Spike retains his bonhomie and still exhibits a great rapport and level of interaction with both sexes. His vocals remain as characteristic and unchanging since the band first started. Many vocalists over the years tend to lose some elements of their range as they age. Clearly not a problem here.The band retain their ability to deliver a solid night of entertainment each time they step on stage-Several drinks with friends,lots of pretty ladies,and some party anthems. Stepping back in time it was just like the eighties never went away.
Promotion for tonight’s show in the Voodoo lounge was bound to raise some eyebrows with a line-up featuring Dying Fetus, Goatwhore, Malevolence and Fallujah. The band names alone leave no doubts that the gig is not for the faint-hearted, nor for fans of One Direction. But the 200 or so fans of brutal and technical death metal that have congregated are certainly in for a treat.
Fronted by Louis James (son of ex-Moody Blues singer Nicky James), he is ably supported by fireball guitarist Jack Fawdry , solid drumming from Steve Corrigan and what appears to be Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) twin brother in groove laden bass player Aaron Plows. To sum them up easily they could be described as Rival Sons fronted by Robert Plant, such is the strength in James’ vocals. It’s definitely old school, retro fuelled rock ‘n’ roll and the band will certainly make waves in the current music scene given the critics and audiences penchant for this particular style right now.
Having released three albums since 2008, the band’s only live experience in the UK to date has been on the Five Finger Death Punch tour in 2013. As they return to their first headline show in London the crowd swells but could, as noted, have been so much more with some decent media publicity.
Plant has still got the moves, albeit different ones, the voice, albeit mellower but definitely the same charismatic stage presence and sense of ease with his audience
Encore time and it was side one of the Black Tiger album. Despite Dave telling me in the pre tour promo interview that they would not be airing complete albums in their entirety as they had already done that,I guess he decided to meet halfway. In conclusion as usual the band delivered a high quality finely tuned solid professional show,From heart rendering emotional ballads such as “Winds of change” and “I believe in you”to hard rockers such as “Open Fire” and “Black Tiger”Fantastic band and still despite their longevity at the very top of their game. See you again next time in year 41 guys.
Still as alive and kicking as his previous Dublin shows in The Point Depot, the fans, leaving the venue smiling, with sweat soaked spikes and leather, got all they expected and more from their noble King, who rose from the Underground to catch their fall.
Sitting on the front row of the balcony at the Empire, listening to Asia live is very much like having the band playing through the best sound system you could buy whilst sitting in your living room. The sound quality mirrors the album tracks perfectly and allows you to soak up the soaring melodies and range in John Wetton’s voice. The guitar solos from Coulson are not exaggerated and fit perfectly with the sound Steve Howe originally brought to the group. His approach is measured and not overly flamboyant and that fits the style of the band perfectly.
Unsurprisingly, the setlist is focussed on tracks from their latest release, but also features a few tracks from each of their two earlier albums. Mid way through the set, Worsnop asks us if we want to hear some really old shit, before they play a few bars of the unmistakeable Pantera classic ‘Walk’ and a few seconds of ‘One Step Closer’ from Linkin Park, followed by ‘A Prophesy’ from their own debut album Stand Up and Scream.
Once Kory Clarke and his band entered the stage to blast out tunes from his newest record “Payback’s A Bitch”, the crowd’s response was one of excitement with people throwing their hands in the air following Kory’s lead, dancing along and hanging onto his lips to sing along with him. During one song I even caught two guys in the audience cheering along and throwing big smiles at each other, clearly having a blast.