The German Rock’n’Roll outfit Double Crush Syndrome got us underway, supporting Steve N Seagulls, at the 02 Academy 2 tonight. With the room slowly filling up and people buying beer like it was going out of fashion; the band found themselves with a good opportunity to widen their fanbase.
Frontman Andy Brings didn’t fall short of energy tonight, he was running around like a madman throughout. Their sound can be best described as classic rock n roll with comparisons to be made with Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. Featuring some fine solos from Andy, punkish backing vocals from Bassist Slick Prolidol and neat drumming by Julian Fischer; they won over a few early on.
Songs such as ‘On Top Of Mt. Whateverest’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Monkey’ instantly reminded me of my younger days when I first started listening to heavier rock music. More outlandish; more memorable and a better spandex/leopard print ratio than your mainstream rock. The sing-a-long nature was impressive.
In between songs Andy teased the crowd by playing the intro to Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’.
Before playing their last two; Andy removed his shirt and darted into the crowd to dance with people. They ended their set with ‘Die for Rock’n’Roll’ and ‘Gimme Everything’ which ensured they made a good account of themselves; there were smiles all round and a notable amount of people nodding along.
The Finnish country band Steve N Seagulls took to the stage with great anticipation. After gaining a notable amount of fame on Youtube for their innovative bluegrass cover work on classic songs; there was much hype surrounding their live performance tonight. Featuring an impressive array of instruments tonight we saw vocalist Remmel wielding his acoustic guitar; backing vocalist Herman play the banjo, Hiltunen play the mandolin and accordion; Pukki playing his mighty double bass and Puikkonen on percussion.
They opened with a cover of The Offsprings ‘No Self Esteem’, then played ‘Paradise City’ by Guns N Roses. Impressive so far; Remmel’s vocals were on point. The sync between the banjo and the mandolin was suberb, rhythmic chords supplied by Remmel and gelled together with the beefy double bass provided a tight yet layered raw sound. Most members of the band provided some sort of backing vocals which helped add impact during the choruses.
‘The Trooper’ by Maiden, ‘Burn’ by Deep Purple and ‘Black Dog’ by Led Zeppelin were equally impressive. ‘Burn’ saw some symphonic accordion work from Hiltunen with main vocalist Remmel using the mandolin. In an age where people rely on plugging their instruments in and adding effects and distortion; it’s incredibly refreshing to see a band gain fame in which everyone seems to be very skilled technically.
‘The Pretender’ by Foo Fighters went down a treat. Arms up and the entire room chanting along; we loved it.
Playing ‘Fill Up The Tank’; one of their own songs from their year old Brothers in Farms (2016) album the crowd tonight got a taste of the bands own work and it was no let down. Upbeat and catchy; they played passionately and the nice country vibe gave their set some well timed diversity.
The band went on to play ‘Aces High’ by Maiden, the ever so popular cover of ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC and the fabulous ‘November Rain’ by Guns N Roses; the first two being very impressive in terms of speed and technical playing by Herman’s banjo. It was smoking after the two. The accordion played a nice part in ‘Thunderstruck’; giving the band a warmer beat in a song which is essentially short bursts of quickly synchronized playing.
‘November Rain’ was the standout song for me. It brought down the tempo of the set, agreed, but it was an impressive display of the bands diverse song choices tonight. Equally good at playing with speed and impact they also know their way around a love song. Herman took over on main vocals for this one and did an impressive job; with his deeper voice differentiating it from the original even further.
They would later come back on after going off for a two song encore but I was already sold.
Steve’N’Seagulls impressed me tonight and the crowd loved it.
Review and images: Neale Hayes