March 28th sees us at London’s Kentish Town Forum. The 2400 capacity venue is buzzing with excitement, as Rival Sons and Black Stone Cherry are set to give us a damn good night of rock.
Both support and main act are alike with their hard rock roots, but both provide different examples on how to win over audiences with my favourite genre. LA-borne Rival Sons play to an almost-full venue and the atmosphere is positive, kicking off with Torture from their 2011 EP release. Mashing together past and present sounds of the genre with ease, our first visit from their latest album entitled Pressure & Time is Burn Down Los Angeles, a foot-stomping glam-infused tune, getting all hands clapping and voices chanting the chorus.
Face Of Light slows everything down and gives Jay Buchanan’s Robert Plant-esque tones a perfect chance to smoothly weave in and out over the music like silk on skin. While not running about the stage like lunatics, Robin and Scott (bass and guitar respectively) dominate the audience in other ways.
They really have a lot of time to show their prowess in the set here, for there are solos aplenty. Drummer Michael Miley provides the backbone for each song, and speaking of which, Soul is a sexy celebration of modern Motown and displays his prowess adequately without showing off in the slightest. This band sure knows how to project their heart and soul into every word and note and the crowd are drawn in instantly.
They leave us with Get What’s Coming, a back-to-basics headbanger and not too bad for a finisher for everybody seemed to have enjoyed it to a great extent. They’ve definitely made some new fans tonight and they were the ideal band to open for the headlining act.
The setlist was as follows: Torture, Burn Down Los Angeles, Gypsy Heart, Face Of Light, Tell Me Something, All Over The Road, Pressure And Time, Soul, Get What’s Coming.
More pictures can be found here: https://planetmosh.com/photos?wppa-album=247&wppa-cover=0&wppa-occur=1
Pressure & Time is out now on Earache Records. Rival Sons will be back on UK shores in time for Download Festival, starting on June 8th.
It’s not hard to see why every night on Black Stone Cherry’s UK tour has sold out time and again, because these four young lads from Kentucky USA certainly know how to put on a show.
With the success of their third studio album Between The Devil &The Deep Blue Sea, they play to a packed out and immensely excited Kentish Town Forum and get straight down to business with Change; an anthemic, head-banging introduction to tonight’s proceedings. Rhythm guitarist Ben and bassist Jon leap around the stage like kids high on sugar, whipping up the fans into a frenzy. Vocalist Chris Robertson is on top form tonight after what seems to have been slight fatigue on this stretch of touring – which is understandable, yet went undetected on the final night of gigging. His voice clear and consistent, soulful and captivating; particularly through the softer songs such as Stay and crowd-pleaser In My Blood. As easy for him to sing with unadulterated honesty and conviction, Chris sure can belt out the tunes tonight. Growling over aggressive tracks that sweep the crowd into circle pits such as Killing Floor, not one person in this venue is standing still. Participation is high, tear-jerking and sentimental What My Father Said is sung in its entirety by the crowd as Black Stone Cherry takes the backseat to enjoy the fruits of their labours.
A personal highlight of the night was John’s drum solo; it was short and snappy coming in at around 4-5 minutes long, and while not the most technical drummer in the world, he most definitely entertained. It’s always a great thing to see the drummers get a bit of attention and he revelled in it, making sure every ear in the venue heard his bare-handed clatter. He is consistently engaging throughout the show; definitely not the kind of musician who fades into the background. His comedic antics bode well for the festive atmosphere tonight.
Black Stone Cherry surprises the audience frequently with a broad range of covers. Their rendition of Oasis’ Champagne Supernova, Amy Winehouse’s Rehab and Adele’s Rolling In The Deep make an appearance here with a positive reception, before flowing seamlessly into Blame It On The Boom Boom, a catchy and cheeky little number which oozes Southern groove; a nice bit of light-hearted fun.
After a stonking setlist showcasing their finest work, they come back after a short while for the encore of Peace Is Free, and Ben and Jon rally the crowd once more for Lonely Train. The energy is ceaseless.
They are definitely a band that goes from strength to strength and the camaraderie is inspiring; with various artists disbanding for various reasons recently, Chris, John, Jon and Ben have been together from the beginning and show no signs of stopping yet.
Change, Maybe Someday, Blind Man, Such A Shame, Hell & High Water, Soulcreek, In My Blood, Rain Wizard, Like I Roll, Killing Floor, White Trash Millionaire, Drum Solo, Stay, 30 Seconds of Death Metal (acoustic), Champagne Supernova (Oasis), Down In A Hole (Alice In Chains), Rolling In The Deep (Adele), Rehab (Amy Winehouse) Things My Father Said, Devil’s Queen, Drive, Blame It On The Boom-Boom, Encore: Peace Is Free, Lonely Train.
Gallery can be found here: https://planetmosh.com/photos?wppa-album=248&wppa-cover=0&wppa-occur=1
Black Stone Cherry will be back in the UK again on June 22nd at Isle of White Festival. Get their latest album Between The Devil &The Deep Blue Sea via Roadrunner Records at any local music store.
All photos are credited to Ant May with sincerest thanks.