Archive for June, 2012

The Australian Pink Floyd @ Hammersmith Apollo

24th March 201

There s no messing around this evening at the (shock horror) all seated layout of Hammersmith Apollo, for tonight’s act have travelled half the globe to be here. There were here to re-liv,e note for note, the greatest prog show on earth … a Pink Floyd gig.
The Australian Pink Floyd
With no support they played for nearly 3 hours (not inclusive of the 20 min pee pee break for the oldies/boozies) of dreamy sonically perfect recreations of Waters, Barrat, Gilmore and co. Their sound was absolutely spot on, as were the vocals. With eyes closed you would be instantly back in the Floyd heyday, wearing oversized flares sporting a ‘cool’ mullet … they are that damn good! Of course when they chatter between sings, their thick ozzy accents are unavoidable, so it’s pretty easy to identify the doppelgänger.
Lights!
Of course as with any Floyd tribute the light show bouncing off the walls was simply stunning, as was the varied setlist which spanned the entire recording careertaking tunes from Animals to The Division Bell and The Piper At The Gates of Dawn to The Wall! They picked early prog outs Astronomy Domine to soaring classics Shine In You Crazy Diamond, sing-a-long epic Wish You Were Here, guitar totting Confortably Numb, not forgetting the crazed etherworldly vocals of The Great Gig in the Sky sung out by one of the original Floyd backing singers.
What made these guys ‘not just another tribute band‘ was they were not look-a-likes, neither were they pretending to be. They had an honest love for the music. When that was combines wth their typicalls ozzy sense of humour, brandishing fly swatting cork hats and a giant 25ft pink kangaroo which put smiles on smiles, raising plenty of cheer.
On a performance like tonights, it’s easy to see why these guys have been credited with being better than the actual Pink Floyd. Beyond the creation of a time machine or a persuasive potion, this is the best Pink Floyd experience around, a must for any fans. Of which tonight was packed to the rafters with them.

Shinedown @ The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm

09 February 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the Roundhouse. More and more I keep thinking that it’s a very ‘nice’ venue but fundamentally flawed. It’s sonically tilted in favour of the early door pounders who rush in to take up the central stage column views. Left/Right Balance is difficult to achieve in here mainly due to its lack of depth (what with being circular and all). So as close as you feel to the stellar bands who grace endlessly cool and historical stage (If your not behind one of the annoying pillars), you’re always feeling as if you are listening to one of the hugely oversized speakers stacks, rather than the band themselves. Although I have found alcohol a wonderful cure for stereo imbalance, so as our support took the stage, all worries were set aside.

Halestorm

Halestorm, introduced to us through a huge Download early afternoon tent slot were back to wow us once again. They did not disappoint as front woman Lzzy Halestorm let her overpowered pipes and tight clothing mesmerise the crowd for two very different reasons. Her rock and roll swagger matches some of the best in the business and her scowling vocals are as throat blazing as they are beautifully.

 

Although their Americanism’s shone through quite heavily their set went down a storm with body quaking rythmn guitars and enthralling lead lines. But Lzzy steals all the hearts in the room (again…in two very different ways), especially as she performs the sultry ballad “Familiar Taste Of Poison” a mediocre tune on record, but it comes alive through a simply stunning vocal performance. New tunes from their latest E.P. took a tougher edge such as “Love Bites [So Do I]” with its thrashier lead playing which was no bad thing. Possibly inspired by their recent cover of 80’s metal trailblazers Skid Row’s “Slave To The Grind” which also sparked heads a rollicking this evening. A super support slot from a band destined to be back on a headline tour soon!

Shinedown

Shinedown have perfected melodic hard rock over the last few years. But were they ready for the London crowd? I can confirm that largely, yes they were. Their stadium sized anthems were no match for the roundhouse roof as they lifted it clean off within a few bars of their power up. A hardcore following had amassed out front and vocals were being poured stagewards from every angle. A once sedate swaying crowd started to show what they were made of during a particularly rawkus rendition of “Devour” which lead singer Brent Smith had the whole crowd a jumpin’.

Brent Smith

One thing which was considerable noticeable about Smith was that apart from his incredibly American outpourings of love to the London crowd, was looking like the All American Abercrombie “Buff Man”! He rattled on throughout the evening about love and life including this crowd stoking cracker “I rememeber watching festivals in london on my tv in my bedroom in the states…the crowds were always crazy” yeah! spark crown cheer <here>! Fine, but for me, the rapidity of the word left them pretty vacant, almost as if he struggled to remember which city he was in this week. Although I cannot fault his muscular Mr. rock vocals, they were absolutely spot on.

 

He and his band kicked out some cracking tunes including some massive mid-tempo sing-a-longs “Sound of Madness“, Fret flying “Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide” and the angelic ballad “Second Chance“. Their first 2 albums were briefly visited towards the set ends with their UK breakthrough single “Save Me“, moody slowie “45”, nu-metal thunderflyer “Fly From the Inside” and their stonking cover of Lynyrd Skynyrds Simple Man (my personal highlight).

An altogether ace show! Delivering body shocking powerful hard rock, which kicked seriously huge holes in this stylish Camden hangout.