||VOODOO SIX/SANTA CRUZ
Friday 14th March 2014
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.
It might be a mere six months since Voodoo Six last visited Glasgow but with their profile at an all time high due to the three months solid touring throughout Europe last year with Metal legends Iron Maiden, the band want to make sure they keep the momentum going by undertaking a ten-date headlining date of the UK.
Although Audio in Glasgow isn't the biggest venue in the city, it is packed out and as the lights go down the theme tune to 'The Great Escape' blasts out over the PA while the band saunter onstage. Even before they've played a note, you can see that the band are ready with vocalist Luke Purdie beaming from ear to ear as he encourages the crowd to sing-along before the band burst into 'Falling Knives', with all going well before a microphone malfunction silences Purdie mid-song.
The incident provides some amusement for bass player Tony Newton though, as the band continue on regardless and the issue is soon fixed when even Purdie manages to see the funny side of the situation.
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The audience are in full voice and their fists are firmly planted in the air during 'All That Glitters', which has drummer Joe Lazarus pounding out a good solid beat at the back, even though he's obscured from most of the audience due to a lack of drum riser – which is a shame as he does a sterling job all night tucked away in the back while all the other band members get their moments in the spotlight and are able to press the flesh with the faithful down the front.
'Sink Or Swim' has Purdie getting the crowd involved once again and they don't need asking twice while Newton has obviously learnt a thing or two from Steve Harris on the Iron Maiden tour as he bounces from one side of the stage to the other stage mouthing along to the words. Likewise, 'Your Way' has the audience with their hands in the air as the track properly kicks in with both guitarist Chris Jones and Newton taking centre stage eliciting a huge response from the crowd before Purdie joins them down the front.
The band are, of course, promoting their new album, 'Songs To Invade Countries To' and we get a good selection of tracks from that including 'Brick Wall' which has the audience bouncing along to the bass driven tempo which is in contrast to some of the more straight forward guitar orientated songs they play. The band's new single, 'Lead Me On' (available now) also gets some well deserved recognition with large portions of the crowd singing along because let's face it, it is a great song with a catchy chorus.
One particular fan down the front just can't get enough of the band as he enthusiastically sways from side to side for most of the bands set with his metal horns held aloft, almost clashing with Purdie and guitarist Matt Pearce on several occasions.
Of course, the band do play songs that aren't just frantic numbers showing how rounded they are as a band and it's 'No Friend Of Mine' which slows the pace here, giving Purdie the chance to show off his powerful voice. Let's be fair here, he is an excellent front man and he shows real emotion as the number progresses before Pearce comes in and takes centre stage with an outstanding solo.
There's no doubt that Voodoo Six' career is on the rise and if they carry on this trajectory, there's no reason why they can't be filling arenas on their own World Tour, so watch this space – this band are going to be huge.
Voodoo Six Set List:
All That Glitters
No Friend Of Mine
Sink Or Swim
Take The Blame
Something For You
Lead Me On
Feed My Soul
Waiting In Line
Long Way From Home
Like The Others Did
Voodoo Six are:
Luke Purdie – Vocals
Matt Pearce – Guitar
Chris Jones – Guitar
Tony Newton – Bass
Joe Lazarus – Drums
Voodoo Six Online:
Official Website: http://www.voodoosix.com
The main support act were Finnish rockers, Santa Cruz who I'd not heard of before but as the venue began to fill up it seemed like I was in the minority. At just after 8:30pm the band hit the stage to a rousing reception and they wasted no time in getting down to what they do best – entertaining!
Straightaway front man Arttu 'Archie' Kuosmanen has the crowd getting their hands in the air as they blast into 'Screaming For Adrenaline'. I'm not sure if it was an in-house soundman tonight, but Kuosmanen guitar solo was lost somewhere in the mix but he's quick to rectify the issue while the band carry on and finish the song with a flourish.
'Let's Get the Party Started' has other guitarist, Joonas 'Johnny' Parkkonen leading the charge as Kuosmanen and bass player Mitja 'Middy' Toivonen almost collide during a bout of head banging. The band's enthusiasm translates really well to the crowd and it's not long before they have their hands in the air clapping along.
With the bands debut album, 'Screaming For Adrenaline', released in May 2013, we're treated to a liberal helping of tracks here including 'Anthem for the Young N' Restless' which has Kuosmanen teasing the crowd with his guitar almost in touching distance of the front row while 'Nothing Compares To You' brings the tempo of the set down a notch giving the band and audience a breather - but it's still a another top quality number which features an impromptu guitar solo from Kuosmanen on the bar – how very rock n' roll!
We're also treated to a rendition of the bands new single, 'We Are The Ones To Fall' from their forthcoming album, which has the venue shaking one again especially every time Tapani 'Taz' Fagerström plants his foot on the bass drum pedal, as you really feel it vibrate right through you. The track also gives Parkkonen his moment in the spotlight with a great solo before Kuosmanen joins in making this track a tour de force in their short but enjoyable set.
Santa Cruz Set List:
Screaming for Adrenaline
Let's Get the Party Started
Anthem for the Young N' Restless
Nothing Compares To You
We are The Ones To Fall
Let Me (Lay My Love On You)
Santa Cruz are:
Arttu 'Archie' Kuosmanen – Vocals/Guitar
Joonas 'Johnny' Parkkonen – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Mitja 'Middy' Toivonen – Bass/Backing Vocals
Tapani "Taz" Fagerström – Drums
Santa Cruz Online:
Special mention must be made of first band on - Mason Hill and despite this being only their third gig ever, the band did a sterling job. Vocalist Scott Taylor sounds a bit like Danny Bowes (of Thunder fame) with his wonderfully bluesy voice and there were some excellent guitar solos provided by James Bird.
Being the first band on is always difficult and their full sound belies the fact that they haven't played live much in this formation but 'Out Of Reach' was amongst the best songs they played and I'll be keeping an eye out for them in the future.
The final band of the four band bill was another local act, Semper-Fi, who had quite a few fans in the audience. The band played an energetic set full of solid tunes performed with class and front man Paul Burns gives everything in his performance with 'Set Me Free' their most enjoyable song for me.