into the blues. You really can’t go wrong with the lethal combination that this partnership offers of filthy barroom rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Catch them when you can.

LINKS:
https://www.rebeccadownes.com/
https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaDownes/

https://www.instagram.com/rebeccadownesuk/

 

02 Poster 2019

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Twisted Illusion & Friends Excite The Light Tour 2019 – The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool – 12/05/2019

00 Twisted Illusion Excite The Light Tour Flyer

Twisted Illusion & Friends
Excite The Light Tour 2019
The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool
12/05/2019
Review By Beth Jones with nonsensical ramblings by Rick Tilley

It is a little under 5 months since we saw Twisted Illusion last, and it is safe to say a lot has happened to the band in that time, from the shock announcement of two of its three members departure, to Matt, the life blood of TI, soul searching and wondering if it was all worth it, to being on the road touring and recording the second part of the ‘Excite The Light’ Trilogy, and now, as of last Friday, becoming a band again, after the confirmation that the line up of musicians guesting on the tour have now decided that it worked so well straight away, that TI (version 2.1.1) has been born, and that this is the new line-up! We couldn’t wait to see how they were doing as a group, given the short space of time that they have been working together.

Now to start, but as a bit of an aside, I will say that I liked driving in Liverpool far more than I liked driving in Manchester, and I managed to navigate without any bus lane infringements, so already this was good! We arrived at the venue a little after the first band started, but still with enough time to get a good feel for them. A quick look around the venue let me know that it was going to be a down to earth place. It was a good old, no bells and whistles, grass roots venue, which to me is the perfect way to enjoy music. You don’t need fancy bollocks when the tunes are top quality! Anyway, enough of this – to the music!

Riptide Messiah
Although we only caught two-thirds of these guys’ set, what we heard was pretty good; Gruff, chunky, and in places fairly intricate. They are quite melodic too, which I like. I am going to call it Melodic Prog Stoner Doom! They were a good way to start the night, but my only criticism is there was too long between songs. I’m nit picking, but this is one of my bug bears. I know you have to tune and stuff, but you need to fill that time or people’s attention wanders! Musically though, they know what they are doing and what sound they want to achieve.

01 Riptide Messiahhttps://www.facebook.com/RiptideMessiah/

Ashen Reach
Fresh from their amazing gigs in Russia, supporting Bullet For My Valentine, these guys were stoked for a good show. Having seen them support Twisted Illusion at Christmas last year (when they were called Equinox), we knew what they were about, and that we liked it! They didn’t disappoint! They are so full of youthful exuberance, of which we are very jealous, and they hammered straight into a full-on set, with powerful vocals, fast paced melodies, and chunky rhythms. They are a good, solid, classic hard rock band, and they make you happy. Lead singer, Dan Moran, has such a presence on stage plus pulls some spectacular faces and drummer Jess Stanley is a whirlwind of arms behind the kit! We were chatting to them afterwards and they are such awesome and humble people, and we wish them every success moving forwards.

02 Ashen Reachhttps://www.facebook.com/ashenreach/

Scare Tactics
These guys are a name who, up until three weeks ago, I hadn’t come across (Rick is familiar with the name but hadn’t seen them live before). Having now seen them twice in the space of a month we would like to report that they are blisteringly good! If Dream Theater and Linkin Park joined forces, this is what they would sound like. Incredibly intricate rhythms, modern rasping vocals, mixed with clean harmonies, and stunning solos. They do remind me a bit of Killswitch Engage, who I also love. Why these guys aren’t bigger is beyond me. And again, they are thoroughly nice chaps too – Rick very much enjoyed having a chat and sharing a fig roll with lead singer Andy Barker, after they had come off stage! I was jealous. I love fig rolls. Damn you gluten intolerance!!

03 Scare Tactics UKhttps://www.facebook.com/scaretacticsuk/

Prognosis
After seeing these guys at Badgerfest last year, I knew they were heavy. I had found them a little too heavy for me on that occasion, but I think it might have been because it was later in the day, and I was knackered, and the sound wasn’t great. Here, I enjoyed them a lot more, and had more time to concentrate on what they were doing, which was very heavy prog metal done very well. Lead singer, Danny Daemon, is an absolute unit, who looks incredibly menacing in the mood lighting on stage! He makes guitarist Christian Hickson (also of Frozen In Shadows) look much small, which is quite an achievement! Musically though they are very, very tight and look completely at ease performing. A very good main support.

04 Prognosishttps://www.facebook.com/Prognosis1/

Twisted Illusion
In what seemed like no time at all, we were at the pièce de résistance, and what we had all been waiting for – the new look, five-piece, Twisted Illusion. Straight away, before they even started playing, there was an air about them. They looked comfortable, relaxed, and ready to put on a show! And Christ is that what they did, right from the first note! Now, we all know that Matt Jones is a formidable front man, and that Saxon Davids can play a bit of guitar, but not having seen the newly added Cici Powell – Melkonian, Chris Jenkins and Andy Gotteri before, our mind were blown within about 30 seconds by how good they all were as individuals, but also how amazing they sounded together as a collective. This was not the sound of a band that had only had a few weeks rehearsal time, this was the sound of a band who were seasoned pros, who had lived in each other’s pockets for years, and who had more experience than any of these baby faced cherubs kicking it on the stage! This should not be possible – but yet here it was, with a sound so massive and together, it can only be described as pure raw talent, combined with a deep love and understanding of live performance, and with a bit of help from fate, to make a Utopian level musical experience. They were a bit good!!! Matt’s songs came alive with the addition of Andy’s keyboards, and Cici looked like she had been born with a bass in her hand – her skills absolutely blew us away, and her constant smile is infectious. Add to that the masterful percussion of Chris, executing the demanding rhythms to perfection, and of course the immense noodling abilities of Saxon and huge vocals of Matt, and you have the perfect recipe for putting me into a euphoric trance. I was welling up by the end of their set and was so ridiculously happy that it sounded this amazing. Better than I could ever have expected. It was like witnessing the birth of something truly special. Quite simply stunning! Rick, who felt the same, spoke to Matt afterwards, to tell him that, as a live experience, what he had just seen was, for him, right up there with the live performances of early Queensryche (circa “Operation Mindcrime”) and Rush! These guys should not be playing small venues like this, they should be touring arenas. They are that talented. The world now needs to know who Twisted Illusion are. Always remember that every huge band started in a back-street pub. The sky is the limit now guys.

05 Twisted Illusionhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband/

That was a very, very special night and is going to take some topping! Currently, festivals aside, we have nothing on our radar that we can see coming close, until we go and witness Devin Townsend at Manchester Royal Albert Hall in December!

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones, Richard Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

UFO ‘Last Orders; 50th Anniversary Tour’ – The Junction, Cambridge – 22/03/2019

Tour Flyer

UFO
‘Last Orders; 50th Anniversary Tour’
The Junction, Cambridge
22/03/2019
Review by Paul Monkhouse & Photo by Daniel Ackerley-Holmes

Very few bands in rock are as legendary as UFO. Since forming in the late 60’s theirs has been a mercurial and notorious history, filled with fights, stellar musicians and peerless songwriting. When last year main man Phil Mogg announced his intention to retire, tickets for this 50th anniversary became some of the most eagerly awaited and sought after and rightly so. The ‘Last Orders Tour’ is a cherry-picked celebration of some of the finest slices of hard rock ever to be committed to tape.

When the lights dimmed and a bar bell rang, one by one the band strolled onto stage and tore into opening number Let It Roll like it was freshly minted. Buoyed by the ecstatic reaction of a packed crowd the band tackled the material with a passion that mixed their seasoned professionalism with a sense of genuinely having an absolute ball onstage.

Mogg in particular was in truly great form, looking fit and lean, cracking jokes between songs and with a voice that arguably sounded the best it ever has. With old friends and foils Andy Parker on the drums and Paul Raymond on keys and guitar it was a joy to see these three on stage providing a masterclass of muscular and melodic music. The two ‘new’ boys Rob De Luca and Vinnie Moore more than held up their ends, De Luca meshing perfectly with Parker to provide a tight rhythm section that pinned down the grooves of the songs with élan and Moore firmly stamping his own identity into tracks previously played by ex UFO alumni and world class six stringer Michael Schenker.

This wasn’t though just an exercise in nostalgia as newer tracks such as Baby Blue, Burn Your House Down and a brilliant Messiah of Love from 2015s ‘A Conspiracy of Stars’ stood shoulder to shoulder with the classics. In fact, along with a outstanding solo on Ain’t No Baby, the acoustic guitarwork on these three were some of the highlights of the evening and showed why Moore was such a great choice to replace the, once more, departing Schenker in 2003. Be it the interplay with the superb keys of Raymond or his own showcase during the extended workout of Rock Bottom Moore truly put his heart into his playing.

All you could wish for and more was played with each song being greeted like an old friend. Lights Out, Only You Can Rock Me and Cherry came in a rush of euphoria and a truly epic Love to Love was enough to make grown men cry, such was its magnificence. With the unbeatable one / two punch of set closers Too Hot to Handle and the aforementioned Rock Bottom there was only one way to come out for the encore. The moment the familiar glistening keyboard started and was joined by the tasteful guitar work, shivers ran down spines as the place erupted. This turned into the out and out adrenaline rush of THAT riff as every single voice in the place sang the titular opening lines “Doctor Doctor please…”. Probably the first song that most people get to hear by UFO, this is still one of the greatest tracks in rock and something that is seen as the bands very own calling card. Following that was nigh on impossible but a triumphant Shoot Shoot rounded off the night perfectly on part of what is potentially going to be the tour of the year. No-one quite knows what the future holds for UFO but even if this is their swan song they couldn’t go out in finer style. Absolutely unmissable.

LINKS:
http://www.ufo-music.info/
https://www.facebook.com/UFOofficial/

DANIEL ACKERLEY-HOLMES PHOTOGRAPHY
https://www.danielackerley.co.uk

 

RockSinsUFO32

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Photo supplied courtesy of Daniel Ackerley-Holmes

Warrant & Sweet Sienna “The Dirty 30 Tour” – The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ – 22/03/2019

Gig Poster

Warrant & Sweet Sienna
“The Dirty 30 Tour”
The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
22/03/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

One of the most popular Glam Rock / Hard Rock bands of last three decades, California rockers Warrant, are currently on tour for the 30th anniversary of the release of their first album “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich”. This tour, which is currently seven shows in, started in January and will last till mid August. They don’t have a specific support band, but have a bunch of local Rock bands joining them on their show dates.

To be honest, I did not get a chance to see the first local band of the night, but I caught a most interesting and promising young band from New York, called Sweet Sienna.

Fronted by the beautiful and talented Katrien Van Riel they performed an electrifying set. Playing their songs ‘Rise’, ‘No Reflection’ and ‘Your Love’ among others, Sweet Sienna moved the audience with quality in music and showmanship on stage. Their sound is pure rock with some heavier riffs and melodic singing. Katrien interacted with the crowd like a seasoned professional, singing with emotion and passion. At this point your best option would be their website and social media to look up who they are and what they sound like. They are currently scheduled to perform as support for such rock legends as Ace Frehley, Skid Row and L.A. Guns to name just a few, so that may change quick, and they could become popular much faster than we might expect.

Warrant were received with some very loud screams, almost like it was still 80’s. All of the eight opening songs from their set came from the aforementioned anniversary album. They only left out ‘In The Sticks’ and ‘Ridin’ High’. All the other songs were played in the order they appear on the album starting with ‘32 Pennies’ and ‘Down Boys’ and finishing with ‘Heaven’ and ‘Cold Sweat’.

Another five songs were played from their huge second studio album “Cherry Pie and, obviously, the title song was the show closer. Until this day ‘Cherry Pie’ is the most recognized song from the band and the glam rock era.

From their newest album “Louder, Harder, Faster”, which was released in 2017, Warrant performed just two songs, ‘Only Broken Heart’ and the title track.

Current vocalist Robert Mason, who took over as Warrant’s front-man after Jani Lane passed away, and who has now been with them for over a decade, was phenomenal. He was joined on stage with original members Erik Turner, Jerry Dixon and longtime member Joey Allen although they are still without Steven Sweet who is recovering after being diagnosed with cancer.

The show was a great success with the venue near to capacity, and it was not only old fans that came to indulge in a trip down memory lane but quite a few younger rock fans as well!

SWEET SIENNA LINKS:
https://www.sweetsiennaband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sweetsiennaband/
https://www.instagram.com/sweetsiennaband/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ktAuVGoCoZ76d5Pzc0qww

WARRANT LINKS:
http://www.warrantrocks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/warrantrocks/

https://www.instagram.com/warrantrocks/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP0tGGgcnoHoPoobLkxVyIA
Warrant Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs courtesy of Andy Jansons.

Hollywood Undead – The Wellmont Theater, Montclair, New Jersey – 06/03/2019

HU9

Hollywood Undead
The Wellmont Theater, Montclair, New Jersey
06/03/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Since the release of their fifth studio album “Five”, California Rap Rock giants Hollywood Undead seem to always be on tour. After a worldwide album support tour they have embarked on The West Coast High tour co-headlining with Hip Hop legends Cypress Hill. In the midst of all this they are working on recording a new album slated to be released sometime this year.

Hollywood Undead are one of the cross over bands that are enjoying huge success to both Rock and Rap fans. Their latest album had a hard and heavy hitting track ‘California Dreaming’ and a hip hop style track ‘Black Cadillac’ featuring Cypress Hill front man B-Real. They can easily tour with Hard Rock bands and Rap artists, and enjoy a warm welcome from all music fans.

In the midst of the West Coast High Tour the band performed in the beautiful Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey. Hollywood Undead hit the stage after performances from Demrick and Xzibit who will be, most likely, unknown to Rock fans.

The first two songs in their set came from “Five”, ‘Whatever It Takes’ and ‘California Dreaming’. The second of those could make any Metal band jealous, arguably one of their heaviest songs to date. They played three more songs from “Five” during their set ‘Bad Moon’, ‘Broken Record’ and, of course ‘Riot’, an excellent song which got the crowd into a frenzy.

Other notable hits played included ‘Day Of The Dead’, ‘Hear Me Now’, ‘Comin’ in Hot’ and ‘Everywhere I Go’.

On ‘Comin’ in Hot’ Charlie Scene (the guys all have stage names) brought a random fan on stage to play the guitar, Anthony was his name, and he did not disappoint. He impressed band members and fans alike. J-Dog also had his family from Brooklyn in attendance.

Hollywood Undead performed the show without masks, as they have taken to do lately and they gave their all. Johnny 3 Tears, Funny Man and Danny were all amazing. Since 2017 they have been using a touring drummer, Matt Oloffson, for their shows and he did one hell of a job!

Whatever your subgenre preference is in Rock, it would be well worth your time to check out Hollywood Undead if you haven’t already done so. This was a great show!

LINKS:

  • https://hollywoodundead.com
  • https://twitter.com/hollywoodundead
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYEIC1WKHEJHR971HIySQMg
  • https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodundead
  • https://www.instagram.com/hollywoodundead
  • https://open.spotify.com/artist/0CEFCo8288kQU7mJi25s6E
  • https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/17000

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are courtesy of Andy Jansons.

Corrosion of Conformity – The Gramercy Theatre, New York City -13/02/2019

COC Gramercy Theatre 13-02-2019 Poster

Corrosion of Conformity
The Gramercy Theatre, New York City
13/02/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

More than thirty years on from their formation, legendary North Carolina Heavy Metal band Corrosion of Conformity are still going strong and drawing sold out crowds. They are currently on tour throughout the US supporting their most recent album “No Cross No Crown”, which was released on January 12th 2018 via Nuclear Blast. They are being supported on the current tour with the excellent Metal bands Crowbar, Mothership and Weedeater. After February 13th show they will be replaced by The Obsessed. New York Cities, The Gramercy Theatre was almost filled to capacity, with very little room left to move around.

All the support bands did their job perfectly and got the crowd going, with Louisiana rockers Crowbar playing just before C.O.C. giving us that Southern Metal vibe readying everyone for what was to come!

Corrosion of Conformity started their set with ‘The Stonebreaker’ from their seventh studio album “In The Arms of God”, followed by ‘Wiseblood’ and the only song from the “No Cross No Crown” album called ‘Wolf Named Crow’.

They were amazing! COC’s longtime vocalist Pepper Keenan delivered an excellent performance and sounded just like he did in his youth, with a deep southern voice.

Bassist Mike Dean brought full energy to the show with his relentless running around the stage. Another long time band member Reed Mullin was flawless on the drum set whilst the only original band member and founder Woody Weatherman who has been in the lineup throughout the bands existence, delivered a perfect performance on the lead guitar.

The assembled crowd embraced all their songs with excitement, but COC’s hits ‘Albatross’ and ‘Clean My Wounds’ were the pinnacle the of the show!

LINKS:
http://coc.com/
https://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity/

https://www.instagram.com/coccabal/

 

COC12

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons.

 

Evil Scarecrow, Ten Foot Wizard & Footprints In The Custard – The Tivoli, Buckley – 31.01.19

Evil Scarecrow - Tivoli, Buckley 31-01-2019 Poster

Evil Scarecrow, Ten Foot Wizard & Footprints In The Custard
The Tivoli, Buckley
31.01.19
Review and Pictures by Beth Jones

Ah the Tiv, my spirit home! I had a certain amount of de-ja-vu going to the Tiv for this gig, as once again the weather forecast was pants, and the roads were all snowy and icy! Our last trip to this venue had been the same, in December 2017 to see Mason Hill! Coincidence or are we Jinxed? Only time will tell.

For this gig my partner in crime was not our Ever Metal head honcho, Rick, but instead our trainee and my daughter, Sian, and she was very much looking forward to it!

Thankfully, a good number of people had braved the weather in order to support all the bands on the bill, and as a thanks for that, we were treated to a cracking show. Complete with much silliness, a Mankini, fruit costumes and spontaneous baa-ing from the audience!

Footprints In The Custard where given the job of opening the night and warming up the crowd, which given the sub-zero temperatures, was no mean feat! But as usual they tackled it with ease, pleasing us with such jaunty little ditties as ‘Willies Are For Weeing’, ‘Gail Platter’ and their awesome cover of The Weather Girls, ‘It’s Raining Men’! As usual, they were on top form, and as usual, got semi naked half way through, with guitarist, Ross, sporting a very fetching shiny blue Mankini, and frontman Russ donning his trademark luminous green Tutu! These guys are always a great laugh, with bags of crowd participation, and they did a grand job considering the stage was pretty cramped with the amount of gubbins Evil Scarecrow had ready for their performance! If you haven’t yet experience Footprints, you really need to – there style of crazy metal, mixed with their childlike, ‘naughty school boy’ humour is a must see. Their onstage energy and charisma are impossible not to get hooked on.

01 Footprints In The Custardhttps://www.facebook.com/Footprintsinthecustard

Next up were Ten Foot Wizard. These chaps were a new name to me, but you could tell it was going to be interesting, when they had a microphone lodged in a Heron donned with Hawaiian lei, and a mic stand covered in Ivy! They have somewhat, a penchant for cow bell, oddness, and bright colours, and play a kind of stoner/doom/rock style which comes together to make a pretty hallucinogenic performance. Whilst I’m not a massive fan of that type of music, I have to give it to them – what they do, they do incredibly well. The Bassist was having a few issues with a dodgy lead, but he hid this really well, and managed to get it sorted, whilst the rest of the band played some very nice elevator music, which kept us all entertained! They brought out the big guns for their final song, ‘Covered In Tits’! The Heron microphone, loads of cow bell and a Theremin. I have never seen one of these played live before, so this made me happy!

02 Ten Foot Wizard.jpghttps://www.facebook.com/tenfootwizard

The main event of the evening was Evil Scarecrow. Now reaching the business end of their Lost In Antartarctica tour, it was great to have them play a venue so close to us! The stage was packed to the rafters with gadgets and gizmos and we spent a good few minutes guessing at what songs would be included in the set by which gizmos we could see – we guessed some, but not all! The show started at a rip-roaring pace and the crowd went to the next level. Everyone got a bit over excited when Dr Hell was teaching us the moves for ‘End Level Boss’ and broke out into spontaneous Baa-ing, much to the amusement of the band! Well, when in Wales and all that!

They also had a new member joining them, as Princess Luxury had not been available for part of the tour. Playing a mean Keytar, he was introduced to us all as Chucky The Bastard, and he was indeed a naughty little bastard! At one point he hijacked the drumstick of a rogue Ten Foot Wizard member, who had infiltrated the stage with a cowbell, and beat the poor cowbell within an inch of its life!

The performance included some of their classics; ‘Robototron’, ‘Crabulon’, and ‘Blacken The Everything’ being my favourites, and new songs from their latest album, “Chapter IV: Antartarctica”. You can tell the calibre of a band when the new songs already feel like classics – ‘Hurricanado’, ‘Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Polterghost’ already seeming like mainstays in their show. I particularly like ‘The Ballad Of Brother Pain’ as it is a total departure from what they normally do, and it is a really great song. The audience participation for ‘Cosmic Goth Moth Gong’ was also quite amusing. The stage props where as nuts as ever throughout – with the good old anti-gravity machine (powered by a 13 amp plug), the Robots, UFO’s and Crabulon, as well as some new additions – a giant slug, a severed head with glowing eyes, and one of those inflatable wavy things that you get outside car showrooms!

The night finished with the Ten Foot Wizard boys, donned in oversized fruit costumes and armed with cowbells, joining the Scarecrow gang on stage for a rumpus! How things didn’t get severely broken, including band members, is beyond me!

03 Evil Scarecrowhttps://www.facebook.com/Evil.Scarecrow

You can’t help but smile when you come out of a gig like that – what a top evening! The sound was great, the crowd were great, the bands were all epic, and the venue was brilliant. This was a proper party!! It is such a friendly atmosphere there, which takes me right back to the 90’s and my miss-spent youth. It makes me really happy to see this venue thriving again, and I would recommend anyone who has not been to seriously consider a trip there for one of their upcoming shows.

PS Sian loved it too!

The Tivoli:
https://www.facebook.com/The-Tivoli-Venue-111869355544823

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

Silverstein + Hawthorne Heights & Guests – Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ – 12/01/2019

01 gig poster

Silverstein – When Broken Is Easily Fixed; 15 Year Anniversary Tour
Silverstein + Hawthorne Heights & Guests
Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
12/01/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

At the end of last year Canadian Rock band Silverstein, from Burlington, Ontario, embarked on their 15th Anniversary tour of their debut album “When Broken Is Easily Fixed” together with special guests Hawthorne Heights, As Cities Burn and Capstan. On January 12th they made a stop in the state of New Jersey to play a show at the Starland Ballroom where we were able to see them live!

Capstan and As Cities Burn both gave the anxious crowd a good amount of energy with their terrific and loud performances. After them came Dayton, Ohio Rock band Hawthorne Heights. For them this tour is about supporting their new album that was released in 2018 entitled “Bad Frequencies”. Their performance was amazing. Their songs touched all painful elements of our times like addiction, depression and suicide. Their long-time vocalist and bands founding member JT Woodruff took his time to introduce each song and what issues it touched. Their set included songs Just Another Ghost, Bad Frequencies, Bring You Back and Crimson Sand, just to mention few!

When Canadian rockers Silverstein took to the stage the place exploded. Their set was divided in two. The First half included their debut album “When Broken Is Easily Fixed” played in its entirety and the second half was filled with their greatest hits. Their music was heavy and the singing and screaming by the bands vocalist Shane Told coupled by a spectacular light show was thrilling. This was a fine example of the Post-Hardcore genre. On their last song of the debut album set, whilst performing the title track ‘When Broken Is Easily Fixed’ they were joined on stage by Capstan vocalist Anthony DeMario who supplied deafening unclean vocals. After a short break Silverstein returned to play their hits, including ‘The Afterglow’, ‘Lost Positives’, ‘Retrograde’ and ‘Smile in Your Sleep’. They closed out the show by playing ‘My Heroine’.

Links:
Silverstein:
http://www.silversteinmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/silversteinmusic/

Hawthorne Heights:
https://hawthorneheights.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HawthorneHeights/

As Cities Burn:
http://www.ascitiesburn.net/
https://www.facebook.com/ascitiesburn/

Capstan:
http://capstanband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/capstanband/

 

02 silverstein live pic

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons

Twisted Illusion + Midnight Prophecy, Equinox (now Ashen Reach) & John Ainsworth – Manchester Academy 3 – 21/12/2018

Twisted Illusion + Midnight Prophecy, Equinox (now Ashen Reach) & John Ainsworth
Manchester Academy 3
21st December 2018
Review by Beth Jones

The 21st of December is always my favourite day of the year, because it is my birthday! So, you can imagine my joy when I discovered that my band of the year was doing a big gig in Manchester on that very day. We had hotly awaited it for months. It got to within one week of the gig and Twisted Illusion dropped the bombshell that Matt McDade and Mark Wagstaff (the brilliant rhythm section of the band) were calling it a day as they felt they couldn’t give the level of commitment that was needed to fulfil their increasing schedule, and frontman Matt Jones got a bad case of laryngitis. I was beyond mortified. I had visions of the show being cancelled and my new favourite band becoming a memory. But being the consummate professionals they are, they insisted that the show would go on!

So off we set to Manchester. Getting there was….err…..fun! If you have never been to the Academy 3 (like me) it is like finding a needle in a very confusing haystack of bus routes and one-way systems. I may have got a ticket for driving in a bit which was busses and taxis only, and I may have ended up on the wrong side of the road at one point and narrowly missed getting hit by an oncoming bus, but Jesus was it worth it when we finally got there! (Rick here – I’m still shaking!!!)

The evening started with a mesmerising solo performance from a young guitarist by the name of John Ainsworth. He is a very slight and unassuming chap to look at, no different from the next person in a crowd, but put a guitar on him and magic happens! What that guy can do with his old, slightly battered semi acoustic is unreal! It is as if he was born with it strapped to him. He makes it sound like a complete band, and his musical creations are as intricate and complex as they are zany and pleasantly disturbing! This blew my mind and reminded me why I love live music so much. What a stunning way to start off the evening.

01 john ainsworthhttps://www.facebook.com/john12string/

Next up were Equinox. It turns out this was their last gig with that name, as they have now rebranded and become Ashen Reach! By now the room was pretty full, and the crowd were loving the unique, Hard Rock/Melodic Metal sound that was being unleashed from the stage. Their set was full on, lively and fun, and they were all having a ball on stage. Their female drummer, Jess Stanley, was positioned to the front of the stage, which was great to see. Usually it is impossible to get good pictures of drummers from the front, but not here! She was really interesting to watch as she has a very unusual technique, playing open handed a lot and holding the sticks really high up. They were superb! The vocals of Daniel Moran were soaring, but with a great crunchy, growly tone that fitted their style so well. This was a real party. Everyone was smiling and having a great time, all knowing that this was a special night. They brought it down for their last number to say a farewell to their Equinox days in readiness for chapters new, and it was obvious that this was a big thing for the band, with Daniel getting quite emotional. Deservedly so – it was a cracking performance full of heart and spirit. It will be good to see what Ashen Reach now bring to the table!

02 equinox (ashen reach)https://www.facebook.com/EquinoxBandUK/
https://www.facebook.com/ashenreach/

Our main support for the evening was Midnight Prophecy. The best way I can describe these guys is good old bacon and eggs British Heavy Metal. They were basically a brilliant, young, Iron Maiden with lead singer, Craig Cairns, having the sound and power of Bruce Dickinson, but a lot more hair! They were flipping brilliant!! One of their guitarists also looks like a giant Viking and pulls the best guitar faces ever! So much energy, so much stage presence, so much charisma! They have a real connection as a band that is old and wise beyond their years. Their set was fast paced and electrifying, and the audience were bouncing. The evening up until this point had been spectacular and had gone by so quickly that I was almost sad that it would all soon be over.(Rick here again – Based on this performance I’m REALLY looking forward to see Midnight Prophecy again at Amplified Festival in July)

03 midnight prophecyhttps://www.facebook.com/midnightprophecy/

All too quickly came the last performance of the evening, and the reason why most of us were there. Twisted Illusion, with the added extra of a young talent by the name of Saxon Davids (ex Kaine) joining them on guitar, and their ‘roadie on the night’ and occasional extra member, Voodoo Blood’s Chris Norris, joining them on upright bass. We had spoken to Matt Jones earlier in the evening and his voice was still a bit spannered, but he was determined to give us a brilliant show, so called on the services of Craig from Midnight Prophecy to sing some of the songs with them, and he sang harmonies an octave lower. It is scary to try and comprehend the talent of Matt Jones, as him on a bad day was still immense! THIS is what music really is; proper music. I found myself just standing, with my head back and my eyes close, letting the music eat me, with a huge grin on my face. There are a very small number of bands that have this effect on me, notably Queen and Devin Townsend; they are the bands that make me just have to stop and do nothing, just let the music in. Twisted Illusion are now on that list. Every song, new and old was an absolute smasher – ‘Excite The Light’, ‘Hatred Is A Virtue’, ‘Medicated Society’, ‘No Compromise’, the brilliant cover of ‘The Spirit Of Radio’ by Rush (EEEEK it was soooo good), I could go on, but I would end up just listing the whole set list! It has taken me a couple of weeks to be able to organise my thoughts on this gig, because I simply cannot put into words how bloody good Twisted Illusion are. Every single note, every pause, every rhythm change is perfectly placed and there for a reason, and it just makes me so happy to be able to experience it. I can’t even make one of my usual quips about it, because it was too good. Whilst it is extremely sad that Mark Wagstaff and Matt McDade are not continuing in the band, Matt Jones has vowed to carry on in 2019, with a full tour announced, and the release of the remaining parts of the Excite the Light Album Trilogy, and I am super excited for this!

04 twisted illusionhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband/

My words do not do these four fabulous performances justice. Seriously if you get even the smallest chance of getting out to see Twisted Illusion, or any of the other bands on this bill, do it – you will not regret it. All that I have left to say is thank you – a massive heartfelt thank you to all the acts, for making my birthday a very special night that I will remember for a very, very long time.

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

 

Can’t Swim – (Le) Poisson Rouge, New York City – 01/12/2018

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2018/12/17/cant-swim-le-poisson-rouge-new-york-city-01-12-2018/

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Stephen Moss. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.