Blackwolf – O2 Islington Academy 2, London – 5 February 2014

@planetmosh reviews .@ukblackwolf at .@O2Islington

Everything was against me for this gig. The weather drenched and blew me to Swindon and back via work; tube strikes meant I had to navigate my way by 109bicycle and my phone to O2 Academy Islington from Paddington station, in order to catch Blackwolf whose show at The 100 Club I had been unable to attend last August, I owed it to them.

There are folk that think that rock is dead, but there are plenty out there ready to prove them wrong. Stadium fillers might be few and far between, but the club level scene is where it is at and Blackwolf are one such band. These Bristolians have been building their mark on the scene for less than two years, but have won numerous 215competitions, supported notable acts like The Union and the Temperance Movement during that time and received airplay from Planet Rock for latest single ‘Mr Maker’.

If your weekends are spent leafing the pages of the latest issue of Classic Rock magazine, then these guys might just be for you. New single ‘Mr Maker’ is the opening track tonight off their forthcoming debut album due for release this year and is a prime example of what Blackwolf are about, put simply, they are classic classic rock.

Guitarist John Greenhill creeps from his dark corner of the stage like a spider to spin some sweet licks and solos on his ESP guitar throughout Blackwolf’s set including on tracks like ‘Keep Moving On’.

Some may say that there is nothing new about them as a band from what has come before, but I ask does there need to be? For those of us who love the sound and perhaps weren’t there the first time around, it is nice to hear new bands carrying on the tradition of the bands by whom they are heavily influenced and many of which have either disbanded or whose members have gone to join the likes of Dio.156

For singer Scott Sharp, the stage may as well be made of hot coals, as he traverses between his feet throughout the night, hitting the high notes on songs like the evenings closer ‘Sea of Mercy’, the guy has a decent vocal range for sure and cuts a striking, stylishly dressed front man, always a bonus.

Sadly the set seems all too brief for the headline act and the impending prospect of navigating my way home to west London without my trusted phone and its Google maps looms and I make my way relu174ctantly to the door.

With a solid staple support from Jason Cronin on rhythm guitar, Ben Webb on bass and Thomas Lennox-Brown on drums, Blackwolf are a welcome new addition to the club rock scene and with a tour supporting The Answer next month and hopefully some festival slots later this year, who knows where things will lead.

Set List: Mr Maker, Keep Moving On, Moving Mountains, Faith In Me, Blackhole Friend, Relief, Sea of Mercy

About Heather Fitsell

I have been photographing bands predominantly in the London area since 2008. I have photographed in venues as small as pubs and as big as Manchester MEN arena. I have photographed local bands and the likes of Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, Black Stone Cherry, Alterbridge, Evanescence and many more. I have also photographed at Hevy Fest for the last two years and previously ran my own webzine, before I decided to focus more on my photography.
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