Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Adrian Hextall (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
The Borderline is regarded as a Soho musical institution. The basement venue, originally opened in 1976 in another guise has offered a stage for acts from Britpop to grunge and alt.folk and all points in between but is best known for its focus on alternative rock plus traditional rock and metal acts. It’s small with a capacity of around 275 and it is this limit that allows the crowds to get up close and personal with any band playing here. The Borderline has played host to some interesting artists, not least Bingo Hand Job, a strange pseudonym for REM with Billy Bragg.
Tonight sees the venue playing host to three (less illustrious but no less talented) bands, The Smokin’ Prophets, Mia Klose and The Burning Crowes.
The Smokin’ Prophets
London based The Smokin’ Prophets come onstage one member at a time with Alex Williams on drum starting a steady rhythm before he is joined by Robbie Coulter on bass, Jayke Turl on rhythm guitar and finally the differently titled Marty Mayhem on guitar and lead vocals.
A set sees them playing 8 songs mixing a little bit of punk; sleaze and rock n roll in keeping with some of those sunset strip bands of the 80’s but with a more modern feel. The band seems to have a reasonable amount of local support in the crowd which keeps them energised throughout. This being the band’s debut show, it could have been pretty shambolic but overall it was pretty tight; a good warm up act!
You Better Run
Slapstick Rock n Roll
Let It Rest
Keep Your Mouth Shut
Bury You Tomorrow
Wanna Be Loved
Don’t Hold Back
A regular on the local circuit and fresh off the heels of supporting KISS at Sweden Rock festival this summer, Mia Klose, arrives on stage full of energy looking every bit the lovechild of Bret Michaels and Lita Ford. A modern rock star with a great 80’s vibe, her set comprises catchy, melodic rock numbers that wouldn’t be out of place in a Bon Jovi, Michael Monroe or Poison gig.
The floor has filled considerably by this point and Mia and her backing band have clearly built a solid local following in the city named after her debut album. ‘You Drive Me Crazy’ and ‘Lady Killer’ are the standout tracks from the short set. Mia has a powerful voice which she puts to full use during the verses but I would love to see the rest of the band coming to the microphones more during the choruses to provide that extra layer of harmony which aficionados of that classic 80’s sound crave.
With a different line up to the one that recorded the debut album I can imagine that new ideas and approaches will come through when the next release hits the shelves. In the meantime catch Mia in these smaller venues before she undoubtedly moves up as her following increases.
You Drive Me Crazy
Living For Love
Living For Tomorrow
Never Too Late
The Burning Crows
Headliners The Burning Crows released their debut album in April this year thanks to a PledgeMusic.com funded project that saw the band reach 154% of their required target. The album, ‘Behind the Veil’, is an excellent collection of rip roaring rock and roll numbers represented live in almost its entirety tonight.
Initial fears about the band due to the fact that the floor cleared slightly after Mia Klose finished her set were soon dismissed as opener ‘High’ followed by ‘Going Down’ brought roars from the crowd and the floor soon filled back up again.
The band comprises of Whippz on lead vocals and he and Lance Daniels carry lead and rhythm guitar duties between them. The rhythm section of Will Lockett on Bass and Chris Chapman on drums keep everything very, very tight for the entire show and the tracks played sound as good live as they do on the album and credit is due to the sound engineer for providing such a clean sound.
‘So Wrong’ , ‘Say My Name’ and ‘All The Way’ showcase a mature band that is clearly dedicated to their art and one that would appear to have been around a lot longer than the 2 years or so that their website suggests. The energy they exude is clearly soaked up by the crowd who are happily bouncing up and down during the latter half of the set and it’s a mixed crowd from out and out rock fans to several corporate suits who are either record company execs or maybe just in the wrong place at definitely the right time. Either way smiles all round seem to indicate that everyone is having a blast.
Check these guys out. Excellent debut album, solid live act.
Devil May Care
Say My Name
All The Way
Slow Up, Get Down
You, Me, Tonight
(ensore) Behind The Veil