Toseland + Illustr8ors + Black Rose Cadillac @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton 29th September 2016

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Opening tonight’s event for Toseland are five-piece midland rockers Black Rose Cadillac, pulling in a decent crowd of their own, and selling all their own ticket allocation.  They deliver some great catchy, high energy riffs and have a good interaction with fans. Wild newly-acquired Vocalist Ryan Hulme was making his way across the crowd barrier bouncing up and down with and some of the front row head banging along. Hulme takes a lot of the focus. He is definitely the showman of the band and definitely the right front man for this outfit. Tonight Black Rose Cadillac put on one hell of a performance and no doubt gained more fans and  are sure to follow on to greater things.

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Second act Illustr8ors are another five-piece from Bristol and had a previous incarnation BlackWolf. They were Best New Band award nominees and Planet Rock Radio tour head-liners but this guise has now ended and tonight we welcome Illustr8ors. These guys were an interesting one as they were sandwiched between two top performing bands which gave them a high benchmark to hit. The first definitely had the better numbers but also the rest of the band had more about them, although my key focus in illust8ors,  the guitarist with his exciting fun moves and facial expressions, soon made up for it. In my opinion Illustr8ors took a bit of time to settle in on stage and actually make their mark, but as the set progressed the tracks were much better, some good riffs, melodies and vocals. They sounded decent and would be really good to see them again.

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Our main act Toseland is yet another five- piece rock band (!), fronted by racing champion James Toseland and showcasing their latest album Cradle the Rage. This follows their popular début album Renegade which caught on their support slot with Black Star Riders. At the time the were looking to gain in popularity and grow a fan base. They seem to have succeeded as we see them with over 400 of their own fans at the Slade Rooms, a venue which Toseland tells the crowd will always be on their tour schedules.

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Toseland the band enter confident and enthusiastic bursting with energy to open their set with Cradle the Rage, this being the title track we got the expected catchy, heavy riffs designed to win the crowd over and get everyone jumping. Although the first half of the set is very new album-heavy, the fans cheer along as the band showed how much they had improved over the previous album and previous shows.  Each band member contributes to thee show having something to offer, and all make their presence known, but with a key nod to guitarist and bass.

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Toseland talks to the crowd “Once again its our biggest show of the tour, and only our second show so we were sh*tting it backstage as we have only had one warm-up before this”. He gets further laughs as he tells us they are going to do a mix of their albums and they’re going to mix it up that much they don’t even know the combination!  The fans recognise the set though and with the début single Life is Beautiful still in the playlist it could sum up the band’s experiences so far.

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To end we have Hearts and Bones and Crash Landing both obvious favourites with great guitar riffs and are credits to the Toseland Catalogue. But it doesn’t finish there.

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The encore brings us to a smashing close with Singer In A band followed by Renegade containing more huge riffs and great sing-along moments before closing with We’ll Stop at Nothing reinforcing Toseland’s switch from track champion to champion on stage.

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Overall we had a great night of entertainment with two good support bands making it harder for each to stand out, but with Toseland’s improvement over a year, culminating with the new album release the bar was set high.

Toseland Setlist:

Cradle the Rage

Puppet on a Chain

Nothin’ You Can Do About It

Stranger Things

Gotta Be a Better Way

Good Eye Blind

Life Is Beautiful

Never Love Another


Fingers Burned

Too Close to Call

Living in a Moment

Waiting for the Answers

Hearts and Bones

Crash Landing


Singer in a Band


We’ll Stop at Nothing

(items in bold are from the new album Cradle the Rage) 


Review and photographs: Chris Bowley

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