To say I was looking forward to live music coming back would have been an understatement!!  After being starved for the last 18 months as the world reeled under the pandemic it was great to get back to whatever the new normal looks like, at this point lateral flow tests pre and post gig alongside sanitizing hand gels and respecting peoples personal space.


Arriving at the venue (a new one on me)  you can’t help but feel a bit of trepidation especially as the crowd swells out to sell out proportions, but in fairness what was noticeable was that everybody gave space to each other. First up was the Liverpool based band Faces of Sarah, and I had to immediately double take was that RPM’s own Gaz Tidey on vocals? (It wasn’t I think that’ll come with the Sister Morphine re-union shows.)

Moving on from musing, they in fact played a cracking set, straddling the genres between Rock/Goth and indie with a blinding vocal performance from Nick Schultz, the band have been around for a while originally forming in London Way back in 1999, before moving up North to their current base, and the stage craft and presence showed that experience, definitely a band worth checking out, delve backwards into Bandcamp there are some really interesting pieces of work there.


The Nephilim, I first caught live way back in the day around Dawn razor time and they really stood out from the Big three they were place within (The Sisters of Mercy and the Mission were the other two). I always gave them a more raw edge, an almost Motorhead like feel at times, as the band intro tape begins and atmosphere starts to build, you can feel the palpable excitement of the crowd, as the music fades out dry ice swirls and we’re into Harmonica Man and the first thing that stands out for me is how well  Carl McCoy’s voice has held up, especially if you compare it to the state of Eldrich’s .

Hats in place? Check, Dry ice swirling? Check, what a welcome back to live music and the gig just built driving into Preacher Man, and we start to get the crowd interaction we’ve all been waiting for, people are hoisted on to shoulders, arms are raised and it becomes the full live experience, the sense of trepidation, about contact with others leaving the room.  For me the gig took off with a blinding couplet of Dawn Razor and Moonchild but truth be told the drive from the band didn’t ease throughout the set and by the time closer Mourning Sun swirled out  just over an hour in, you couldn’t help but smile LIVE MUSIC IS BACK!!! Say it loud.

After the encore kicks in with a sublime version of  Last Exit for the Lost it really did feel that after the losses we’ve all experienced in the last 18 months, there is a pathway out of the chaos, the stage lights are back on, enjoy the ride.

Author: Nev Brooks