metal talk
metal talk
  RIVAL SONS
53 Degrees, Preston
15th April 2013


Michael Foley

michael foley



rival sons

Every ten years or so, a band comes along that restores one's faith in rock and roll; The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, R.E.M, and.... Rival Sons.

Sure, there are many, many talented musicians, and many great records being made, but to these ears none of them have the ability to stir the soul, heart and feet in the way Rival Sons do. On LP, their music is stirring, and emotionally charged, but in concert these qualities take on an intensity that approaches the spiritual.

I first saw this band back in September 2012, and left the gig on an emotional high, that stayed with me for days, and I can say with total conviction that in over 30 years of gigging that it was the most exciting, rewarding and moving gig I had ever attended. My soul was moved...

Article continues below...



So when the opportunity to catch them in my home town arose, I leapt at the chance, but with a little apprehension. Was that first gig a never to be repeated high, leaving me desperate to recapture that euphoric feeling, or could Rival Sons pull it off again?

We arrived a little late at a packed 53 Degrees, but still managed to catch most of The Graveltones set. This Aussie guitar and drum duo play raw, powerful blues infused rock, topped with, er, gravelly vocals. I was particularly impressed with the drumming, which reminded of John Bonham in terms of sheer volume. The P.A was not really needed!

Their songs were memorable and entertaining, enlivened even further on a couple of tunes, by the prescence of Rival Son Robin Everhart, the bassman adding his trademark funky low notes to the already big beat of the Graveltones. This was a brilliant little set, and I will certainly be checking out The Graveltones again, at the earliest opportunity, and you like your blues a bit rough, ready and full of good vibes, then so should you.

Next up were the second, and final support act Ulysses. This Bath based four piece entertained with their quirky blend of Glam-Rock and west-coast style guitar wig outs. The muscianship was excellent, although a poor mix spoiled things, making the lead guitar virtually inaudible, and the vocals a bit muffled. It was a shame because Ulysses played some great songs, and with decent sound would have been brilliant.

On the final number, The Graveltones guys joined in, and we were treated to a superbly racous climax to a set that was good entertaining fun, despite the poor sound. I liked Ulysses, and hope to see them again, under better conditions. They deserve it!

rival sons

What can I say about Rival Sons? WOW! That's what! I need not have worried about the gig failing to capture the high I got the first time, for they were on fire. From the opening salvo of 'You Want To' and 'Get What's Coming' through to very final note of the encore, Rival Sons had the capacity audience enraptured throughout.

Singer Jay Buchanan has a rare charisma, and it's impossible to take your eyes off him, such is his stage presence. The lazy comparisons are with Jim Morrison and Robert Plant, although there is so much more to him than that. Sure, he has similar moves, but he is definitely his own man, and when he opens his mouth to sing, he makes a sound that is uniquely his own. From high pitched crooning, to full on screaming, Jay can do it all.

I cannot think of any other current singer who can touch him. He also looks as cool as f*ck! Sadly he was suffering from some throat problems, so he was not at his full peak at this gig. He still gave a totally impassioned performance, and despite looking a little unwell at times, did not let up on commitment, energy and soul. Jay Buchanan running on 80% power is still a world class singer.

Guitarist Scott Holiday played superbly throughout, and rivals Buchanan in the cool stakes. He looks and sounds like the perfect rock and roll guitar slinger. With his fantastic moustache, and psychedelic biker look, he was the other main visual focus of the band. From the subtle sounds of 'Sacred Tongue' to the sonic whirlwind of 'Manifest Destiny Pt.1' he never ceased to amaze with the sounds he produced from his instrument. The Guitar Hero is not as common as back in the 1970's, but Scott Holiday proves that the species still walks the earth.

Equally magnificent was the rythmn team of the aforementioned Robin Everhart, and powerhouse drummer Mike Miley. These two have a background in jazz and soul music, and it shows. Many bands can rock, but few can combine that with the ability to swing. Robin and Miley gave the performance a real funky groove rarely seen in rock and roll since Watts/Wyman era Stones.

rival sons

As for the gig setlist, it was simply perfect. The choice of material showed the breadth of genres that this band can tackle and pull off with style, from the full tilt hard rock of 'Wild Animal' at one extreme to the impassioned soul ballad 'Face of Light'. As I mentioned earlier, Jay's voice was not at his best, but in conjunction with the three magnificent instrumentalists, his performance was full of moving intensity.

The whole band gelled perfectly for the whole of the gig, and at points they combined in a way that lifted the music from merely excellent, to an almost religious experience, most obviously on 'Manifest Destiny Pt.1'. Scott Holiday unleashed the slashing guitar chord that opens the song, soon joined my Robin and Miley, and then Jay sang. His cracked, soulful passionate voice had an otherworldly quality, and when the band performed the haunting refrain "you know we're dealing with Godless men", the hairs on the back of my neck did rise.

I was no longer in a sweaty club room, but alone in an intimate setting with the band playing just for me alone. The other audience members were mere shadowy figures in the periphery of my vision, and although I was definitely in the room, it felt like I was somewhere else, with the music playing inside my head. All my worries and cares vanished, as I was consumed by the music, and although I am most definitely not a religious man, the whole moment had a real spiritual quality, that I am trying, with difficulty, to convey to you, dear readers.

I'm writing this 48 hours after the gig, and I'm still on a high. Music can move you, but great music can stir the soul. That night I heard truly great music.

That was just one highlight, in a show briming with magnificent performances, especially my favourite Rival Sons song 'Face of Light', and the truly stunning set closer 'Soul', which most truly did live up to his name. This was a spellbinding gig, by a band at the top of their game, and there is no-one who can touch them right now.

If you want to experience the heart and soul of rock music, then go and see Rival Sons, and if you want to catch them at intimate venues like 53 Degrees, then don't dither, for I predict that within a couple of years Rival Sons are going to be massive!

If this piece comes over as the lunatic ravings of a Rival Sons fanboy, then I make no apology for that, for I am one and I don't care who know's it! A fanboy that is, not a raving lunatic...

Setlist:

You Want To
Get What's Coming
Wild Animal
Gypsy Heart
Torture
Memphis Sun
All The Way
Until The Sun Comes
Jordan
Manifest Destiny Pt.1
Keep ON Swinging
Pressure & Time
Sacred Tongue
Face Of Light

Encores:
Drum solo
Burn Down Los Angeles
Soul

Special thanks to James Smith for the use of his pics.


beerbeerbeerbeerbeer...+ a whisky chaser...





18.4.13










 

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"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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