Category Archives: Event Reviews

Myles Kennedy – Stylus, Leeds University – 8th July 2018.

With an ambient lit stage, Leeds Stylus hosts a sold out show for Myles Kennedy in its 1000 capacity venue.  The crowd are packed in and are eager for some entertainment, and whilst the fans endure the heat of the place some chants emerge from the back audience in reference to the world cup  ‘it’s coming home’, obviously they are  still celebrating England’s semi quarter final win on Sunday but more on that later.

Dorian Sorriaux is the main support for Myles Kennedy throughout his European tour, and some of you may recognise his name, as the guitarist in his own band Blue Pills; who have opened for Myles’ band Alter Bridge in the past.

Classically trained guitarist Dorian introduces himself and thanks Myles for the opportunity to be support. If you are up on your classical guitarist knowledge you’ll be aware that they grow and shape their nails especially curved in a perfect arch to create a long ramp, the idea is to have the string travel up the ramp and get pushed into the guitar.  I noticed Dorian’s devil like talons as he played through a range of folk inspired acoustic songs, from his new EP. The themes included politics, love, and some he didn’t quite know what they were about yet, as they were developing.   Simplicity is the best way to describe his style of music.  With his guitar in hand, and beads of sweat dripping off the guitar head to the floor, Dorian entertained a very hot and sweaty mob.  A highlight being his latest single ‘Hungry Ghost’, a dramatic dark number, harmonised by Dorian’s haunting vocals. Humbled by a great response to his performance, he bid the fans well and to enjoy Myles’ show.

Dorian Sorriaux

As the crowd waited for Myles to take the stage, candles and a backdrop with the words Myles Kennedy, year of the tiger 1974 in a repeated circle centred on an image of a Tiger set the scene.  Year of the Tiger is the name of Myles first official solo album, of which the tour also takes its name; and was inspired by the year in which Myles lost his biological father at a young age.  Myles Kennedy is a name in his own right but he is particularly known for his band Alter Bridge along with his collaborations with Slash (Guns n Roses) and Slash ft Myles & the Conspirators, with whom he is set to release a new album later in the year

Ecstatic applause, shouts and screams roar from the fans as the eagerly awaited Myles takes the stage, welcoming the crowd he opened with Devil on the wall from his solo album.  Playing songs from the last twenty years of his career, the set list was impressive and included songs from his early band The Mayfield Four, to the amazing Starlight a song he co-wrote and performed with Slash.  A nice surprise was his version of Iron Maiden’s The Trooper.

Myles is a grand story teller and related tales of his youth from picking up a guitar, to his moody teens, forming a band and writing painful needy lyrics. Using a foot machine drum pedal, he became his own one man band.  And the bass drum effect was especially useful when the chants started again from the back of the audience.   Not one to miss a beat Myles joined in with his foot pedal and struck up a tempo  to which the crowd responded and chanted ”it’s coming home” some more.   Enjoying the impromptu sing along Myles encouraged his fans to not be bored by some idiot playing for the next 90 minutes but to get involved and have a great fun time, which they did.

Myles has an immense alluring personality and it was rather epic to be part of his captivated audience,  getting to see him up close and personal as he discussed his life through his stories and music.

 

Set list :
Devil on the Wall
Standing in the Sun (Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators cover)
Mars Hotel (The Mayfield Four cover)
Addicted to Pain (Alter Bridge song)
Starlight (Slash cover)
Blind Faith
Life Must Go On (Alter Bridge song)
The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover)
White Flag (The Mayfield Four cover)
Haunted by Design
All Ends Well (Alter Bridge song)
Songbird
Watch Over You (Alter Bridge song)
Travelling Riverside Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
World on Fire (Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators cover)

Encore:
Love Can Only Heal
Year of the Tiger

Myles Kennedy by Neil Jackson
Myles Kennedy by Neil Jackson
Myles Kennedy by Alex English

Myles Kennedy – Stylus, Leeds University – 8th July 2018. was originally published on PlanetMosh

Ramblin Man 2018 – Sunday

Sunday kicked off with more hot sunny weather (quite unusual for Ramblin Man – I think this was the first year where it’s been nice weather the whole weekend).

The last internationale

The first band I caught today was The Last Internationale, opening the main stage. They’re a band I didn’t know much about other than that they’re quite political with their lyrics. When singer Delila Paz came on stage and started singing I was instantly impressed – she’s got one hell of an impressive voice. They’re a very good band and one that I’ll definitely be listening to more of – an excellent start to the day.

On the Blues stage, Kris Barras is playing to a large crowd as he plays a set including several songs from his current album. He’s a very busy performer with his own tours, support slots with Beth Hart earlier this year, and support slots with Joanne Shaw Taylor later in the year, not to mention fronting Supersonic Blues Machine on their European tour. I’ve seen him 4 times already this year in venues ranging in size from a hundred people to nearer a thousand, and however many are watching today and he’s just as at home on a large stage as he is on a small one. He’s got a great manner and chats with the crowd in a relaxed way between songs. It’s a great set and it’s just a shame that with the revised stage times that clashes mean I only got to see part of it.

Tyler Bryant and the shakedown

Tyler Bryant and the shakedown played the Blues stage last year and are back this year, but on the main stage, and it’s clear to see why they’ve been promoted – they’re one hell of a good live band. They’re full of energy and play really good rock music. This is a band that’s certain to grow and grow over the next few years.

Sons of Apollo

Sons of Apollo came next. They’re one of many “super groups” around, but this is one band that really does deserve that title. To start with you’ve got the members…Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) – drums and vocals, Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) – keyboards, Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) – bass, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses) – guitar and vocals, Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force) – vocals. That’s an impressive lineup of talent, but as we’ve seen in so-called super-groups before, a collection of great musicians doesn’t necessarily mean a great band. In this case though they work well together as a band, and have written great songs. Hard rock with a certain amount of Prog in it, this is really good stuff and with these talented musicians playing it and really working well together as a band it’s a superb set. Today at Ramblin Man really does seem to be going from one great band to another.

Due to clashing with Sons of Apollo I only saw part of Laurence Jones’s set. The fact the Blues stage was running so late and he clashed with Sons of Apollo definitely affected the size of the crowd he played to but he’s professional enough not to let it affect his performance and he put in a set that went down well with the assembled fans.

Blackberry smoke

Back on the main stage, Blackberry smoke were next up. With a new album (Find a light) out a couple of months ago I’d expected it to feature heavily in their set today but instead they focussed on delivering a “best of” type set – which while it might be slightly disappointing for fans, does give them the best possible chance of winning new fans from the festival crowd. With the hot sunny conditions, this band from Atlanta, Georgia must have felt at home as they delivered a great set. The new song (Run away from it all) sounded fantastic – as to be fair did the rest of their set.

Big Boy Bloater

Big Boy Bloater kicked off his set and quickly ran into trouble as a guitar string broke. A big band would have just swapped guitars or had a tech restring it for them, but when you’re only there with one guitar (Big Boy Bloater was a last minute replacement for Chas and Dave, and was already on site before it was arranged), then you don’t have those luxuries, so he had to replace the string himself. Normally you’d expect him to end the song then change the string before carrying on, but no, they continued the song with just bass and drums with the crowd chanting “Hey” on the beat while he changed the string. Not many artists could get away with that for 5 minutes but such is his power as a frontman that he managed it with ease. It’s a great set, and ended with the fantastic “It came out of the swamp”, still my favourite song of his despite his new album (Pills) being superb.

Halestorm

Halestorm were one of the bands I’d been looking forward to ahead of the weekend as I’d missed their last couple of tours. They kicked off with a brand new song, “Black vultures” from their upcoming album “Vicious” before starting a set full of songs the fans love such as “Love bite (and so do I)”, “Mz Hyde”, “Freak like me”, and ending with “I miss the misery”. We get a drum solo too – a part of the show that bores me with many bands but Arjay Hale is such a good and entertaining drummer his solos never fail to be enjoyable. Lzzy Hale is always a great performer and today is no different. Her voice sounds to have a slightly harder edge than I’ve hear before, but I’m not sure if that’s a natural change in her sound or if it’s just illness/tiredness from touring. Either way she still sounds great and their set was a definite highlight of the day.

Over on the Blues stage, Gov’t Mule were putting in a great performance. With Gov’t Mule, it doesn’t matter how many times you see them, no two performances are the same as their shows are very much live jams, so the same song can sound very different on different nights depending how they go with the solos. It’s a fantastic set.

The Cult

The Cult took to the stage to close the festival and from the start it was obvious they were out to impress as the riff for “Wild flower” kicked in. They’d drawn a big crowd – the biggest of the weekend, and it wasn’t just paying fans there to watch. I spotted members of Me and that man, Sons of Apollo, Halestorm and Von Hertzen Brothers all watching and clearly loving it. The Cult are a band many fans have been listening to since the late 80s and tonight’s set drew heavily on the “Electric” and “Love” albums (arguably their finest albums and the peak of their career), and they kept delivering songs that people remembered and loved. I saw so many people singing along or dancing that it was clear that The Cult were the band of the weekend. Ian Astbury was in great form as was Billy Duffy and the rest of the band and they really put in a performance that is hard to beat. A fantastic end to a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

This year’s Ramblin’ Man seemed to suffer from the date change from it’s usual late-July date to June as the schools hadn’t broken up which makes it harder for parents to attend, but the glorious weather definitely got people in the right mood (and kept the bars and ice-cream vans busy). While some had complained about the lineup ahead of the festival, I have to say this was probably the most enjoyable year for me – it’s not just the big bands that appeal as many of the bands I really enjoyed were smaller acts such as “Me and that man”. I came away having not seen a single poor performance and having seen quite a few bands I want to buy CDs from, and you can’t really ask for more than that from any festival. I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival.

Ramblin Man 2018 – Sunday was originally published on PlanetMosh

Ramblin Man 2018 – Saturday

Just inside the entrance to the arena was the Rising stage, and the first act on were Those Damn Crows. They’d pulled a large crowd and that wasn’t just because they were the only band on, or because being in a tent meant they attracted people seeking shade. No, they had a large crowd because they’re a damn good rock band that impressed right from the start. They’ve got the songs to impress and they’ve got a great stage presence – essential if you really want to impress a festival crowd. They’re an excellent start to the day.

Thomas Wynn & the believers

I had planned to watch No Hot Ashes next but after seeing Thomas Wynn and the believers a couple of days earlier I had to go and see them again as they were absolutely superb. The Florida based band seemed perfectly at home here in the hot sunny weather and drew a good crowd for their set. They played the previous night supporting Therapy? at the leisure centre next door and it’s clear quite a few people who saw them there were here to see them again – that tells you how good the band are, for people to want to see them again little more than 12 hours after they saw them first. It’s a fantastic set – this is a band you really need to check out.

The Adelaides

The Adelaides came next. They’re an all-girl country-pop band from Birmingham (UK) although their sound is more Nashville than West Midlands. With two playing acoustic guitar and all three doing vocals they sound very good, with songs such as “Jack Daniels” really going down well.

Veteran hard rockers Gun were next up. It’s a very good set, but it’s testament to how good the lineup is this weekend that Gun just didn’t impress as much as I had expected in comparison to the other bands I’d already seen, and certainly not as much as the bands that came later.

Me and that man

Me and that man were next on the Outlaw country stage. This was one of the bands I’d most been looking forward to as I’d missed their only other UK show to date (a small venue in Camden). Fronted by Polish musician Adam Darski, aka Behemoth frontman Nergal, it’s Country but with a darker feel to it. Their debut album is one I still listen to regularly a year after it’s release, so with today’s set being almost entirely songs from that album I was very happy. They kicked off with “My church is black” before running through a set full of great songs from the album. One surprise was the inclusion of a cover version – Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad moon rising”. It was a set that more than lived up to my high expectations and I hope we hear more from this band – like another album and maybe some more live shows when Behemoth’s schedule permits.

Therapy?

Therapy? were next on the main stage. They’d played the previous night at the pre-festival night, and like Thomas Wynn and the believers drew a good crowd including a lot of people who had watched them the night before. They’re the heaviest band of the day so far and they definitely go down well. It’s a bit warm to get the crowd bouncing like they normally would during a Therapy? gig, but the band put in a great high energy set.

The rocket dolls were yet another example of the high standard of bands on the Rising stage – the main stage acts really do need to watch their backs with so many young and talented bands around ready to move up to the main stages at festivals. Hailing from Brighton, the Rocket Dolls are a three-piece that really are well worth checking out.

Skinny Molly brought some Southern rock to the outlaw country stage, and it just felt right in this heat. Plenty of bands have covered “Freebird” over the years, but Skinny Molly are one of the few that really can justify it’s inclusion in the set – not just because it sounds fantastic when they play it but because singer/guitarist Mike Estes is a former member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The Cadillac Three

It’s been a couple of years since I last saw The Cadillac three – sadly their last few tours clashed with other stuff, so I was glad to be able to see them here at Ramblin Man. They’re just as good as I remembered if not better.

Myles Kennedy performed a solo set on the country stage. It was an acoustic set and apart from a couple of songs where he brought on a guitarist to help out, it was just him singing and playing acoustic guitar. That’s a simple setup but one that’s hard to do well enough to keep an audience interested, but the combination of his fantastic vocals and a great choice of songs meant he kept the crowd happy throughout the set. As well as some of his solo songs and a couple of Alter Bridge songs we got songs from his collaboration with Slash, a Robert Johnson cover, and a fantastic version of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”.

Over on the Rising stage, London band The Dust Coda were demonstrating that they’re a band worth keeping an eye on. Despite the heat they delivered a high energy rock performance that really went down well.

Steel Panther

Steel Panther were next and clearly have a lot of fans here today – if the huge crowd in front of the stage wasn’t enough of a clue, the steel panther tshirts, people dressed up as Steel panther and people waving giant inflatable penises gave it away. Critics will say that Steel panther were mildly amusing when they started but the joke’s wearing thin now, and maybe they have a point, but sometimes you’ve got to stop taking everything so seriously and just have fun. Yes the music is all based on the hair metal hits of the 80s, but if you strip away the outfits and the clowning around, they’re very good musicians, and they know how to entertain a crowd. I’m sure they could do totally original music without the smutty humour and clowning around but it wouldn’t be as much fun or as commercially successful, so they stick to being entertaining and putting on great shows. They certainly went down well with the crowd here tonight and I enjoyed their set.

Steve Earle

On the Outlaw country stage, Steve Earle and the dukes. With a career spanning over thirty years and sixteen studio albums, he’s got plenty of material to choose from, so it’s a surprise when he starts the set with his biggest hit – Copperhead road. It’s a set that managed to draw a good sized crowd despite the clash with Steel Panther and it was clear to see that those fans who chose to watch Steve Earle were loving it. I only caught part of his set and I can certainly see why he’s so popular.

Mott the hoople

Tonight’s headliners were Mott the Hoople. It’s slightly odd – despite the fact they’re a legendary act, there’s less of a buzz than there was before Steel Panther’s set, and the crowd seems a little bit smaller too. They take to the stage and launch into Don McLean’s “American pie” until they get to the line..”the day the music died”, after which Ian Hunter asks “or did it” and they segue into “Golden age of rock’n’roll”. I’d love to say it was a fantastic set, but to be honest I was a bit disappointed, and other than “Roll away the stone” and the set closing “All the young dudes” I definitely got the impression that large parts of the crowd didn’t actually know any of the songs. Yes they’re legends and are great musicians, but they just felt slightly dull with not much variation between the songs. While it would have been a controversial choice, Steel Panther would have been the better headliner today.

Ramblin Man 2018 – Saturday was originally published on PlanetMosh

Ginger Wildheart – Songs & Words – Manchester 09/05/2015


Way back in 1939 Winston Churchill described the Russians as being “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” I can’t help thinking this is also an apt description of Ginger Wildheart’s Songs and Words show.

It’s not a gig, It’s not stand-up comedy. It’s not theatre. It’s not literature. It’s not any of thoseWay back in 1939 Winston Churchill described the Russians as being “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” I can’t help thinking this is also an apt description of Ginger Wildheart‘s Songs and Words show. Ginger Wildheart – Manchester 2015 It’s not a gig, It’s not stand-up comedy. It’s not theatre. It’s not literature. It’s not any of those things but somehow it manages to be all of them at the same time. Occasionally it could even be described as a talking therapy session for Mr. Wildheart with the audience as (avid) listeners. It’s basically a story, the story of Ginger’s life in music between the formation of the Wildhearts in late 1989 and the completion of his 555% pledge campaign in 2012. Over the years there have been so many rumours, stories and lies that Ginger decided the best way to put the record straight was to go out and tell it like it was himself. Set in a shabby-chic, quirky, historic all-seated venue the stage is almost bare. Two acoustic guitars and two microphone stands wait to be used. There is one table to stage left belonging to Jase Edwards containing beer and a laptop and […]

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NLC/Rockin’ For The Children – The Maze, Nottingham: 2nd-3rd May 2015

The Fifth NLC/Rocking For The Children Festival took place at The Maze, Nottingham over May Day Bank Holiday Weekend 2015. This now annual event is organised by David Tonge (AKA Big D) and his family and friends with a lot of time and hard work going into the organising. Last year was my first time,David Tonge – AKA Big D The Fifth NLC/Rocking For The Children Festival took place at The Maze, Nottingham over May Day Bank Holiday Weekend 2015. This now annual event is organised by David Tonge (AKA Big D) and his family and friends with a lot of time and hard work going into the organising. Last year was my first time, and having enjoyed it tremendously, I immediately booked time off work and a hotel for this year’s event. It wasn’t all a smooth ride with bands breaking up along the way giving Big D the headache of finding replacements but on the weekend everything went smoothly. The Maze is a small venue about twenty minutes walk from the centre of Nottingham. There’s a pub at the front with a great range of ales, pictures on the wall of stars like Elvis Presley, Adam Ant and Debby Harry and beer barrels as tables. Then behind the pub is the venue and at the very rear a Beer Garden where you can go for a smoke or just to cool down after dancing to one of the many bands. Fundraising events like a tombola and cake sale were held in the pub for the […]

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Beth Hart – Barbican, London – 8th May 2015


The night opened with Irishman Miles Graham. He performs doing vocals and playing acoustic guitar, and has two musicians with him, one on the Cajon (a box shaped drum that the drummer sits on as he plays), and one on bass. His set is very good – a classic singer-songwriter style, and he talks toThe night opened with Irishman Miles Graham. He performs doing vocals and playing acoustic guitar, and has two musicians with him, one on the Cajon (a box shaped drum that the drummer sits on as he plays), and one on bass. His set is very good – a classic singer-songwriter style, and he talks to the audience a lot between songs, telling them about himself. For some of the songs the bassist puts the bass down and Miles hands him the guitar to play, leaving Miles to concentrate on vocals. It’s a great set that ends with a cover of the Hall & Oates song “Maneater”. Photo: John Bull – Rockrpix.com Beth Hart took to the stage to huge applause and immediately ran to the piano. She greeted the audience and said that she wanted to start things off quietly, so she sat down and performed the first song solo. What can I say other than WOW? Her voice is simply amazing, and she sings with a passionate bluesy voice as she plays – it’s absolutely spellbinding stuff and this is just the first song. After that the band joined her and kicked things up a notch. As the band […]

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Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Northern Ireland Final – Belfast, Voodoo 08/05/2015


As, a few hundred yards away, Belfast joins the rest of the country in marking the 70th anniversary of VE Day, five of Northern Ireland’s finest groups of metallians have come together in a darkened city centre venue to see which of them will secure just as momentous – to them at least – aAs, a few hundred yards away, Belfast joins the rest of the country in marking the 70th anniversary of VE Day, five of Northern Ireland’s finest groups of metallians have come together in a darkened city centre venue to see which of them will secure just as momentous – to them at least – a victory as they gather to do battle in the final of the first ever Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition to be held in this corner of the planet we call Mosh and earn themselves a coveted slot on the festival’s prestigious Hobgoblin New Blood Stage. It’s also a battle which, in the tradition of many conflicts of yore, also pitches brother against brother – both literally and metaphorically, as not only are Sinocence drummer Davy Cassa and Cursed Sun vocalist Jones siblings, but members of the Sins and Overoth (in the shape of guitarists Anto McCaughley and Andrew Pennington respectively) are usually found standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the Nights Watch (for those of you who don’t know, the TV epic ‘Game Of Thrones’ is filmed here in Northern Ireland). An appropriately decent crowd has gathered both stagefront and at the bar by the time the […]

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Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Northern Ireland Semi-Final 2 – Belfast, Limelight 2 02/05/2015


And so, here we are again – at the business end of the first ever Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition to be held here in Northern Ireland, and, over the course of the past nine weeks, the PlanetMosh team have counted every band in and every band out (to coin an old journalistic phrase).

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Turbowolf – Marble Factory, Bristol, 22/04/15


“The Fleece is a better venue but I felt this gig would be more fun.”

Jeffery Johns, affectionately known as Big Jeff, is in attendance tonight at the Marble Factory, having turned down the chance to see Russian Circles down the road at one of Bristol’s more established venues. Something of a legend in the local music scene,“The Fleece is a better venue but I felt this gig would be more fun.” Jeffery Johns, affectionately known as Big Jeff, is in attendance tonight at the Marble Factory, having turned down the chance to see Russian Circles down the road at one of Bristol’s more established venues. Something of a legend in the local music scene, the general consensus is that if he’s at the same gig as you then it’s going to be a good one. Let’s find out, shall we? A little off the beaten track and somewhat overshadowed by the drug-fuelled club nights held in sister room Motion, the Marble Factory has only been a venue for a number of months but it’s building a good reputation, with names like Uriah Heep, Therapy? and Delain playing there over the coming year. It benefits from great acoustics that opening act Hyena (8) take full advantage of; a four piece with great energy and a wicked grunge sound, the applause for them increases after every song, with Mental Home and Forget My Name being particular highlights. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a song called Dog Breath. Southampton’s Dolomite Minor (8) take things up a notch; for a band who only have two members they sound huge, again taking grunge elements […]

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Theory of a Deadman, O2 ABC Glasgow, 26/4/15


Sunday night was the third time I’d seen Theory of a Deadman, having previously seen them open for Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry, and I’ve always thought they were good but that the short time a support act gets held them back from showing how good they really are. So I was interested toSunday night was the third time I’d seen Theory of a Deadman, having previously seen them open for Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry, and I’ve always thought they were good but that the short time a support act gets held them back from showing how good they really are. So I was interested to see them headline and see if more time on stage made the difference. Beasts They’re supported on this tour by London based trio Beasts, who were out of their depth in what they said was the biggest show they’d ever played. I’m sure they’re trying hard to make the most of this opportunity but the general consensus from the crowd around me was that a bit less swagger and a bit more work is needed. Theory of a Deadman After what seemed to be the majority of people not enjoying the support the crowd was more than ready for the main act and the volume levels went through the roof as the band took to the stage. As it turned out playing a headline set really did give them the chance to show off their talents as they made their way through a set that included […]

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