Airbourne at Electric Ballroom, London – 28th November 2016

Joel was performing one of his 'party pieces' by smashing a can of beer against his head until the can split, then taking a swig from it and lobbying...

Words by: Robert Sutton

Images by: Robert Sutton Photography


This was the second to last night of their UK tour which has comprised of ten dates, and these last two dates were being held at the Electric Ballroom in London, The band then head across the channel for dates in Spain, Italy, and France in December.

Support for the evening was from “Palace of the King ” and ”Crobot ”

Palace of the King: Fellow countrymen of Airbourne, this band was only formed in 2012 but already have two studio albums to their name, with their latest album ‘Valles Marineris’ having been released in July this year. With a collection of their blues and psych-infused hard rock songs..( well that’s what they call it!!…) they opened up the evening’s performance with a thirty-minute set. I had not heard of the band or their songs before , but clearly, they did have several fans in the audience and they gave a good opening set that I did quite enjoy.

Crobot: This four piece American band, led by Brandon Yeagley ( vocals) who play bluesy-doomy metal songs came onto stage and stated that ‘they had just landed from another planet’ and that ‘they were the filling in a Vegemite sandwich tonight’ !!, gave a strangely entertaining, but weird and wacky performance. With their bass player (Jake) seeming to be in his ‘own little world’ for some of the time but with Chris (guitar) giving it ‘his all’ throughout, they provided a thoroughly enjoyable set. But I do have to say it’s not that often that you see the lead singer of a heavy metal band do the ‘worm’ -(dance move), on-stage!!…but it did put a smile on my face!!

Airbourne: Formed in 2003 by brothers Joel (vocals and guitar) and Ryan (drums) , their first album (Runnin’ Wild) was released in 2007 and they have just released their fourth studio album, ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’ in September.

If I was to describe what rock n’ roll means to me then I’d have to say ‘go and see Airbourne play live’. This band is pure heads down, full on, fist pumping, crowd chanting, crowd surfing, rock, with NO fillers and NO solos… A show full of 110% energy and 200% enthusiasm from the start of the first chord to the very end of the encore with their ‘no holds barred ‘ gritty sounding riffs and lyrics.

The band is originally from Australia, but I’m not sure that they still have homes there anymore?? as they seem to be living the rock ‘n roll dream and appear to be permanently on the road these days. This was the first night , of two sold out shows, at the Electric Ballroom and they opened with the appropriately named song ‘Ready To Rock’… and my word, they did rock.

By song number three (Chewin’ the Fat) Joel was performing one of his ‘party pieces’ by smashing a can of beer against his head until the can split, then taking a swig from it and lobbying the rest of the can into the audience.

With little time between songs for any words from Joel , other than for a quick ‘Thanks’, a mention for Lemmy from Motorhead (who help the band out in their early days) and a thanks for the support acts, it was just about as non-stop a performance from the band as you could possibly get.
Approximately half way through their set Joel performed his next ‘party piece’ of riding on the shoulders of a roadie and going walkabout into the audience, whilst still playing his guitar and also cracking open yet another can of beer with his head.

What seemed to be an all too short set finished with them playing ‘Stand Up for Rock n’ Roll’ before saying good night and then briefly leaving the stage before the band returned for their encore….With the rest of band back on stage and with the sound of the wind-up air raid siren operated by Ryan marking the start of the encore song, we were all ready to go..but hang on, where is Joel?.Ah, there he is… standing right on the top of the left-hand speaker stack and just about hitting his head on the roof of the venue…from where he played the start of ‘Live it Up’ and yes, more beer cans were opened with his head and then lobbed into the audience.

They finished off the night with ‘Runnin’ Wild’, the title track from their (now nine years old) first album.

Well, I was covered in beer, along with quite a few other members of the audience I think, and left the venue with a big fat smile on my face after having had a super night out…and having enjoyed every minute of it…

1: Ready to Rock
2: Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
3: Chewin’ the Fat
4: Rivalry
5: Girls in Black
6: It’s all for Rock n’ Roll
7: Down on You
8: Breakin’ Outta Hell
9: No Way but the Hard Way
10: Stand Up for Rock n’ Roll
11: Live it Up
12: Runnin’ Wild

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Photo Credit: Daisy Robinson

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