Despite being in the north east of Scotland and bypassed by most of the major tours Aberdeen has a lively underground music scene. Local do it yourself music fans Mike Clark and Julie Reed put together this showcase gig for four bands from the local area and further afield and a respectably large crowd turned up at The Tunnels and lapped it up.
Local four piece Deadfire opened the proceedings in fine style with their Sabbath meets Soundgarden tinged rock sound, full of old school riffs and modern edges. They are no slouches on the songwriting front and the band played like a much more experienced outfit, belying their scant three year history.
The star of the show though was tattooed man mountain singer Charlie Munro. Dominating the stage and the venue his impassioned growly vocals added life to the songs and like an old school rock frontman he cajoled or berated the crowd in equal measure until he got most of them down to the floor in front of the stage and involved with the performance.
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Maybe the intimidation factor was a little too edgy at times but I loved the way he got everyone to take one more step forward after every song until it was getting cosy down at the front! A terrific and promising performance.
Guttergodz are another Aberdeen band who have been refining their loud and proud version of sleaze rock for over six years now and have gained experience playing with many bigger bands up and down the country. Settled now as a three piece all eyes are inevitably drawn to singer/guitarist/frontman Jon Davie. Proudly showing off his tattoos and the best six pack in the room with his topless look he sang and strutted and solo'd and riffed his way through the show in great style.
Musically I can hear influences from Poison to The Wildhearts and Hanoi Rocks and the band are tight and have that rock star energy at the front but for me I couldn't find a song to really make me sit up and take more notice. A hugely competent band but one missing something for me so far.
While they are currently based in Aberdeen Estrella(star in Spanish) are originally from even further north and originally hail from Thurso. Formed by the three Gunn brothers they specialise in seventies and eighties style stadium rock a la Bon Jovi and Aerosmith and you'd never suspect their humble origins as they pouted and preened their way through a set of fist pumping anthemic hard rock.
Their debut album 'Come Out To Play' is given credibility in having ex Uriah Heep/Ozzy man John Sinclair in the producer's chair and they played much of it tonight. I have to say though that despite all their professionalism and sweeping grandeur the only song which stood out was their cover of Frankie Miller's 'Do It 'Til We Drop' and overall behind the bluster there wasn't much of substance for me. Many others present would disagree with me though going by the great reaction they got.
Hailing from Scotland's central belt, comparative southerners The Amorettes closed the proceedings with a typically blistering set. This feisty, flashy, fearsome three piece have been reviewed a few times now at Metaltalk. This is because they are a busy band in demand and pop up everywhere but also because they are bloody excellent!
Drummer Hannah and bass player Heather supply all the grit you'll ever need with thunderous rhythms and loads of in your face attitude while guitarist Gill supplies the riffs and the fluid flowing solos along with her strong and melodic vocals. Musically they are about taking the post punk Metal attitude of the early eighties and infusing it with some Joan Jett style and catchy choruses to end up with a sound which is both classic and modern, old roots replanted and growing fast.
Much will be made of The Amorettes being an all female band and they are a fine looking bunch of young women, but most of all what they are is a cheeky, cheery, stun grenade of a Metal band. 'Take Cover' typifies their sound with it's old school riff and high energy vibe and the crowd loved it.
The three band members gave their all in the sweaty late night atmosphere of The Tunnels and seemed genuinely surprised when the crowd cheered and chanted their name as the last notes of 'Hot 'N' Heavy' faded away. An encore of 'Shoot From The Hip' had to be conjured up to keep people happy and I'm not sure that these latterday queens of noise know how good they can be yet. I look forward to seeing them find out soon.
Get What's Coming
Bull By The Horns
Too Much Is Never Enough
Rock Me, Roll Me
Son Of A Gun
Hot 'N' Heavy
Shoot From The Hip