This warm up show for the ‘Stonedead’ festival attracted a big crowd some of which
will be seeing BSR the following day as one of the headline acts at the festival. But
there is something special about seeing the actual show in a smaller setting and the
atmosphere here is electric.
There are a couple of new members in the live band, and they easily live up to the
reputation this band has, especially given its history and from where it emerged.
There are big shoes to fill, and they do it with ease. This is Zak St John’s first gig as
live drummer but unless Ricky told us I’m not sure anyone would have realised.
‘All Hell Breaks Lose’, the title track from their first album is a great opener and
probably sums up what the next hour and a half will bring. They follow this with the
title track from their latest album ‘Wrong Side of Paradise’ and the ultra-catchy
‘When the Night Comes in’ from 2017s ‘Heavy Fire’ album.
Ricky informs us that he’s in his own county of ‘Warwick’shire which the audience
appreciate. He is a great front man and guitar player but we already know that. They
continue with ‘Tonight the Moonlight Let Me Down’ and ‘Another State of Grace’ with
its complex and catchy guitar solo. New track ‘Better Than Saturday Night’ is
Lizzyesque and one of the catchiest rock tracks you will hear – this is how to craft a
‘Before the War’ has a great opening with military drum riff and Celtic feel.
Soldierstown’ from 2015 album ‘The Killer Instinct’ has a similar celtic vibe and the
audience bounce and clap along with the music. These tracks just get you like that.
They slow it down with ‘Blindsided from the same album, a great semi ballad that
allows new guitarist Sam Wood to show his pedigree. The classic ‘Dancing with the
Wrong Girl’ picks up the pace again and the twin guitars and drumming are out of
this world. ‘Riding Out the Storm’ from the new album is a great mid paced chugger
and as catchy as they come. The bassist steady as a rock and providing killer
They dedicate an excellent version of ‘Jailbreak’ to Scott Gorham’ and then launch
into their rocked-up version of ‘Crazy Horses’ which even now is hard to believe is an
Osmonds track. They dedicate ‘Finest Hour’ to ‘Whitesnake’ guitarist Bernie
Marsden who died on the day of the gig which is a fitting tribute. This is followed by
‘Kingdom of the Lost’ before and they launch into the anthemic ‘Bound for Glory’
which is a classic end to this warm up show.
The crowd would have stayed had the sound system not kicked in and the lights
came up. Excellent gig and I couldn’t help but give my physical setlist away to avid
collector and music technician Sam Bradbury – hope she enjoyed this show as much
as I did.
If they played like this the day after at the festival, I assume like tonight they would
have knocked the crowd stone dead – sorry couldn’t resist the pun!