On only the second date of an extensive UK tour (following five European gigs) it looked like a baptism by fire for new Bigfoot lead vocalist Sean Seabrook but he made it look effortless with a confident delivery and stage persona point proven by set opener ‘Eat Your Words’ from their self titled debut album with the band firing on all cylinders.
Eleven in Stoke is a cracking venue run by Paul Hume and it’s foundations were shook by the kick drums of Tom Aspinall and big beefy riffing throughout ‘Run’. Other highlights were the hypnotic pound of ‘Prisoner Of War’ that saw Sean belting out a lung busting vocal. ‘Karma’ was almost mid paced thrash metal that hit hard around huge choruses and the heaviness remained with the ball busting ‘Freak Show’. ‘Forever Alone’ was a power ballad to raise the hairs on the back of your neck with some fiery twin lead work from guitarists Mick McCullagh and Sam Millar.
They shone once more with a dextrous take on the Top Gun theme that lead straight into headbanging gear for ‘The Other Side Of Paradise’ featuring some over the top drumming. Following the heavy riffing of ‘The Fear’ a surreal instrumental cover of ‘Voodoo Chile’ with splashes of ‘Hey Joe’ were played on matching twin pink guitars with Hello Kitty paint jobs! A crowd fuelled vocal of ‘Blame It On The Dog’ lead to final number ‘Uninvited’ giving them one last chance to have our ears ringing the next day.
A standpoint of mine is always to watch opening bands instead of sitting in the bar and not just coming out for the headline band as you never know what you might miss as the aptly titled The New Breed, whose title perfectly sums up the wealth of British rock out there right now. ‘Should’ve Seen It Coming’ was a crushing opener with lead vocalist J.Michael Ward reminding me visually and vocally of a young Graham Bonnet. There was no let up as ‘Soul Train (No Easy Way Out)’ had a chugging riffed intro that lead into ballsy Aerosmith sass rounded off with plenty of “Woah oh oh’s”. The heavy blues of ‘Get Some’ lead to current single ‘The Young And The Reckless’ that just about summed them up as the room filled with dense riffing, huge backing vocals and a Gibson SG fretboard melting solo from lead guitarist David MacBryde.
A vocal/guitar call and response intro to ‘Mercy’ brought to mind the duels between Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore as a Godzilla stomp drumbeat from Michael Whitmore backed heavy Southern rock grooves as the brash, snotty nosed sleaze of ‘Sinner’ saw them reach the end of their set fittingly with a cover of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ with David wringing the neck out of his SG for the final time.
Thanks to Jo Crosby for the use of her Bigfoot live photo.