It was one of the strangest twists of fate that put me with photographers Anthony May, Sean Larkin and George David Ellis at Nottingham’s Rock City on the 31st of March. We were there to meet and review the bands on behalf of the Planet Mosh web site that were giving their time to support the Anthony Nolan Easter Charity Event.
Standing in the queue outside waiting for the doors to open at 4pm. I got chatting with a few of the folks who gathered to see the bands and got the feeling from their feed back this might be going to be a good night. The doors duly opened, and we all started to enter the building, some people were wearing their favorite groups T-shirts and some in colourfull rock gear.
The evening started off a little cool at first, it’s never going to be easy being the first band on stage but Massive Wagons took it in their stride breaking the ice for us with “Ride On” a top track. Lead singer Baz Mills made me feel really unfit because with his endless energy he virtually bounced all over the stage for the full set as he sang the groups songs. We heard them play “The Truth” and “Dirty Women“, plus we got to hear their latest track “Red Dress“. Can’t wait for more great tunes from these guys. They finished off their set with a an old Elvis hit, “Jail House Rock” which went down well and was nice surprise to us all . Don’t miss them if you ever get a chance to see them live.
Next up on stage was Wraith, the guy’s were good you can’t deny that. But after the set finished they didn’t really seem to have got the crowd on their side I felt. A slight malfunction from the drum kit was soon sorted out by the stage crew, but this didn’t impact much on their overall performance. Despite all this though they weren’t too bad to watch and were entertaining. I thought the giving out of Easter eggs by lead singer Myke Barker was a nice touch at the end of their gig.
Up next were local Nottinghamshire guys Sinners Highway. What struck me was the age of these chaps. Coming on stage looking so fresh, they then started to knock out some super sounds that you would have expected to hear from a much more seasoned band. I’m being kind here trying, not to mention the word “older” so as not to upset too many of us more mature readers ( wink )! They took hold of the crowd from the very start, playing us their great signature song “Sinner’s Highway” which gave me goose bumps and sounded as good if not better live than watching a YouTube video. I was standing down right next to the stage and thought the lads put on a good professional show. Taking us into the song “Ashe’s” before giving a nice mix of melodic and old school rock n roll to follow after. The audience was now starting to enjoy the gig and were joining in with the lads singing along with some of their songs, and when they gave us “In My Head” we even got a mosh pit going, brilliant! Over all a really good set from the local guys who did themselves proud with a top notch performance. Make sure you go see them soon, it’ll be well worth it.
After a short break in proceedings as the stage crews set up things for the next group, I took the chance to have a word with one or two people who’d come to see the bands. The view so far was that it was turning out to be a good night out. Everyone had enjoyed the bands and each one that followed seemed to be getting better each time, (or was that just the beer kicking in)? not really, only joking! The talent that was on show tonight was as good as any well established groups i’d heard to date, and why more people haven’t heard of these guy’s often baffles me a little . Maybe we all need to go support them at live gig’s a little more and drag along some friends with us?( points the finger of shame ).
Anyway next up on stage was Afterlife. These chaps had come down from Glasgow for the event and glad we are they did. Giving us something a little different, they boomed onto the stage from the wings. Giving us a real treat hopefully to be repeated soon? I enjoyed their style of music and to me just some of their set felt dark and mysterious, but in a good way. “Never Fade” was a real winner of a track. The lead singer Pete McCoy had a good stage presence and was all over the place giving it large and getting the local crowd involved, the individual style of the drummer was a refreshing change from the norm too and he belted out a great beat to start off “War Machine“. I could definitely feel a slight Nordic tone to their music from time to time which made them all the better for being different from the rest of the groups. A good mix so far for this charity night out. By the end of Afterlife’s set the audience had now come right up to the stage and were obviously enjoying what they were hearing.
Trucker Diablo now followed. Unfortunately they were having a slight problem with a faulty amp at the start of their set. But after a favor from Massive Wagons, about five or ten minutes later the stage crew had it fixed and with the replacement amp in place the guy’s soon got into their step again. Once they had started their gig I managed to get down to front of the stage ( via some careful maneuvering ) as i wanted to feel the full force of this bands powerful persona and the crowds atmosphere. The song “Drive” from their new forthcoming album “Songs Of Iron” went down a storm with everyone. Lead singer/Guitarist Tom Harte had his instrument talking to us all, with all his professional skills it was truly an epic set. After giving us the best of their own original songs they also treated us to a cover version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary“, or “Rolling On A River” as most people remember it. Either way the crowd loved it and they had got the house dancing. I felt that lead singer Tom’s look and style wouldn’t have seemed amiss with a guy who’d just come walking straight out of the Florida Everglades, picked up a guitar and just started to bang out some kicking sounds! It was just nice to see a group of lads being a bit more individual in their appearance than the main stream. Again I recommend you must go and see this band play live.
The headlining group were five young lads from the Cambridge area who really hit the stage running, and to a rapturous reception at that. The Treatment gave it their all in support of the Anthony Nolan trust. Looking great in their leather and denim they burst onto the stage and took control of the room as soon as they started to play “Drink, Fuck, Fight“. They gave us a full line up of old and new songs, “Shake The Mountain” and “I Bleed Rock N Roll“ which had everyone singing along to, and where it was possible some were having a head banging session to the great sounds. A stunning performance that had the whole house bouncing until there was no dust left to come down off the rafters. Every piece of the stage was used during their exciting performance. I’d not seen a show like this for many years and not only was the music very good they knew how to entertain a crowd. For guys so young they really gave a much more mature performance than their tender age, and their huge confidence on stage showed them to be a true big venue band who can hold an audiences attention. It’s no wonder the Quo and Slash had them as guest artists recently. I can’t wait to see them in action again,and i,m sure very soon they’ll be headlining more of their own gigs.
For the encore, The Treatment invited all the other bands that had played beforehand to join them on stage for the final song, a cover of Slade’s “Get Down With It” before inviting the crowd to come up on stage to join them, we then witnessed a really good hearted stage invasion that put a smile on everyone’s face. In all it was a real good night out, and congratulations have to go to the organizers Home Grown Rock that brought it all together. To those that didn’t come to see the bands play, hang your heads in shame! You missed one hell of a great all U.K band line up. Roll on the next one.