||STEVE GOLDBY'S HEAVY METAL CHRONICLES
DIO DISCIPLES, ISLINGTON ACADEMY
17th June 2011
This was all about keeping the music of Ronnie James Dio alive and it was done in fine style by Ronnie's bandmates and the magnificent Ripper Owen and Toby Jepson on vocals.
Ripper was simply superb. He carried every song off perfectly and with a style and panache that Ronnie would most certainly have approved of.
The mutual respect shown between Ripper and compatriot Toby was a joy to behold as well. There is a great chemistry between the pair and they are clearly enjoying working with each other a great deal.
Everybody in the band deserves a credit because they were note perfect to a man, tight as hell and the sound quality matched the playing standard. Hats off to Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, James Lomenzo, Scott Warren, Toby and Ripper and Tank's Doogie White who guested for two numbers and was more than superb.
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The band kicked in with a storming version of 'Stand Up And Shout' with Toby first vocalist on and doing a great job on 'Holy Diver', 'Don't Talk To Strangers' and 'Egypt'. Then it was Ripper's turn and he paid a fitting tribute to Ronnie while introducing 'King Of Rock 'n' Roll', referrring to Ronnie as the greatest singer of all time.
This was a set-list jam packed with real classics spanning Ronnie's amazing career. 'Catch The Rainbow was simply spellbinding, 'Stargazer' was nothing short of glorious and 'Neon Knights' was cativating.
The band never let up once and carried off perfect versions of every song. It was impressive and extremely enjoyable.
'Straight Through The Heart' did precisely what it says on the tin while 'Children Of the Sea' cut a swathe that remained for 'Kiling The Dragon' and 'Last In Line'.
Doogie White took over for 'Long Live Rock 'n' Roll' and 'Man On The Silver Mountain' and nobody else could have carried these two storming tracks the way Doogie did.
It was hardly surprising that people were asking why Doogie didn't get the gig? Maybe next time because on the strength of this performance, this is a show that should run and run for many, many years to come.
Toby and Ripper shared the vocals for the absolutely excellent 'Heaven And Hell' and we treated to 'Rainbow In The Dark' and 'We Rock' for encores. Truly, truly brilliant and from somewhere far beyond, Ronnie will have been looking down and smiling.
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll!
Thanks to Liz Medhurst for the pictures.
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