On Wednesday 29th January at Bad Wolves Islington Academy gig ahead of their Wembley Arena gig today supporting Five Finger Death Punch, Dan Waite (Managing Director Europe) and Claudia Mancino (International Promotion Coordinator) from Better Noise Music were pictured with Bad Wolves with various Platinum, Diamond and Gold presentation discs made up in the name of Dolores O’Riordan, her Mother Eileen O’Riordan’s name and her brother and Cranberries Manager PJ O’Riordan to certify  “Zombie” as  RIAA certified platinum in the US and Sweden, double platinum in Canada, gold in Australia, IMPALA Diamond in Europe.

Bad Wolves have donated their royalties on their blockbuster single ‘Zombie’ to Dolores’ children.

Such a fantastic gesture from the band.  RPM Online applauds such actions so hopefully to get some more views here’s the video for ‘Zombie’.


Buy Bad Wolves Here

Aerial Salad started as a dream, that turned into a nightmare, that thankfully worked out a dream. Conceived by frontman and guitarist Jamie Munro after he’d attended the legendary punk event The FEST in Gainesville, Florida in 2016, the young Manchester Uni student was so inspired and impressed by what he’d witnessed at the festival, he had to start a band. He HAD to play that festival.


“It was a very important time in my young age,” remembers Jamie. “I was like, ‘fuck me, all these people, all these bands are small punk bands, but they’re playing here and they’re all on tour, this is fucking sick this!’ Fuck uni, I hate uni, I’ll start a band. We’ll play The FEST.”


And while for many, those dreams would have remained a fantasy as the daily grind of real life tightened its grip, choking out those young teenage dreams, Jamie Munro did form a band with two best friends (Mike Wimbleton – bass/vocals, Matty Mills – drums) and he did play The FEST, but as is so often in life, things did not go as planned.


In the run-up to what is now billed in their minds as ‘The Worst Festival Set Of All Time’, the fledgling Aerial Salad recorded a couple of scrappy digital EPs, played a small handful of gigs and through sheer bluster and confidence, somehow blagged themselves onto The FEST. However, bad luck, over-indulgence, technical difficulties and unfamiliar equipment led to a catastrophic performance that made sure the band were never invited back. “The set was so bad that as soon as it finished, I had to run out of the  venue, hide around the corner and cry,” shudders Jamie.


Returning home with dreams momentarily shattered, the rag-tag bunch of teenagers may not have found acclaim, but they did find purpose, regrouped and forged ahead. Luck was on their side when they met former Flying Medallions frontman and Wonk Unit leader Alex Johnson who, so taken with the bands spirit and vibe, offered to mentor, manage and help put out Aerial Salad’s debut album – 2017’s ‘Roach’ – on his label Plasterer. He became ‘Daddy Wonk’ to the band and finally finding their stride in ‘Roach’, a sound and boldness started to emerge that  quickly turned heads in the UK punk scene. An album of soaring punk songs, with melody and brash, rough edges that made it fizzle with excitement. The germ of greatness was sown in ‘Roach’. Wonk Unit took them on a three-week tour (“effectively a four year training course on how to actually be a band,”) and Aerial Salad were one step closer to being ready to deliver what the world is about to hear in new album ‘Dirt Mall’.

Armed with a headful of new songs, under the guidance of Daddy Wonk and the production of UK recording legend Paul Tipler (“because he’d recorded ‘Mush’ by Leatherface, which we love,”), Aerial Salad have delivered nine songs of anthemic, driving punk rock that roars with disgust, yet equally joy, at the world around them. Released this coming March 27th  via the bands own Roach Industries, and once again with the help of Plasterer, ‘Dirt Mall’ is the sound of the once rag-tag teenagers finding their sound, feet and minds, frustrated by day jobs, brexshit and the world swirling around them.


“It captures everything I’ve seen working as a temp in offices and generally being in my twenties trying to work myself and the world out. With some pop songs thrown in for fun,” admits Jamie, and it is all of that and more. Bristling with energy and passion, each and every song means something. From the charging title track (“people should not have to try and survive life,”), the bass and drum groove and explosive chorus of ‘Such A Pity’ (“about being young and a fucking arsehole,”), the cathartic strut of ‘Stressed’ (“the Tories are basically trying to kill us, that’s the cut and dry,”) and first single ‘Romance?’ (“a song about wanting romance with someone who is otherwise romantically engaged,”), ‘Dirt Mall’ is an album by three best mates, experiencing this life together, and taking it on.


Aerial Salad is starting its most exciting chapter.

There are moments in time where you come across a band, and it is just a magical moment. Rewind back to 2017 when I heard Soraia for the first time, I heard their song ‘Why’ and could not buy the album fast enough. ‘Dead Reckoning’ ended up being my Album of the Year for 2017, and they are on the verge of releasing the long-awaited follow up album ‘Dig Your Roots.’ I came into this album with huge expectations that were never going to be easy to meet, but they have done it. While I cannot say yet that this is going to be my 2020 Album of the Year, they have set the bar incredibly high for everything else I hear this year.

‘Dangerous’ gets the album going and immediately shows that this album is not going to be as glossy as ‘Dead Reckoning’ was in terms of its production. This song hit me immediately and was not as subtle as the first two songs they released from the album. ZouZou Mansour’s vocals are laced with attitude and a confidence that could dominate the world. The backing vocals are perfectly done, and the bridge takes the song to another level.  ‘Wild Woman’ settles into a cool groove after a hooky guitar riff and then later a great solo by Mike Reisman. The mix across the album is faultless with Travis Smith’s bass getting plenty of exposure. Soraia doesn’t just write songs; they craft them in some magical place. Brianna Sig (drums) and Smith are dynamic together across the album with ‘Evergreen’ being just one example. The shouty backing vocals give the song a live feel, and the bridge here slows things down and lets Mansour’s vocals penetrate your soul.

Soraia has many roots in the garage rock of the Nuggets era but has also allowed many other ingredients and spices into their sound. ‘Foxfire’ features some nice guitar work by Reisman and carries much of that Nuggets influence as a semi-ballad that features some tasteful backing vocals. The bass line has also been stuck in my head for three days now. I have already mentioned it and will again, but I really want to stress that Mansour sings her ass off on this album with this song being just one example. ‘Darkness (is my Only Candle)’ turns up the tempo as the song builds and builds into an electrifying chorus, and the song serves as the perfect counter to ‘Foxfire.’ The keyboards here provide some extra texture to the song. The band decides to do a Prince song on this album too after covering ‘Wow’ on ‘Dead Reckoning.’ They have opted to tackle ‘Nothing Compares 2 You.’ I can remember when Sinead O’Connor had a huge hit with this song, and I will say I didn’t appreciate the song then as my musical tastes were almost strictly hard rock and metal at the time. The band incorporates more of a 60’s ballad feel with extra power added to the music. Sig’s drums really pop in the mix. I could definitely see this version of the song finding a new audience if it received some plays on mainstream radio. Mansour’s vocals will stop you in your tracks and don’t be surprised if you suddenly realize the hairs on your arm are standing. The guitar solo fits perfectly with Reisman shining across the entire song.

‘Superman is Gone’ turns up the tempo with some jangly guitar and excellent rhythm work pulling the listener into the song. Another killer chorus is delivered, and I have found myself singing this in my head over the last several days. Keeping the energy going with ‘Way That You Want It,’ Smith’s bass and Reisman guitar both stand out here with the guitar solo jumping out of the speakers. One of the immediate draws to Soraia for me was the lyrics, and this album continues that brilliance. This song takes a pretty standard topic but conjures incredibly cool imagery and really paints a sonic picture. The first song that was released from this album quite some time ago now was ‘Still I Rise’ which has become something of a person anthem for me. The band again incorporates a heavy Nuggets influence here but also keep it feeling fresh and modern.  It serves as another example of the band’s lyrical abilities. I also love how the band once again utilize some keyboards here to give the song extra texture, and the mix allows everything to be heard. Sig’s drumming is amazing across the album with this being an excellent example of her work.

Reaching the closing stretch of the album, ‘Don’t Have You’ initially features Mansour singing over just a piano as the ballad slowly builds. Mansour’s lyrics connect with me on every level; the spoken vocal here is beyond magical and adds so much character to the song. Reisman’s guitar solo is laid down perfectly.  ‘Euphoria’ serves as a hook laced closer about the power heroin can carry with it. Mansour sings with incredible power here as she again paints a canvas with her words. The groove created by the band will have you moving, and, to be fair, I have not stopped rocking and shaking since I first started typing this review. The band speeds things up as they increase the temp on the way out the door.

This album has been pretty much on repeat for three days now for me, and I have found no faults with it. As I said in the beginning, I cannot crown it Album of the Year yet as we still have 11 months to go, but I am having a hard time imagining finding a record that connects with me as much as this one does in that time. Soraia have created another masterpiece with an album that showcases each member of the band while also showing how well they come together as a group. Mark your calendar now and buy this one as soon as you can. Your soul will thank you.



Buy ‘Dig Your Roots’ Here

Author: Gerald Stansbury

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the birth of The Von Bondies, a key band in the American garage-rock movement that spread its way across the globe in the early 2000s. Formed in Detroit by singer/guitarist Jason Stollsteimer during an aborted stint at university, he rooted the band’s sound in the youthful energy of punk and the emotional rawness of the blues. “If somehow it had been possible for Jason and me to have had a baby instead of a band when we first started out,” says Donny Blum, longtime drummer of the band, “that baby would now legally be able to drink.”

In celebration, the Von Bondies are getting together to play a string of dates in the UK this summer, their first shows in a decade. “We’re doing the UK first because England was the first country that really embraced us,” says Stollsteimer. Indeed, those early UK shows would lead to dozens of festival slots—playing Glastonbury as well as Reading and Leeds Festival two separate years—in addition to appearances on Later with Jools Holland and a couple of Peel Sessions at the BBC. The band’s major-label debut ‘Pawn Shoppe Heart’ spawned the single ‘C’mon C’mon’, a ubiquitous part of the soundtrack to young Britons’ rowdy Saturday nights out.

This summer’s eight-show tour will take the band around the UK from Birmingham to Brighton, including stops in London and Glasgow. “I think it’s a great time to do this,” says Blum. “We’ve always known that at some point we were going to do more shows. Especially with the world on fire the way it is now, we want to do it before it all burns down”.
Full dates here, tickets go on sale on Friday 31st January.
Thu 14 May – The O2 Institute – Birmingham – TICKETS
Fri 15 May – The Wardrobe – Leeds – TICKETS
Sat 16 May – DSCVR Festival – Leicester – TICKETS
Sun 17 May – O2 Academy Islington – TICKETS
Tue 19 May – The Fleece – Bristol – TICKETS
Wed 20 May – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut – Glasgow – TICKETS
Thu 21 May – Gorilla – Manchester – TICKETS
Fri 22 May – Concorde 2 – Brighton – TICKETS

 Melody Makers – ‘The Bible Of Rock And Roll’ (MVD Visuals)

Ah, the good old days when you got all your music news from the magazine stand or your local record shop.  There weren’t many to pick from Me I was a Sounds man myself but I did also check Melody Maker and NME before the glossy mags took over like Kerrang.  Digital kids won’t have a clue what I’m on about unless they watch films like this – The award-winning film takes you behind the scenes to explore the myths, honour the legends and reveal the incredible stories and never-before-seen photographs of rock giants like Jagger, Bowie, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Zepplin, Hendrix, The Kinks etc etc.

This tell-all documentary reveals anecdotes and unpublished photos from the world’s most influential music publication, Melody Maker magazine, with its intimate access to legendary rock bands of the day and all the goings-on and shenanigans you daydreamed about.  In biographies and autobiographies, stories and folklore were perpetuated or dismissed in the pages of Melody Maker and the writers who lived to tell the tales of what people look back fondly on the Golden Age of music.

At the heart of this film is Melody Maker’s head photographer, Barrie Wentzell, who takes us along on an intimate journey with his colleagues into the world of rock icons. These journalists, with cameras in hand, had free rein and were creatively involved with the artists, something unheard of today and it’s hard to imagine some of the scenes they describe.

The film captures the story behind the magazine’s rise and fall, showing first-hand how the artists, the record companies and journalists came to move a generation. The magazine was the go-to for many for decades during its time, now this movie is a “must-see” for musicians, music fans and it would seem history buffs alike.  Pop culture of a bygone era that can never be recaptured from the people who created the news and became part of the fabric of the music.  Cool film.


Buy ‘Melody Makers’ Here


‘Come On Feel The Noize’ – ‘The Story Of How Rock Became Metal’ (MVD Visuals) A tale as old as time (or so it would seem) Rock morphing into Metal and bands and players who became iconic immortals of the music biz.  This exclusive, long-lost live material from rock’s most iconic bands &artists, as well as all-new original interviews with the living legends themselves:

This film is your access-all-areas backstage pass to Heavy Metal and Hard Rock history. Delve into the rich history of Heavy Metal: from its scandalous origins in the 1960s to its heyday in the 1980s, from its glam phase in the 1970s to its indestructible present in 2017. A backstage pass into the history of how Rock became Heavy Metal. There might be some excellent journeys available on youtube plotting the history of the scene but this is a decent blanket thrown over the scene for an hour and a half.  Interesting and amusing some have aged like fine wine and others not so much (being polite)

If you lived through the 70s and 80s then it’s hard to imagine how quickly music has changed over the years and how there is still a place for Metal and Heavy Rock as portrayed in this film. The usual acts such as Hendrix, Deep Purple and  Zeppelin are discussed obviously. it does cover The blues, punk, and other scenes.

Come On Feel The Noize: Isn’t just about that journey of the usual suspects such as Twisted Sister, Motley Crue and Poison but the whole scene of music that sprouted up everywhere.  It’s well told, well documented, and the interviews are interesting for the hour and a half. Some of those interviewed are megastars like Ozzy, Dee Snider, Nikki Sixx, Biff Byford and others! It’s not all old school as Ghost get coverage as well.  One for old rockers to enjoy as well as one to give the grandkids to show them what it was like and why you pick up the metal compilation in the supermarket.  Its never too late to feel the Noize and this might well relight the flame for anyone who turned up the Rock.

Buy ‘Come On Feel The Noize’ Here

Up and coming rockers Gorilla Riot have finally unleashed their full-length debut. They have garnered a significant amount of press over the years for a new band showcasing how solid their songs and marketing have been. I have enjoyed what I heard from the band in the past, but this was the first time I really dug my teeth into their songs. With a fusion of modern hard rock, some grunge, and the songwriting of classic rock, they have clearly found a sound that would be as comfortable on modern radio as it would be on the classic rock stations or stations catering to bands from the ’90s. They also have crafted their own sound and avoid being a watered-down version of something you have already heard.

Kicking things off with instrumental ‘Riders I’ allows the band to slowly bring you into the record with the expanding guitar riff burrowing into your memory. ‘Riders II’ follows with the band combining the likes of Black Sabbath, Brother Cane, and the more classic rock feeling period of Corrosion of Conformity. The beat here gets the headbanging and with the band featuring three guitars, there will never be a shortage of guitar… or air guitar if you are like me.   The vocal delivery of Arjun Bhishma suits the music perfectly as it carries power and a bluesy register. A hard-driving blues riff carries ‘Still Doing Time’ forward with the chorus slowing it down a notch to deliver a killer vocal hook. Cry of Love from the ’90s comes to mind here if they were heavier with James Degnen (bass) and Dave Thomas (drums) laying down the perfect foundation and groove. ‘Mind Your Head’ features some excellent guitar work by Bhishma, Liam Henry, and Charly T. The chorus takes on a more laid back hypnotic approach, but the song doesn’t quite carry the initial momentum of the album for me.

‘Half Cut’ gets the momentum going for me again with the heavy riff and beat getting the headbanging again. This is a stoner anthem in waiting as the groove gets plenty of space in the song to wrap its way around your brain. The guitar solo cuts through the rhythm and builds into the perfect end of the song. The mix on the album allows the lead guitar in ‘Young Guns’ to sit right on top of the rhythm guitar and really provide a lot of texture to these songs. This would sound perfectly at home on modern rock radio but can also pull in the classic rock listeners. The chorus works so well in part because of the musical hook as well as the vocal hook.

Getting the second half of the album started, ‘Help the Guilty’ is one of my early favorites from the album. The band is perfectly willing to take their time and give the awesome riff plenty of space with the middle section of the song turning into a quiet section with some tremendous guitar work before slowly building back into the monster. The band strikes the perfect balance and executes this brilliantly. ‘Reckless Till Death’ continues to showcase the band’s strength as the up-tempo blues gives way to an excellent catchy chorus. Gorilla Riot clearly put a lot of work into their songwriting and take the time to get things just like how they want them. A doomy riff opens ‘Black Heart Woman’ before it transitions into a heavy slower riff that could shake a mountain. The chorus is fairly simpler but delivers because of the musical muscle underneath it.  My favorite moment is when the song’s tempo suddenly increases and the guitar solo gets time to shine before one final chorus ends the song.

Starting the last quarter of the album, ‘Prayer for Suckers’ feels a little more laid back with the vocals reminding me a bit of Alice in Chains. The guitar solo really gets a showcase in the mix with this song being another of my early favorites. ‘Beat Your Bite’ shows the band’s ability to exercise restraint and let a song slowly build. This serves as another highlight from the album and would be another made for radio single other than its near six-minute length, but it would be a crime to edit out one second of the song. Ending the album with ‘Chuggin,’ Gorilla Riot end with a hard-hitting song that makes sure everything has been leveled by the end of this journey.

Gorilla Riot has crafted a full-length debut that connects with me and will receive many plays in the years to come. They have clearly spent a lot of time on crafting their songs, and, while the songs maybe a little longer on average, there is no fat on the bones here. I would not be surprised to see them start crossing over to the mainstream, and it would be a case of the masses getting it right behind these guys. ‘Peach’ might not be the first word that comes to mind for this kind of band, but they have delivered a killer album.

Buy ‘Peach’ Here




Author: Gerald Stansbury


I don’t ever recollect reviewing a band hailing from Bordeaux then, I kid you not.  Not one but two different labels got in touch on the same day about their respective bands and low and behold they both hail from that very same city. Unspectacular I know but one of those strange coincidences. I never had the South Of France down as a hotbed of cool garage rock and roll but on today’s evidence, I might have to scratch the surface a little harder so please excuse my ignorance but Destination Lonely and I only just acquainted ourselves and now we dance cheek to cheek with their wonderful retro-influenced garage Rock and Roll as a soundtrack.


You won’t get diddley squat indication of who or what Destination Lonely sound like or look like at all from the artwork that’s for sure. But, once the needle drops you’ll begin to lose yourself as the reverb kicks in and those sweet electric guitars begin to howl.  They leave a couple of markers as to where they are at and covering The Troggs and The Stooges isn’t so much a suggestion as to where they’re at but dropping a bomb down a mine shaft and announcing your here. right from the off there’s an air of nasty about the groove and the solo on opener ‘Lovin” is exquisite. I’m curious as to why the would choose to make a video for the first cover on the record and not make one for one of their own tunes but I will say their interpretation is excellent.

A lot of the vibe they give off reminds me of Gallon Drunk and the mysterious edge they exude. Their cover of ‘Ann’ sounds more like the Doors than Iggy and co (well the first 30 seconds anyway) I’m sure they’ll take that.  ‘Out Of Your Head’ is a fantastic groovy thang with the full force fuzz guitar right in your grill. If that sounds like something you can get down with then check it out.



Author: Dom Daley

My first thoughts on receiving this baby in my inbox was who are what is the Humanist? Digging into the press release I have a great surprise in that its Rob Marshall, a huge influence on the superb ‘Gargoyles’ LP from Mark Lanegan.

Mark Lanegan is one of the guest vocalists on this beauty as is Dave Gahan, as is RPM fave Jim Jones, as is Mark Gardner (Ride), David Holmes (Portishead) John Robb (The Membranes) and a whole host of others, this just raises the excitement level and you start to get a feel without hearing anything that it’s going to be dark, broody, edgy and industrial, fuzzed-out and in your face.

Reading the blurb and looking into the Marshal background we find that

“Rob formed his first real band in the year 2000: Lyca Sleep spun a dreamy, languorous psychedelica, and toured extensively with South, The Warlocks and Engineers. Later Lyca Sleep morphed into Exit Calm: “This band reclaim the guitar band as something to have faith in again,” wrote Mojo, They released two critically acclaimed albums, played festivals including Glastonbury, V and Leeds/Reading. Big tour supports with Echo and The Bunnymen, Doves and The Music followed. After extensive tours in Europe and Japan, they split in 2015, and Rob found himself without a band, a stranger in rough-around-the-edges, bohemian Hastings on England’s South Coast.”


But what does it actually sound like? After working through the industrial confusion, definitely designed that way of the intro we start to drop the tone the repetitive beats and electronic runs not unlike the last Lanegan LP, and as that unmistakable voice hits us, and as “Kingdom” kicks in your going into some dark places, the fuzzed-out industrial edge pushing it up another gear, before the plaintive harmonica draws you into a post-apocalyptic blues setting, this is seriously good stuff! We’re sticking with Lanegan for the next up “Beast of the nation” and in fairness, it floors you from the off, everything I love in industrial stylings, and it sits to me as one of the strongest things Lanegan has recorded.


Next up we hand over to Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), with “Shock Collar”  a different distinctive vibe but absolutely vital you really can’t describe it as Industrial, perhaps post electronic? It definitely takes electronica into all sorts of new areas. My smile is just getting bigger and bigger. Another change of Collaborator and “Lie Down” takes things into a darker more laid back place, hinting to me at Martin Gresch but also drawing on the Depeche Mode pallet.

Ring of Truth” slows things down, lowering the bass, the repetitive beats drawing you in before the softly spoken lyrics wash over you as the soundscapes build and build in the background, this is a great track!!!!


Back with Lanegan, upfront and to the fore this is the upbeat Lanegan sound that permeated the last LP and live performance, but “Skull” is anything but upbeat after such a strong start you wonder if things are going to drift but fair play John Robb  “English Ghosts “ is potentially the best track on the LP, a dark industrial gothic masterpiece. How do you follow that? By changing sound and direction obviously!!! There’s’ a fuzzed-out 60”s psych feel to “In my arms again” before it shifts through the gears draggin the 60’s up to date. “ When the lights go out” featuring Mark Gardiner of Ride maintains the blissed-out “90’s sound of the ride era before “Truly to late” takes it in another direction with Ilse Marie providing a very different slant to what almost drifts into Cocteau twins territory.  “How’re you holding up” maintains the 60’s vibe and then we’re into “Mortal eyes” again shifting and uncoiling in a multitude of electronic directions, weaving its way into the subconscious, again one of many standouts on this LP, ‘Shoot kill” again is a bit of a blinder, Jim Jones bringing the garage rock grunge to electronica, hinting at exterminator style Primal Scream with a punk rock attitude thrown in for good measure!!! And way too soon we’re into the Lanegan led closer “Gospel”

 All in all, what a great LP to start the reviewing year, I’d potentially say it’s going to be there or there about’s for my LP of the year come year ends listings!!! Who said Rock and Roll is Dead, it’s getting more eclectic and interesting every year.

Buy ‘Humanist’ Here

Author: Nev Brooks

Not letting the grass grow. Hands off Gretel are about to release a new EP.  Heres the new video for ‘Milk’.

second out round two.  Our favourite Black metal legends Midnight. ‘Fucking Speed And Darkness’. Ave it!

The brand new 69 Eyes video folks? of course.

As an extra treat, this cold and damp morning here’s the brand new video from those mysterious garage punks Dboy. now on yer way

We’re just over three weeks into 2020 and tonight I’m ticking off gig number three just 24 hours after a BellRays show that will probably end up in my gigs of the year by heading across the Severn estuary for a night of bovver rock courtesy of Italian stallions Giuda and UK (angelic?) upstarts Hard Wax.

Also on the bill and opening proceedings tonight are local(ish) four piece BullyBones who take the stage looking like villains from a long lost episode of The Sweeney and specialise in a brand of 60’s garage rock perhaps more akin to last night’s headliner than tonight’s.  A sneaky cover of Gary Glitter’s ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me’ mid set though manages to win over pretty much anyone who wasn’t on the side of the BullyBones bad boys. Driven by the powerhouse rhythm section of drummer Owain Casey and bassist Illy Webster (who somehow manages to wear his Rickenbacker even higher than Joey DeMaio) guitarist Aaron Lee paints a very Pebbles-y picture over which singer Charlie Pullinger lays bare his Iggy meets Jack Daniels (as in Alan Lake’s character in Slade In Flame) soul.  The lads have a new 7” single due soon and I can’t help but wonder if it’s time to dig those old turtle neck sweaters out of the sideboard as we might be about to witness an all new Beat generation with BullyBones leading it.

Quickly swapping my Chelsea boots for some 14 eye oxblood Dr Marten’s and I’m all set up for Hard Wax to deliver some of their solid gold bovver rock anthems, having really enjoyed the band’s ‘This Is The Sound’ album released at the tail end of 2019.  Live, though what this still relatively “new” Hard Wax line up might be missing in both stage craft and attitude is thankfully made up for by those songs, with the highlights being the title track and ‘Have a Good Time’. It is, however, the tracks I’d not heard before, like ‘Bootboy Stomp’ and ‘Kings Of The Weekend’ that actually stand out, which makes me wonder why I’ve not yet ventured further into the band’s back catalogue?

A band I’ve very much been with from the start are tonight’s headliners Giuda, I remember when ‘Racey Roller’ first graced the deathdecks at Uber Rock Towers (as was) a full decade or so ago and it just made all of us stop in our tracks and ask “what the fuck is this?”  Very much a band out of time, I’ve witnessed the rock ‘n’ roll fever that the Italians have been spreading at festivals across Europe and at selected UK headline shows, but never before tonight at a gig within a half hour drive of my home and never before in a venue as tightly packed as Bristol’s Louisiana.

With the prospect of the band’s boot stomping anthems delivering the upstairs venue into the bar below I take up a place near the edge of the front few rows (which is refreshing to see is about 80% female) safe in the knowledge that if I’m going to re-enact the ‘Shake Your Foundations’ music video then I’m going down dancing, and from opener ‘Overdrive’ (with all its glorious and rather apt AC/DC overtones) for the next 60 minutes that’s pretty much what everyone does. There’s no time for chat it’s all about great music as the likes of ‘Back Home’ and ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ whistle past our ears like rock ‘n’ roll rockets and I defy anyone to not have their thumbs in their belt loops for the likes of ‘Number Ten’ and ‘Teenage Rebel’. The only problem is it’s all over way too soon, and after a four song encore we’re left to all wander off down the banks of the River Avon all Warriors-like to the strains of Joe Walsh’s ‘In The City’ booming from the PA. Still as endings go that’s as near perfect as they come, I just wish nights like this could go on for E.V.A (Ouch).

Author: Johnny Hayward