The underground Wigan Rock and Metal venue, The Boulevard has had it’s fair share of fantastic gigs from many great original and tribute bands since I started going nearly 3 years ago, But last night could not prepare me for what was in store.
Rocking up the stage in the legendary Back-Room first was the special guest for the evening, One Last Run, An original female-fronted 5 piece Hard Rock band from Warrington. They are a relatively new band to my ears and they opened up with an incredible sounding setlist, Spanning around 7 songs, 2 of which (“Tell Me” and “House Of Cards”), have music videos that can be found on their Youtube and Facebook pages (Links below). The band packs a groovy, Melodic punch that grabs you by the neck and pulls you in to what could be described as a Rock N’ Roll addiction with no known cure!
Frontwoman Becky brings to the party an addictive and catchy Vocal style that could be described as reminiscent of a younger Amy Lee (Evanescence) In which her melodic hooks are evident throughout while Rhythm/Lead Guitar duo Rob and Jack play with an electric fire that burns like wildfire throughout the setlist, Notably on the tracks “Casanova”, “Close My Eyes”, Explosive opener “Rise (Or Fall)” and the Southern Metal Groove-filled closer, “Bring On The Pain”, Only to be toned down for the gentler track “Tell Me”, Bassist Chris seems to perform with a hardcore passion that even Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) or Robert Trujillo (Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne) would crave to possess! Finally, To complete this quintet is Drummer Dan, Who isn’t afraid of slaughtering the drum kit in such a rhythmic manner that it’s pretty hard to ignore, Fan or not.
As a fan of Rock and Metal music, These were a treat to discover and experience, Now I’ve had the pleasure of listening to them live it’s safe to say that now they’ve got a new fan on their hands! I’m soon to be reviewing their 5 track Eponymous EP.
One Last Run are; Vocals: Becky Roberts – Lead/Rhythm Guitars: Rob Leach and Jack Pennington – Bass: Chris Smith – Drums: Dan Brown
1. Rise (Or Fall)
2. Come To Life
4. House Of Cards
5. Close my Eyes
6. Tell Me
7. Bring On The Pain
Later on we meet the main headliner for this already smashing night of Rock ’N’ Roll, Wigan’s one and only Bigfoot! A 5 piece Heavy Hard Rock band that saw it’s inception in the March of 2014, With influences varying from Led Zeppelin to Pantera to Toto, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Queen, It wasn’t long before they gained quite the fan following, Winning fans over at nearly every gig they’ve played! Soon to be playing the infamous Bloodstock Open Air Festival in Derbyshire in a couple of weeks, They certainly brought their A-game for this “warm up” night (As upon writing this they have only one more gig planned at Greenstock, Wigan ’til then).
Having been a big fan since seeing their second gig in The Boulevard, I always wonder what the boys will have in store for us!
To kick off their 13 song long setlist they brought a relatively new number entitled “Stone Soldiers” first to the table, A track that has featured in only a small number of gigs I’ve witnessed prior and one usually found towards halfway through but like an opening track to a full length, It had certainly set the mood for what was about to unravel. The second song of the night was the Catchy-as-Hell “Tie Me Down” in which brought a very excited reaction from the crowd as the next pleaser “In The Gutter” is dedicated to a friend of the band. Although Bigfoot have an absolute stonker of an EP out, It doesn’t feature in the Tracklisting but hopefully it’ll be on their next EP which is planned to be released at the end of the summer and is currently being recorded in the Studio as we speak! The 4th and 5th songs of the night are brand new numbers and go from the bone breaking heaviness of “Trapped In Paranoia” to the slow, Sombre-feeling “Forever Alone” which in it’s own right should have the title of being called a true power ballad, Showing Vocalist Antony’s more emotional, softer toned voice. As the Groove laden riff on my personal favourite “Bitch Killer” kicks off, Played by Lead Guitarist Mick McCullagh, The back-room at this point has attracted in quite a large number of viewers but although it was densely packed and could be seen as a claustrophobe’s worst nightmare, It just goes to show how much attention the band is receiving and how much the fan base has grown. The next track in their arsenal is aptly named after Wigan’s famous King Street in the words of Antony, “Street Of Kings” doesn’t fail to deliver a bone crunching bite to the Bigfoot sound adding heart thumping drums and pounding bass lines provided by Tom Aspinall (Drums) and Matt Avery (Bass). “Room 64” is an impressive 80’s Glam/Sleaze-styled throwback of a number in which the lyrics describe of an unnamed whore who likes to “chat up” multiple men and has her way with them, This has only featured in the guy’s setlists quite recently and I’d love to see this amongst the new arrivals to be placed on the next EP – Fingers crossed – As soon as “Room 64” gradually ends, Drummer Tom throws in an earth-shattering, Bone rattling drum solo which came as a delightful shock to many a new or soon to be converted fan and I myself was very impressed! Marking off numbers 9 and 10, The double dose of brand spanking numbers (Hopefully future Bigfoot classics) “Run” and “Blame It On The Dog” literally got the crowd begging for more with the latter track showing Antony taking in some crowd interaction by asking halfway through (During an instrumental) for all the women in the room to give him their best sex noises which was funny to hear. However, Being the nice and fair guy that he is, Ant also demanded the guys to do the same which personally ended me in tears of laughter as I also partook in this humorous activity! Another favourite of mine off Bigfoot’s Debut EP which made a long-awaited appearance is the semi-Acoustic hit “Come Down My Way” – It’s catchy and easily memorable lyrics got me and anyone else who has a copy singing along. Interjected with emotional guitar work from both Mick and Rhythm Guitarist Sam Millar, Who takes the lead as Antony endemically plays the Acoustic guitar and soothes everyone vocally and lyrically on this beast of a hit adds to the easy remembrance of any of the band’s performances. Jokingly rumoured as the final song of the night, The group soon realised it was (Tom’s Sister) Beth Aspinall’s Birthday and as a unison, Everyone in the room sung happy birthday to the birthday girl which was delightful to hear and to be a part of, However, All isn’t what it seems at a Bigfoot gig, As soon as the words ‘Let’s play abit of Queen’ left Antony’s lips, The crowd went wild, Giving everything they got joining in to a cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” after which got a small group in the corner begging for one more song, Although it doesn’t happen in the outside world, If you ask for more, More is what you’ll get as the usual curtain closer “The Other Side Of Paradise” with it’s thundering freight-train drumming, Gritty and sludgy twin guitar work, Snarled vocals and throbbing bass-lines metaphorically slaps everyone in the face with enough force to leave a deep imprint, Completed with an adrenaline filled, Head banging, Skin shredding guitar solo, There’s not much to do afterwards! Sleeping with a huge grin on your face however is a definite reaction.
After no blood, lots of sweat and tears (of happiness and joy), It’s safe to say that this is and has been one memorable night and if you couldn’t make it, You have no idea what greatness you’ve just missed out on and in future, Check both bands out, Get your ass down to a gig and experience the future kings and queens of Rock and Metal!!! \m/
Just like with One Last Run, I’ll be reviewing Bigfoot’s 4 track self-titled EP soon!
Bigfoot are; Vocals: Antony Ellis – Lead Guitar: Mick McCullagh – Rhythm Guitar: Sam Millar – Bass: Matt Avery – Drums: Tom Aspinall
1. Stone Soldiers
2. Tie Me Down
3. In The Gutter
4. Trapped In Paranoia
5. Forever Alone
6. Bitch Killer
7. Street Of Kings
8. Room 64 / Drum Solo
10. Blame It On The Dog
11. Come Down My Way
12. Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen cover)
13. The Other Side Of Paradise
Words by: Adam Charnock