Probably the most famous band I know from Atlanta, Georgia is The Black Crowes. There’s a new band on the block also hailing from Atlanta, these guys are Biters, they’re not brand new, as they formed in 2009, but I only got to hear about them when their debut album Electric Blood came up for review so they’re new to me and they’re in the running for Classic Rock’s best new band award (see here). After reviewing the album and watching the video to Restless Hearts I really wanted to see them live, so I headed over to Nottingham, the city of lace, and home to Rock City to review the second night of their Warriors Worldwide Tour which takes in the UK and Europe. I had a chat with Tuk and Matt beforehand (see interview here) then headed off some food before arriving back in time to see the opening act Shock ! Hazard.
I missed a song or two as, when I arrived, the venue wasn’t yet open and I was told to come back in ten minutes or so. After a swift half in the adjacent Rescue Rooms I headed back to find Shock ! Hazard, were already on stage. There’s a couple of stages in Rock City and tonight’s gig was in the cellar room. With black walls and a bar in the room it’s a proper rock ‘n’ roll venue. I’m not sure which song Shock ! Hazard were playing when I arrived, but I picked up a few Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit riffs. Jake with his mass of blonde curly hair was soon topless, members of the audience were clearly enjoying themselves jumping to the beat. At one point both Dexx and Jake came out into the crowd, Dexx getting up on a pillar in the centre of the room and Jake getting up on the bar. In Hypocrite I picked up the lyrics, ‘We live rock ‘n’ roll. We die rock ‘n’ roll’ this one had a Michael Monroe Dead Jail Or Rock ‘n’ Roll vibe.
For the last song Keep Calm (Get Fucked) Jake asked ‘When I say Keep Calm. I want you to say Get Fucked’ which was easy enough although it wasn’t a song which would calm you down! Whether or not you would want to ‘Get Fucked’ to it would depend how romantic you are! It reminded me of New Generation Superstars‘ Guess What (Get Fucked) and had Jake playing the guitar behind his head. At one poing he held up a £20 note (could have been £10 – my eyesight in the dark couldn’t work out the colour!) and he said this was something which controlled everyone’s lives and set the note alight, so whatever note it was, I hope it was fake! A bit ot Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name Of was cleverly mixed into the song which had Jake and Dexx kneeling at the end. Enjoyed the three or four songs or I saw, I’d love to see a full set so may just have to go to the Manchester gig next week, the penultimate gig on the UK leg of the tour before Biters head off to Europe.
Sink Or Swim
Know Your Enemy
Keep Calm (Get Fucked)
Jake – Vocals/Lead Guitar
Dexx – Bass
Dom – Drums
Then came time for the tattooed rockers from Atlanta, Georgia to hit the stage. Starting with their backs to us before they turned round and Tuk said ‘Nottingham Thank you guys for coming to our show’ then they opened with Hallucination Generation, a rocking song which had people at the front dancing and singing along from the off. Next came a few songs from Electric Blood the energetic Low Lives in Hi Definition. At which point I should mention this, I’m not sure, but with the lyrics ‘I wanna smash my television’ now seems as good a point as any. Tuk reminded me of Emmerdale’s bad boy Cain Dingle (or should I say Jeff Hordley), which isn’t a bad thing Cain Dingle Rocks! Then 1975 with the chorus ‘The kids are alright’. After which Tuk asked ‘Nottingham, are you with us? What about you guys on the wall? I came from Georgia’ (I suspect wallflowers are worldwide!) Restless Hearts with it’s powerful riffs had people dancing and singing along. A sweaty and expressive performance of Heart Fulla Rock ‘n’ Roll followed, after which Tuk thanked all the beautiful women for dancing at the front whilst he was sweating. (Rock sweat is good sweat so he really needed to be thankful that I was writing and not within sweat licking distance! Manchester may be a different story but I digress!)
Tuk then claimed he couldn’t find any homeless people in Nottingham, there’s probably a story there but I don’t know it, sorry! He said the next song was the first song they ever released, a fast punky one with great riffs, and as I’d only heard Electric Blood prior to the gig, I didn’t recognise the next few songs, so I asked our photographer Becky to see if she could confirm the set list for me when she saw them in Bristol. If it’s wrong blame Tuk! I had written down Space Age Wasteland for the next song as it was heavy on the Thin Lizzy sound but it was actually So Many Nights an earlier Biters release with a Thin Lizzy vibe. Tuk thanked everyone for coming and hanging out and dedicated the next song to the beautiful guys at front who knew all the words. At one point he pointed at Matt and announced ‘Matt on lead guitar’ who obliged with some great riffs and held his guitar upright for some fancy fret work.
Tuk asked ‘Ever heard of The Misfits?’ a few people yeahed or nodded ‘Want to hear a Misfits song? Too bad we’re going to play our own stuff’ Then asked if we liked Kiss? Didn’t matter whether people did or not as he said they were just going to play their own songs and asked us to take a moment of silence and prayer before The Kids Ain’t Alright. At this point I thought Matt was changing guitars but he was just taking his leather jacket off, they were all dripping sweat by now. Tuk said ‘Put ’em up’ ‘Old school style’ I thought he was going to start a fight but he was actually just encouraging people to clap, which they did. As soon as the song finished music came on and although Tuk asked ‘You guys want us to do an encore’ and there were plenty cheers to indicate that we did but, alas, the club had other ideas and put some much more hardcore music on.
A really sweaty and energetic set from Biters. I really enjoyed the show and as they play Manchester next week I shall no doubt be there! If you like your music raw, energetic with a bit of added sweat, think early Towers of London meets The Last Vegas and throw in a bit of Thin Lizzy you’ll come out with something like Biters. They’re in the UK for another week so catch them at a venue near you whilst you can!
Low Lives in Hi Definition
Heart Fulla Rock n Roll
So Many Nights
Melody For Lovers
The Kids Ain’t Alright
Tuk – Vox/Guitar.
Matt – Guitar/Vox.
Philip – Bass/Vox.
Joey – Drums/Percussion
NOTE: Review of Rock City, Nottingham, 26th September by Louise Swift. Photographs at Thekla Bristol, 28th September by Becky O’Grady both for PlanetMosh.
There’s still time to see Biters in the UK and Europe at the following venues:
Oct. 02 – Leeds, UK – Key Club
Oct. 03 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Oct. 05 – Newcastle, UK – Think Tank
Oct. 06 – London, UK – Borderline
Oct. 07 – Wolverhampton, UK – Slade Rooms
Oct. 08 – Manchester, UK – Ruby Lounge
Oct. 09 – Sheffield, UK – Corporation
Oct. 10 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Q-Factory
Oct. 12 – Cologne, Germany – MCT
Oct. 13 – Berlin, Germany – Comet
Oct. 14 – Munich, Germany – Garage Deluxe
Oct. 15 – Frankfurt, Germany – Nachtleben
Oct. 16 – Hamburg, Germany – Rock Café St. Pauli