Words by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography
This tour, comprising of ten UK dates, is titled the ‘Kentucky Experience’ tour and is in support of their new fifth album. The performance tonight comprised of two sets by Black Stone Cherry and Acoustic one followed by an Electric one and was designed to be ‘one for the real fans’.
Black Stone Cherry: Have been around for fifteen years now and have five albums to their name with the latest ‘Kentucky’ having been released in April this year. There was no support for this event as Black Stone Cherry were, in fact, their own support act for the night!!.
Their first set was an acoustic set , which was very laid back with that ‘home comfort’ feel to it…with a very chilled out vibe to it, the band showed to the fans who they really were. With the fairy lights, all placed into jars around the stage it was more like watching a band from the comfort of your home.
They played a set of eight songs that included a few of their classics including ‘Like I Roll’ and ‘Things My Father Said’ as well as their new song, that they like playing now, ‘The Rambler’ and an audience favorite ‘Big City Lights’ .
Chris (vocals & guitar) mentioned that this had been the band’s favorite tour so far, and I have to say it has also been my favorite tour of theirs as well… Chris also mentioned that they were to play a ‘face melting’ rock set after the intermission and he should know as his face had melted into it and had lost his mustache in the process!! ( well he had actually shaved it off since I last saw him at the Brighton show five nights ago…)
Well BANG! , talk about a ‘freight train rolling’ ..I think the train had just hit the Shepherd’s Bush Empire!!, the amount of energy that the band released when they launched into their second (electric) set, starting with ‘Devil’s Queen’ from their second album ‘Folklore and Superstition’ ..Talk about chalk and cheese from their acoustic set , this was indeed going to be a ‘face melting’ experience. Ben (guitar) had obviously got himself a case of ‘ants in his pants’ during the intermission! with him now charging around the stage..and with Jonathan (bass) not knowing whether to run for cover from Ben ..or just swap over to the other side of the stage, while John Fred beat the shit out of his drum kit and with Chris trying to sing throughout all of this commotion… Wow.. just bloody brilliant!!..
No need for any pyrotechnic effects or smoke canons tonight, these guys just had themselves and their instruments and a packed out auditorium, full of very appreciative fans to keep them company , while they truly rocked the place tonight.
They carried on with ‘Soul Machine’ from the new album before they played their super cover of George Thorogood’s ‘Bad to the Bone’. They added a few of their classic songs into the set after a little while with ‘Soulcreak’ , ‘White Trash Millionaire’ and ‘Me and Mary Jane’ ,all of which had the audience singing and dancing in the aisles too. We even got treated to a bit of Led Zeppelin with them playing ‘Whole Lotta Love’…
The set continued with ‘In my Blood’ and ‘Blind Man’, before they finally brought the evening’s performance to a conclusion with their smash hit ‘Blame it on the Boom Boom’ and ‘Lonely Train’. But not quite happy to finish there for the evening they carried on with ‘Voodoo Child ( Slight Return)’ from Jimi Hendrix.
What a truly awe-inspiring performance from the band, who were at their absolute best for this tour and tonight must just about be one of the best shows I have seen all year…Absolutely fantastic.
Setlist -Set 1 -Acoustic
1: In Our Dreams
2: Hell & High Water
3: Like I Roll
4: The Rambler
5: Things My Father Said
7: Big City Lights
8: All I’m Deamin’ Off
Setlist -Set 2- Electric
1: Devil’s Queen
2: Soul Machine
3: Bad to the Bone (George Thorogood & The Destroyers cover)
5: Please Come In
6: Darkest Secret
7: Killing Floor
8: White Trash Millionaire
9: Cheaper to Drink Alone
10: Me and Mary Jane
11: Built for Comfort (Willie Dixon cover)
12: Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin cover)
13: In My Blood
14: Blind Man
15: Shakin’ My Cage
16: Blame it on the Boom Boom
17: Lonely Train
18: Voodoo Child ( Slight Return) (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)