A Saturday night out in Manchester was something I hadn’t experienced for quite a while, so I was looking forward to this, the third show of the current tour by Glasgow’s Attica Rage.
I really enjoy the Rebellion Rock Bar as a venue, it seems to be able to maintain that close up and intimate feel, whilst actually offering punters plenty of space to rock out or chill. Friendly staff, and plenty of them, and wait for it…clean and well maintained toilets.
Anyway, enough of the Tripadvisor stuff, I had driven to watch a gig. Opening set of the night went to fellow Scots Mason Hill, which featured Attica’s bassist Matthew Ward, just to make him work a bit harder. I had heard a few of their tracks via social media and the like but this was the first time for me to see them in the flesh as it were, and it hopefully won’t be the last. The guys put on a really strong and accomplished set that succeeded in pricking up more than a few of the ears of fans who had made the effort to come early and watch them. Belting out a really heady blend of classic and melodic rock, it was nigh on impossible not to be drawn in to the infectious enthusiasm that they thrust out from the stage. Singer Scott Taylor has a real command of the stage, belting out tracks from the current debut E.P. as if his life depended on it, ‘Where I Belong’ being my personal favourite. The band return to Manchester in December, so if you can, get along and check them out.
After a short change around, Cumbria’s Thirteen Stars take to the stage, a band that, at first, I found to be a bit of an odd choice. Would their Southern rock sound sit well between two essentially metal bands…the answer of course was yes. It took me probably no more than two minutes to become hooked, a really refreshing and different tone and vibe to what I’m used to, to be honest, but they simply nailed it. A band that is really at home on the stage, putting together a highly polished mix of country and rock that was really impressive. The new album ‘White Raven’ is out now and well worth checking out, it includes my current favourite track ‘Daddy’s Girl.’
This was the first time I’d seen Attica Rage on stage since the release a few months ago of the acclaimed new album ‘Warheads Ltd’, so I was intrigued to find out which of the new tracks would make it in to the live set, and more importantly, how they would sound. ‘Beyond The 45’ kicked things off, a really pacy, high energy song that, although on the new album, has been included in the set list for some time now. ’36 Insane’ quickly follows, designed to keep the momentum going, which it duly does of course. Attica always have had a really loyal core of fans who travel from near and far to support the band, and that is in evidence again tonight, not going unnoticed by lead singer Jonny Parr either, as he thanks one and all at various points of the evening for coming out. Stevie Bell is as ever, just immense on guitar, pouring heart and soul into each ripping solo as Jonny and Matthew prowl around the stage, backed by the bullet drumming of Richie Rage. The Attica beast has become a finely tuned unit nowadays, ‘Killer Carousel’ never sounding better, and the album title track, ‘Warheads Ltd’ sounding, already, a firm fan favourite. The band have never steered away from playing a few cover tracks here and there, ‘Crazy Horses’ having almost become their own now but to finish a set with an extended version of ‘Overkill’ is Heavy Metal heaven. My personal set highlight, however, was ‘Ashamed.’
Once again, Attica don’t disappoint on the stage and will be continuing their tour across the U.K. over the coming weeks, so be sure to get along to one of the shows if you can.
To sum it all up, three great bands, a great venue, mix it all up and a cracking night was had by all.