Jared James Nichols – The Rainbow, Birmingham – 21/06/2016

Tucked away in the depths of Birmingham’s Digbeth at The Rainbow, we embarked on a night of blues rock grooves.


Local prog rock band Xilla were first to take to the stage, they had a tough job with only a small crowd to feed off. They play with a myriad of influences from the likes of Dire Straits, Metallica and Mallory Knox, it made it a little hard to place the band musically in a set that progressed with energy and power towards final track ‘You Crawl’. Xilla fared well in difficult circumstances.

Dave Hanson
  1. Dave Hanson and his band brought the sunshine indoors with tracks like ‘Midday Sun’ and the groovy ‘Blind Faith’, he picked notably from his new album ‘Almost Horizontal’. We have caught him supporting Jared James Nichols before at London’s Our Black Heart almost a year ago to the day and must say we preferred his performance and new material this time around much more. Based on this performance, his new album is worth checking out for your summer 2016 soundtrack. Bad Touch
    Bad Touch

    turned up the amplifiers and pushed the tempo up a gear with songs like ‘Halfway Home’. They treated us to a couple of new songs, one of which we are told will be a single from the second album, which they are due to enter the studio to record shorty. The second ‘Waiting For This’ was an extra treat that they’d not played much before and decided to pull out for us tonight. Both great rock riddled numbers that the audience enjoyed, before bleeding out a little Led Zeppelin to help wrap things up, having warmed up the small audience tonight in time for Jared James Nichols. Sadly it seems Birmingham has yet to wake up to the Wisconsin based Jared James Nichols and his blues rock might, but those assembled had either already seen him in the last week, seen him at Stone Free Festival or on another previous occasion and were ready for a veritable musical feast for the ears.

Jared James NIchols

Jared fed off the enthusiasm filling The Rainbow playing the likes of ‘Crazy’ and ‘Haywire’, before breaking things back a  touch for ‘Baby Can You Feel It’. He commanded the stage and whilst he is the focus of the performance, Jared has chosen wisely in the powerful, solid team of Erik Sandin on bass and Dennis Holm on drums to back him. Their eyes frequently fix on him for their direction and cue, when even they get a little carried away he keeps them discretely in check. His guitar playing is just fantastic, he draws the very best from his

Jared James Nichols and Erik Sandin

instrument and has heads nodding, feet tapping and people grooving along to his playing wishing they were even half as good. An unexpected treat, Jared convinces Nathan James, singer with Inglorious (who was in the audience), to get up on stage for a completely spontaneous performance of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock and Roll’. Having not seen him sing before Jared is it seems a little in awe of the powerful rock vocal Nathan possesses, but that doesn’t necessarily suit the music Jared plays and his own vocals on the likes of audience request ‘Mississippi Queen’ are a delight with their own rough undertones. Jared attempts to leave the stage, but there are cries for “one more song, one more song” and he willingly relents wrapping up the night with Rick Derringer’s ‘Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo’ which saw people grooving out the door into the summer’s evening.

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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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