Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Adrian Hextall (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
Playing their first ever show in the UK’s capital city, there is a buzz surrounding Eclipse especially the one coming from the band who have just posed for a photograph beneath the entrance to the Underworld that sports the date and head-liners name above them.
Clearly excited at playing here, the band have attracted a decent amount of support with people travelling from far and wide to watch their set. The Worlds End pub that sits above tonight’s venue is packed with fans waiting for the band. When they appear for a few pre show glasses of ale it’s a very warm reaction that greets them.
Before they take to the stage a three band support bill (for a mere £10 ticket price, it’s great value for money) awaits punters that have arrived early enough.
Resident house band and self proclaimed “Rock ‘n’ Roll Pirates” Kinkade make the most of the crowd that have arrived early enough to see them and as always warm up everyone with infectious hook driven classic rock.
Bassist Gaz stomps intently around the stage and Jimmi introduces every song with a smile and a story. There’s loads of energy and whilst they always seem to be first on stage, they clearly enjoy what they do and that spreads to the crowd. Their short set finishes as always with a flourish as ‘She Likes to Party’ . What better way to kick off the show.
When you know little about a band, a bit of research is required. Sadly when your band name is very similar to a popular international outfit (Parkway Drive) even the best Google searches take a while to bear fruit.
Several re-workings of search criteria and we finally discover that Parkway started out as Liza Bec (vocals, recorder, sax, keys) and Dave Winkler (vocals, guitar). Definitely an interesting mix of styles as Liza has a folk and classical background and Dave is a touring rock and metal guitarist. By adding Kamil Krol (drums/vocals) and Christina Lake (bass/vocals) we are presented tonight with the finished article.
Influenced by artists as varied as Queen, Cheap Trick, the Cult, Garbage, KISS and the Wildhearts, their set is indeed a real mix of styles and is very entertaining. They’re still in early stages of development with Dave’s vocals needing some work and Christina needing to inject a little more energy into her stage presence but they’re minor niggles. Overall the set is fun with tracks including a great mix of sax and keyboard work from Liza. Dave’s guitar playing showcases the experience gained from several years playing with other bands and as the crowd grows, so does the appreciation for Parkway.
Surprise act of the night are ‘Envy Assured’ who refer to themselves as anything but “just another heavy band”. A recent quote from Sian Llewellyn (Classic Rock Magazine editor) indicated that every PR company pushing their band in Camden will tell her “it’s the next big thing”. 99.9% of the time, it’s unlikely to be the case but Envy Assured are a little bit special. An immediate thought is that they are as fresh a Linkin Park when they first appeared on the music scene. They play heavy music and vocalist Phil Midze has the sort of range in his voice that Chester Bennington would be proud of.
The guitar playing from Dion Rushe is mesmerising and at times it’s difficult to focus on anything else as he emulates the hammer on/off approach of Eddie Van Halen and solid riffing that players twice his age might struggle with. Age has to be mentioned here as he can only be late teens and will clearly be someone to watch out for in the years to come.
Crushing riffs, melodic solos with thumping rhythms combine with the vocal delivery to generate, as noted, something very very unique and worth capturing again. A guest vocalist / friend of the band brings some fantastic metalcore growls and shows how the band can really stretch their talents across many styles.
Perhaps that 0.1% that Sian was looking for?
shadows and dust
to watch the world burn
your god is gone
Phil Midze – Vocals
Dion Rushe – Guitar/Vocals
Chris Martin – Guitar/Vocals
Jai Patel – Drums
Ivaylo Nenov – Bass
At a few minutes before 10:00pm, Eclipse finally get to take to the stage to play their debut London show. Clearly excited at playing to a decent sized crowd, Erik Mårtensson points out that they were expecting no more (and would have been happy with) than 50 people. The crowd fills the floor of the Underworld as Erik plays the part of frontman and vocalist and leaves all of the frantic guitar work to Magnus Henriksson. With the focus of the set coming from the last two Eclipse albums (Erik refers in an interview with Myglobalmind that the first two were merely demos), the songs on offer are epic energetic hard rock classics. The crowd present lap up everything and sing along wherever possible with tracks like ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’ showing just how far the band have come since those first two ‘demo’ albums.
A whirlwind of energy, Erik bounds around the stage and it’s easy to see why he cannot play as well as sing as the demands he places on himself as vocalist and entertainer would prevent anything close to a coherent riff being played.
‘One Love’ from Erik’s all star band W.E.T gets a great reaction and shows how much the UK is starting to appreciate the talented songwriter, producer, singer and guitarist.
Given the tight timeslot and the need to put three additional bands on before them, we only get a quick finale with ‘Breaking My Heart Again’ before the band depart.
Like H.E.A.T, Brother Firetribe, Santa Cruz and Crashdiet to name a few, Eclipse are at the forefront of the current resurgence of hard rock bands and few do it it better.
Erik Mårtensson , vocals
Magnus Henriksson , guitar
Johan Berlin , keyboards (not present on tour)
Robban Bäck , drums
Peter Hallgren , bass
Ain’t Dead Yet
Wake Me Up
A Bitter Taste
Bleed & Scream
Under the Gun
About to Break
After the End of the World
One Love (W.E.T. cover)
Breaking My Heart Again