It may be a cold, wet, miserable part of the year but it’s great because live shows are in abundance! Tonight I am at KK’s Steel Mill for Black Star Riders.
First up is . The room is fairly full, which is nice to see for the first support but given that Wayward Sons have been gaining popularity fast, the full room isn’t a surprise. Their new release The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be delivers.
Opening tonight with Any Other Way, kicks the crowd into life as Wayward Sons strut and head bang around the stage. Little White Lies, another new track, sees everybody excited for what is to come and Jepson asks everyone to raise their hands in the air really high and everyone eagerly obliges.
The guys are comfortable onstage, as if they’ve been doing this for years. A surprise as Wayward Sons is barely a couple of years old and already growing the ranks. Sam Wood whirls his hair around creating riffs of textured locks while Nic Wastell struts about stage with ease pulling fanciful faces . The tracks have the distinct similarity of a political nature such as Small Talk and the newer The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be, a clear reflection of the punk genre.
The end of their set sees Until the End which receives healthy applause as they’ve won the crowd over.
Next up is Walsall’s own Stone Broken . A nice home town show for these guys. Let me say firstly I like these guys and the music. For me I find them to be generic rock and whilst they have heavy similarities to a few bands which I won’t name (you will have to listen) many of the tracks have a much fuller sound. Stone Broken have huge potential as they have the ability to write powerful catchy chorus sing-along, arena filling songs and great charisma. They have a healthy balance of rock and roll and ballad/Country style rock tracks to mix things up. These include Wait for you and The Only Thing I Need both are included in the set and go down well.
They deliver a solid set tonight with Rich’s outstanding vocals combined with the energy of Chris Davis Guitar. Kieron Conroy on bass aides in the entertaining the fans, with moves around the stage while supplying the catchy riffs. The huge sounding chorus’s compliment Rich’s vocals and Robyn pounds those drums creating some great beats. Most notable tracks played tonight are from their latest album Ain’t Always Easy plus Heartbeat and The Only Thing I Need and from their debut album Be There and Let Me Go. They close on Not Your Enemy which has an arena feel to it and is quite fitting for the venue size. It would be nice to see them in an arena soon, I look forward to seeing the band grow.
Finally Black Star Riders take to the stage. Starting off we have Another State of Grace aptly the name of their latest album and it is a belter.
Kicking off with the more gritty and dirty sound they now produce, then following with riffs familiar to us from past albums. Then comes crowd favourite Killer Instinct also a personal favourite, followed by All Hell Breaks loose as Warwick straddles down and smiles at the crowd before sticking his tongue out.
Martucci takes turns jamming out with Gorham, Crane and Warwick. Being the new kid on the block with BSR It is particularly nice to see him with Gorham as they interact and laugh with each other as well as the rest of the band.
There is no shortage of hits early on and it feels like a catalogue of them are available such as Hey Judas and Soldiers Town. Warwick talks to the crowd about the gun problems in the world and about taking his daughter to school where there is a 12 foot fence erected outside with armed security guards it’s like he’s “dropping her off at a prison”, not a place of learning but unfortunately this is the sad state of affairs out there, they play Why Do You Love Your Guns. The crowd cheer and it’s one of those heartfelt moments that feature. Whilst it’s a sad story it’s good to see passion and conviction within the band.
Following up with Bloodshot where Warwick jumps about stage, up onto each of the speakers. He then punches out to the crowd and points as the crowd roar, whilst still maintaining the same pace. He plays with every ounce of conviction and dedication to deliver the best live show and experience possible.
He ask us who has the new album? There is a decent feedback as he jokes what are these 3 songs? He then tells us to go out to a local record store, the only one that’s left and turn off our phones and have a beer and guarantees we will love it – but then, he is biased! Following on A’int the End of the World is from this new album. They are playing this acoustically across the instores they are doing. This goes down a treat tonight as they close the song with all 4 of them along the front of the stage.
When the Night comes In is paused as Warwick looks at Crane to see if he is ready and as he nods so Warwick plays it out longer as he gestures ahh get lost and further wanders around stage until the epic finale as he jams out with his buddy/
Finishing on This is our Finest Hour with introductions to the band, the only one we haven’t heard before is Martucci who apparently could skate before he could walk.
Warwick and Gorham hug followed by Kingdom of the Lost and on finishing Warwick has a shot and says “thanks you’ve all been amazing we have loved playing for you tonight, We are Black Star Riders” crowd cheer “We are Black Star Riders and we are Bound for Glory” played with passion and complete conviction like he has more energy to carry on.
Sadly the end of tonight’s set and not forgetting this is probably one of the last times we will be seeing Scott Gorham tour with Black Star Riders. A thoroughly enjoyable night sending everyone home with high spirits, that is until we get to the door and it’s thundering it down with rain again!
Another State of Grace
The Killer Instinct
All Hell Breaks Loose
Testify or Say Goodbye
Tonight the Moonlight Let Me Down
Ticket to Rise
In the Shadow of the War Machine
Why Do You Love Your Guns?
Ain’t the End of the World
When the Night Comes In
Underneath the Afterglow
Dancing With the Wrong Girl
Kingdom of the Lost
Bound for Glory
Review and Photos: Chris Bowley