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  JONATHAN CHURCHILL: DEFENDING OUR ISLAND

SKID ROW
Islington Academy, London
Saturday 13th April 2013

Words: Johnny Churchill, Photos: Dutch Michaels


jonathan churchill

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skid row

It's Saturday night, the drinks are flowing and one of the greatest bands of the 90s, Skid Row, are in town: not only to blast out the classics, but to entertain us with new material from the forthcoming 'United World Rebellion Chapter 1' EP. This should be good!

Let's get one thing clear for all those who can't get past the absence of Skid Row's former vocalist. He hasn't been involved since 1996 and current singer Johnny Solinger has been with the band for fourteen years, two albums and now three forthcoming new EP's. The jury may be out on 'Revolutions Per Minute', but 'Thickskin' is a really strong album and well worth a second look.

More importantly, Solinger can sing like a banshee and does the classics justice. New single 'Kings Of Demolition' showcases his powerful vocals and sounds immense when played live!

Article continues below...

   




There's an early start at the Academy tonight in order to get the Metal punters out by 10.00pm for the cheesy nightclub which follows, so unfortunately I missed opener, Buffalo Summer. But by all accounts they were excellent and their debut album comes recommended.

The crowd don't really need working up for Skid Row. There are some seriously die-hard fans here and the band don't disappoint.

Re-energised by their new record label deals and fresh material, the core of the band, Snake, Rachel and Scotti look like they're thoroughly enjoying the adulation. New drummer Rob Hammersmith brings an up to date feel to the drum sound, flawlessly anchoring the set, while long-time singer Johnny Solinger continues to work his Texan ass off. With one of the hardest jobs in rock, he never wavers in his aim to entertain and deliver the goods.

skid row

The set-list tonight focuses almost entirely on the 'Skid Row' and 'Slave To The Grind' albums – which means some of the more interesting tracks such as 'Ghost' or 'Born A Beggar' don't get a look in. But instead we get two new songs, 'Let's Go' and 'Kings Of Demolition' and so many classics I don't know where to start!

The set-list opens with 'Slave To The Grind' and 'Big Guns', which is enough to send the Academy into meltdown. But it's not until '18 And Life' that it really hits home just how epic Skid Row's back catalogue is. This song transcends the years and remains one of Metal's all-time greatest moments.

Solinger does a great job with this and also on the two big ballads which are the clear fan favourites, 'In A Darkened Room' and 'I Remember You'. These for me are the highlights of a magic set-list and I remember clearly my blurry VHS copy of 'Oh Say Can You Scream', with Scotti Hill's awesome solo on 'I Remember You'. It's been played a million times but it never sounds old and tonight it's just sublime.

skid row

It's not just ballads though – Rachel takes the mic for a powerful 'Psycho Therapy' which takes me back to my teenage years, while Solinger shows his strength again on a brutal 'Thickskin' which sounds ferociously heavy. There are no weak moments in the set, but Solinger doesn't quite convince on the proper 'fuck you' tunes, 'Piece of Me' and 'Mudkicker', partly I think because he's just a really nice guy underneath the shades and bandana!

'Monkey Business' gives Snake and Scotti the chance to have some fun with duelling guitars and it's seriously impressive stuff. With such strong song musicians and song writing, it's not hard to see why Skid Row has such a passionate fan base. They've also been a huge influence on many newer bands and their 'B-Side Ourselves' EP is a defining record from my teens as it opened me up to a world of glam, punk and Metal – with stunning covers of Kiss, Ramones and Judas Priest. Halestorm's cover of 'Slave To The Grind' is currently riding high on my playlist and is worth a listen.

skid row

With the 10.00pm curfew looming, Skid Row don't mess around with a long encore. It's short, sharp and aggressive – evoking the angry, insolent teenager in all of us. With fists raised it starts building with 'Riot Act' and the incomparable parent-shocker 'Get The Fuck Out' before the ending we all knew was coming right from the day we first heard this track over twenty years ago!

With both support bands on stage and joining in, tonight for a short while at least, we are all still the 'Youth Gone Wild' and it feels brilliant.

skid row

Skid Row is:
Rachel Bolan
Dave 'Snake' Sabo
Scotti Hill
Johnny Solinger
Rob Hammersmith

Set-List:
Slave To The Grind
Big Guns
New Generation
Piece Of Me
18 And Life
Let's Go (new track!)
Makin' A Mess
Mudkicker
In A Darkened Room
Kings Of Demolition (new track!)
Psycho Therapy
I Remember You
Thickskin
Monkey Business
Riot Act
Get The Fuck Out
Youth Gone Wild


beer beer beerbeerbeer


19.4.13

Jonathan Churchill. MetalTalk.net \m/
Follow me on Twitter: MetalTalk_1976





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The clip is the first full performance video from 'Our Endless War' and was directed by acclaimed director David Brodsky...

behemoth BEHEMOTH, DECAPITATED & GRAND MAGUS ANNOUNCED FOR DECEMBER TOUR
A chance for the UK to see 'The Satanist' performed in all its hellish glory...

steel panther STEEL PANTHER ANNOUNCE THEIR BIGGEST EVER UK TOUR
The dates include a night at the legendary Wembley arena in March 2015...

alestorm ALESTORM UNVEIL NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'DRINK'
If you need a new anthem of the summer then look no further...

rik mayall RIK MAYALL'S 'NOBLE ENGLAND' SONG HEADING FOR NUMBER ONE SPOT AS ENGLAND'S WORLD CUP ANTHEM
The beloved late comedian looks set to storm the UK Top 10 with his lost anthem...

red dragon cartel EXCLUSIVE: RED DRAGON CARTEL GIGS BACK ON - BAND TO PLAY MANCHESTER AND BUCKLEY THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
Tickets for both shows will be at the special price of £10 as a gesture to fans who were inconvenienced by last weekend's events...

brutal truth DAN LILKER OF BRUTAL TRUTH INVITES YOU TO OBSCENE EXTREME FESTIVAL
This will most likely be the very last chance fans will get to see Danny and Brutal Truth live in Europe...

belphegor BELPHEGOR PUT THE FIRST 'CONJURING THE DEAD' STUDIO TRAILER ONLINE
The Black Metal giants are gearing up to unleash their tenth album ...

ill nino ILL NIÑO RELEASE ALBUM TITLE AND NEW SINGLE
Every pre-order for Till Death, La Familia will receive an instant download of 'Live Like There's No Tomorrow' and will automatically be entered to win an ESP guitar autographed by Ill Niño. ...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS WILL BE OPENING ACT FOR KISS AND DEF LEPPARD THIS SUMMER
The new album 'High Priestess' will be released in September...

triaxis becky TRIAXIS ANNOUNCE NEW BASSIST & NEW ALBUM PLANS
Outstanding bassist Becky Baldwin joins the Welsh Metallers for third studio album...

rival sons tour RIVAL SONS ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR
Following their current run of sold-out dates, the Californians return this winter with their unmissable live show...

spike frankie miller SPIKE ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF '100% PURE FRANKIE MILLER' IN SEPTEMBER 2014
The celebratory album features Ronnie Wood, Andy Fraser, Simon Kirke, Ian Hunter and more...

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY REVEAL NEW VIDEO FOR 'NO MORE REGRETS'
The album 'War Eternal' is out now worldwide and the band hit the road from July to December...

sanctuary SANCTUARY FINISH RECORDING NEW ALBUM AND ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE DATE
'The Year The Sun Died' will be out on September 29th in Europe...

rock metal circus ROCK AND METAL CIRCUS ANNOUNCE NEW VENUE FOR 2015
Roll up to Northants for Voodoo Six, Tygers of Pan Tang, Wolf plus some of the hottest new acts around...

aor 3 NIGHT RANGER TO HEADLINE HRH AOR 3
Adrenaline-fuleed rock and roll is the latest addition to the bill...

alz grinder ALZ-GRINDERS PLAN GRINDING FOR A CURE VOL 4
Over 300 extreme bands have contributed to the fundraising albums so far...

cambridge rock festival LINE-UP FOR CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL ALMOST COMPLETE
The main stage is booked and stages 2 and 3 are filling up fast...

headbangers open air ANVIL REPLACE DEATH ANGEL FOR HEADBANGERS OPEN AIR
After Death Angel cancelled their entire European tour, Anvil step in with a special "best of" set...

uli jon roth ULI JON ROTH CANCELS GUITAR GODS DATES IN NORTH AMERICA
It's official - this guitar god has been grounded by visa problems...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA ANNOUNCES NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE'
The new album of all original material lands on 22nd September...

red dragon cartel BREAKING NEWS: RED DRAGON CARTEL ISSUE STATEMENT OVER WOLVERHAMPTON GIG CANCELLATION
The band made a barbed official statement denying the reasons for the cancellation made by the promoter without actually addressing the main issue...

red dragon cartel BREAKING NEWS: RED DRAGON CARTEL CANCEL WOLVERHAMPTON SHOW, REST OF UK TOUR IS OFF, DOWNLOAD IN JEOPARDY
An argument broke out between the band and promoter Denise Dale who was representing Metal Music Bookings and Management...

uli jon roth ULI JON ROTH FACES CANCELLATION OF HIS PARTICIPATION IN GUITAR GODS TOUR
"The tour is in jeopardy...this has never happened in over thirty years of visas"...

les fest wiston LES-FEST ANNOUNCES MAIN STAGE TIMES
Get the latest from Scotland's premier Metal festival right here...

beermageddon METAL FEST BEERMAGEDDON STRENGTHEN THE LINE UP YET AGAIN...WITH EVEN MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
Jaldaboath, Monumentomb and Furyborn are among the latest additions...

blues pills DORIAN SORRIAUX FROM BLUES PILLS PERFORMS A GUITAR PLAY-THROUGH OF THE BAND'S NEW TRACK
Watch and learn as Dorian deconstructs 'High Class Woman'...

cj wildheart CJ WILDHEART RELEASES FIRST SOLO ALBUM IN SEVEN YEARS
'Mable' is available for pre-order now via Pledgemusic. CJ will also be releasing his own brand of hot sauces this year...

hrh aor3 HRH AOR ANNOUNCE FIRST 10 BANDS
FM, Dare, The Poodles and Starz lead the charge for March 2015...

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