Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Adrian Hextall (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
“Can we postpone the interview tonight Adrian?” requests Voodoo Six bassist, producer and all round good guy Tony Newton. “The Raven Age are up first and I’d really like to watch them”.
Recommendations don’t come better than that so we adjourn and head off to watch the local five piece who play melodic metal based on a shared love for heavy music and a passion for songwriting.
THE RAVEN AGE
The Raven Age started out in 2009, with guitarists Dan Wright and George Harris establishing their vision of a band that would combine contemporary heavy music with powerful melodic vocals. The line up did not actually solidify until early 2013 by which time the first album had already been written but not released. Single ‘Eye Among the Blind’ is currently streaming online.
They play good old school metal and put an energetic modern sheen over the top. Bass player Matt Cox throws all of the shapes and pulls all of the right faces as he entertains the crowd. Michael Burrough provides the desired melody in his voice with an excellent range that keeps the songs firmly rooted in metal but accessible to all.
Good guitar work from the two founding members is rounded off by some solid rhythm work from Jai Patel on drums.
Clearly stoked at being able to play with two popular bands of the moment, their gratitude to both bands, management and the crowd for turning up early to watch is definitely heartfelt.
Burrough throws everything into his performance and is pouring with sweat by the time the band finish their set. He apologises to the first couple of rows for sweating all over them but it comes with the territory.
The usual in between song banter from a new band is limited, as you might expect, to “please buy a t-shirt, only six quid” and to be fair, to support some fresh talent with a great logo / design it is worth six of your English pounds any day!
Michael Burrough – vocals
Matt Cox – Bass
Dan Wright – Guitars
George Harris – Guitars
Jai Patel – Drums
Finnish hard-rockers Santa Cruz formed in 2007, inspired by such greats as Skid Row and Guns ´n´ Roses. Self produced EP “Anthems For The Young ´n´ Restless” came out in 2011 and helped them score a world-wide record deal with Spinefarm Records.
Now if there’s one thing Spinefarm do well, it’s get high quality albums out and promote them vigorously via media and live shows. April 2013 saw the release of “Screaming For Adrenaline” which received a very positive review from MyGlobalMind. UK shows followed and now a tour with Voodoo Six. Blending their influence of the 80´s and early 90´s Hard Rock sound with elements of modern Rock and Metal they put a fresh spin on the music that the afore mentioned bands are renowned for.
Their set tonight, as might be imagined, focuses on the 11 track debut and highlights include great dual guitar work of Archie & Johnny as they trade solos on the songs. Archie’s voice warrants special mention because his range is stunning and reminiscent of a young Sebastian Bach at his finest.
Quotable lines and chants litter the tracks on offer tonight from ‘Huh, Heeeyyyy, we’re Reckless Renegades’ , ‘Nothing’s gonna stop me cos I don’t give a fuck!’ from Anthems for the Young and Restless and ‘Let’s get the Party Started’ which all give the crowd the chance to engage and sing back which they do with aplomb. The response for Santa Cruz is as solid as it is for Voodoo Six and clearly shows the solid bill the tour has to offer.
‘Aiming High’ recalls Skid Row at their best if Axl Rose were in the vocalists chair, with Archie changing his style to match Axl in his ‘Appetite…. days.
Cheese-fest ‘Let Me (Lay My Love On You) gets a great response and wonderfully reminds the crowd of the times when it was the norm for cock rock to get radio airplay.
Notable new track is the non album tune ‘We Are The Ones To Fall’ and if you’ve not yet seen the official video for it on YouTube you should check it out. Punches and more fly and there’s blood everywhere including a close up shot with a drum stick in the eye. Thankfully that’s just on the video and not on the small Underworld stage but the track shows the band have a bright future ahead of them.
Archie: Vocals, Guitar
Johnny: Guitar, Backing Vocals
Middy: Bass, Backing Vocals
Taz: Drums, Backing Vocals
2013 was, according to the band, a landmark year for Voodoo Six. A successful headlining tour of their own including a home town show at the Garage in Islington was subsequently followed by a support slot for another local British band, Iron something or other… 28 shows in 18 countries in arenas, stadiums and festivals, playing to an estimated 300,000 people, including ending the tour at a sold out O2 Arena in London.
The return to London highlights the desire to push album ‘Songs To Invade Countries To’ as far as possible and to as many as possible. When you’ve got quotes from Steve Harris stating: “I’ve been keeping an eye on Voodoo Six for a while now and they’ve produced a cracking new album with real promise.”, you know their shows are going to produce something special.
Having managed to watch The Raven Age and squeeze in that postponed interview with MyGlobalMind, bassist and founder member Tony Newton bounds onto stage showing just who (it would appear) Steve Harris learns all of his stage moves from.
As the rest of the band come onto stage they begin their set with groove heavy ‘Falling Knives’, with it’s great baseline intro and vocalist Luke Purdie, every inch the classic rock front man, beams at the reaction the crowd are giving them.
‘All That Glitters’ and ‘No Friend of Mine’ follow in rapid succession before fan favourite ‘Sink or Swim’ allows Luke to show his throaty vocal range to full effect.
No monitor is safe as both Luke and Tony make full use of one foot on them to allow them to lean to great effect towards the front row. Chris Jones, a whirlwind on stage as he flies round , behind and in between his band mates, also tries resting on a monitor and nearly goes head first into the crowd. How he doesn’t miss a note with that level of energy and movement is a mystery and credit to his excellent guitar skills.
Live favourite ‘Your Way’ gets an airing and a great response which has probably been helped by the great promo video now viewable on the band’s YouTube channel. New single ‘Lead Me On’ (available tonight at the merch stand) also goes down very well and standing at the side of the stage, it’s great to see so many rows of people singing the words back to the five guys on stage.
Matt Pearce on guitar doesn’t get much room to move, especially with every inch of spare flooring being covered by Chris Jones at every given opportunity. Joe Lazarus on drums gets even less room stuck in the back corner but he has the space to provide the required noise and beat and that’s plenty!
‘Long Way From Home’ finishes the main set to thundering applause and the band briefly leave to then return and finish the night with ‘Like The Others Did’. They exit the stage and can indeed look to another landmark year in 2014.
All That Glitters
No Friend of Mine
Sink or Swim
Take the Blame
Something for You
Lead Me On
Feed My Soul
Waiting in Line
Long Way From Home
Like The Others Did
Luke Purdie – Vocals
Matt Pearce- Guitar
Chris Jones – Guitar
Tony Newton – Bass
Joe Lazarus – Drums