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Islington Academy, London
9th March 2012



When the giants of Metal finally lay to rest, the Metal community will have to rely on new blood to keep the fire burning. We've recently lost Ronnie James Dio, Judas Priest and the Scorpions are playing farewell tours and there's not much gas left in the tank for bands like Def Leppard and Motley Crue. So it was interesting tonight to pop down to the Islington Academy to see what the future of British rock had to offer.

the morning after
The Morning After

They may be headliners for the UK tour but for the London show The Morning After were going on before NeonFly. Ufortunately, due to the early doors I missed punk Metal openers Serpico. The Morning After have been receiving some critical acclaim for their new album 'Legacy', which made up for the bulk of tonight's set. Many are divided as to whether they like the band or not and that's because the band go to the diverse corners of the Metal spectrum.

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At times they play fast like DragonForce, at times the vocals growl like Funeral For A Friend and when they really shine is when the band show their melodic side with some neat backing vocals and catchy choruses, like on the single 'America', where the band comes across like a youthful Def Leppard.

Tattooed blonde bombshell frontman Sam Ryder keeps the ladies pleased with his guitar playing heroics and energized zest. When 'Sometime After Dark' gets going the band go into some heads down Skid Row crunching riffs and although the little tribute to Queen at the end of the set was a little 'Wayne's World' to be taken seriously, it was still good to see where the band's influences lie.

the morning after
The Morning After

NeonFly are slowly working their way up the ladder and gaining themselves a following after supporting Freedom Call late last year. The London rockers know in what direction they are heading with their heavy melodic rock. Singer Willy Norton has a fine voice similar to Doogie White and is now showing the confidence that is demanded for being a frontman.

Guitarists Frederick Thunder and Patrick Harrington are a well honed partnership playing some crystal clear licks. The set is taken from their debut 'Outshine The Sun' with the masterful epic 'Ship Of No Sails' with its many time changes being my favourite track of theirs.

'The Revenant' surprisingly segued into Journey's 'Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)' where once again it was good to see a young band admiring the works of greatness released before they were even born, although I felt there weren't many in the audience who didn't know this Journey song because this wasn't the one chosen by the cast of Glee to popularise it in this country. Which shows I'm getting old.


Some more frantic fretwork on 'I Think I Saw A UFO' ended an enjoyful evening. There's still plenty of work to be done for these bands to take it to the next level but the early signals all point towards a positive future. With bigger budgets behind them it's frightening to think what both these bands are capable of achieving in five year's time.

Set lists:

The Morning After

Into The Fire
Over The Wire
The Witch Is On My Back
These Hills Have Eyes
Nightmare Planet
Rest In Pieces
Sometime After Dark



Broken Wings
The Enemy
Ship Of No Sails
A Gift To Remember
The Messenger
Reality Shift
The Revenant
Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
Spitting Blood
Morning Star
I Think I Saw A UFO



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