Words & Pics: Adrian Hextall
An interesting night was in store at the Academy. A band I really wanted to see, Departed, opening the night which saw me attending initially for that reason alone and then the tour manager for Fallen State setting me up with a photo pass to record the evening which gave me the opportunity to take in two new bands as a third act, Liberty Lies, was also on the bill.
First up and a band I genuinely hope make it big were Departed.
Fronted by former Empire of Fools vocalist, Mark Pascall and with former Treatment guitarist Ben Brookland driving the licks, Departed deliver the perfect start to the night. Hard rock done right. The band used to be a three piece with Pascal acting as a hard rock Lemmy on both bass and lead vocal but the addition of a full time bassist has freed him up to deliver the goods as a singer and as such the four piece deliver in spades. It was a decision Mark and Ben thought long and hard about and the decision to improve the dynamic of the band resulted in the addition of Connor Spring (Howie’s brother) on drums. Mark stepped away from bass duties and handed these to Howie (this is actually his main instrument). The end result works wonders as they open with ‘Superstitious’ from their current e.p.
The band manage to warm up the crowd nicely over the course of their short set with each of then enjoying a moment in the spotlight (There was only one so they had to take turns but regardless…. each spot showed great musicianship!) A true highlight and a track I hope remains in the band’s set for years to come is ‘Steal Your Crown’. It’s the sort of song that should grab the attention of radio stations and see it added to playlists worldwide.
With a voice that, at times reminded me of Glenn Hughes, Pascall helped ensure that this was a set that left the feeling that ‘If I went home now, I’d be happy.’
Next up were Liberty Lies, playing a set that showed clear influences from bands like Rage Against The Machine, Tool with maybe a dash of Deftones thrown in for good measure. If contrast was what you were looking for at the show, then the difference between Departed and Liberty Lies was immense. The band also had a fair amount of support in the crowd and the gap the openers were faced with, between band and crowd, lessened as the supportive few edged towards the stage to offer their fists and voices.
Their set is energised, fast, frantic and contains another group of proficient musicians that get to shine individually throughout the set. Shaun Richards on vocals stalked the stage like a pro and a powerful range allowed him to scream as much as sing. Fans of the above bands will find much to enjoy in Liberty Lies.
The Fallen State
Headliner’s The Fallen State have a couple of E.P.s out at the moment. The View From Ruin and Crown Your Shadows were available at the merch desk and one crisp tenner later found their way into my pockets to be listened to when I got home. Why did I get them? The strength of the set the performed was simply enough to convince me that a band I’d not heard of before were one that warranted further investigation.
Formed in 2013, the band have spent the last few years putting in the effort, both live and with several other e.p.s that have seen them support Black Stone Cherry, Halestorm and fellow UK rockers The Treatment they now come across as a polished, energised and well oiled rock act. Their sound will gain fans on both sides of the pond and it’s likely that US radio airplay is a given in the near future.
Singer Ben Stenning is one heck of a secret weapon for the band and delivers both the voice and the front man persona in equal measure to ensure the still growing crowd got the show they had come to see. It’s modern rock music at its best and that will hooks in today’s audiences with ease.
In only a few short months, they have developed a stunning reputation for selling out shows with their modern, incisive and inspiring performances. Ally this with the critically acclaimed and prolific release of four EPs (I,II,III and Crown Your Shadows), video airplay of ‘Sinner’ on Scuzz and BBC, teamrock and Kerrang! radioplay… you have something truly special here! If you want more proof then check out latest video Nova which got an airing at the academy and went down a treat!.
Hope in Revival
Send Up / Gateway
Sons of Avarice
Four Letter Word
Burn It To The Ground
You Want It