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Stone Broken/Last Alibi: G2, Glasgow

johnny main
Words: Johnny Main, Pictures: Carlan Braid

stone broken

Stone Broken, one of the UKs best up and coming bands, make a long overdue return to a Glasgow stage with local band Last Alibi ably supporting them, and members of The Broken Army are more than up for a bit of something.

The fact that Maiden Scotland (surely Scotland's premier Iron Maiden tribute band) bass player Allen Bell and guitarist Andy Christie from local noted acts Swamp Born Assassins were part of teh line-up had me suspecting that I was in for a quality set, however, I wasn't quite prepared for how good these guys actually were.

The band had obviously done their homework as they'd managed to pull a sizeable and eager crowd, and as they started off their set, their sound was together from the beginning. Frontman Jamie Ramage looks and sounds like Spike from the Quireboys, but that's where the similarities end, really. Ramage is an aimiable chap whose banter with the audience between songs is sure to bring a smile to your face whilst his vocal performance is impeccable song after song.stone broken

The band had settled into the groove by song two but the early promises of the sound get away slightly here as Christie's guitar is unfortunately lost in the mix early on. There's a relaxed feeling on stage as Ramage and Christie share a joke, and just when you think you have the measure of the song there's a slow instrumental section which allows some fine harmonica playing from Ramage and a sympathetic guitar solo, which is clearly audible by now and shows off Christie's incredible talent.

New single, 'Vice City' ("out soon" we're told by Ramage) gets a good reaction form the audience who seem to be more familiar with it that I was, and it's a full-on rocker as Bell and drummer, Callum Flint, show how solidly they work together. 'The Prophet And The Thief' follows which is more of a slower paced, bluesy number that's really just a vehicle for Ramage to show off his incredible talent once again. Seriously, this guy has some set of pipes on him, and he knows how to use them to their full effect – absolutely outstanding!

The tempo was brought right back up with 'Caught It On The River' which is a barnstorming number, and allows Christie to let loose with his most impressive solo, and the smile on his face tells you everything you need to know about how much fun he's having. A cover of The Animals 'House Of The Rising Sun' is slipped in and has the audience singing along, and by some this may seem to be a strange choice of cover, but the band take it to a new level – gritty vocals and a strong but leisurely guitar and heavy drums make this a new take on an old classic, and Christie adding in a bit of Zeppelin on at the end being the icing on the cake.

stone broken

The band wind up their set with 'Generation Dead' and it's one last hurrah as the curtain comes down on a great band who I might not have been aware of an hour before, but they're certainly on my radar now and it's a band I'm certainly look forward to seeing again in the not so far future, hopefully.

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stone broken

Last Alibi Setlist:
Angel Instincts
Drive Me To Distraction
Vice City
The Prophet And The Thief
Caught It On The River
House Of The Rising Sun
Burning Out
All Over Me
Generation Dead

Last Alibi are:
Jamie Ramage – Vocals
Andy Christie – Guitars
Allen Bell – Bass Guitar
Callum Flint – Drums

Stone Broken must have the most patient fans in the world, and no mistake.

This gig was actually supposed to be in November last year, as frontman Rich Moss explains half way through the evening, before explaining that the gig was cancelled when the band were gifted the opportunity to support Glenn Hughes on his ill-fated UK tour (more details here if you missed all the comings and goings) and due to their schedules, Stone Broken haven't had a chance to make it up to their Glasgow fanbase – but that didn't stop them coming out in force, and in forgiving mood, as the Walsall quartet finally pitched up at the city's G2.

A quick changeover and a minimal soundcheck after Last Alibi, and the stage was set for a long-awaited return of the band and they walked onstage to a heroes welcome. A quick "Hello!" from Moss before the put in another sensational performance, the like of which is getting them rave reviews across the country and even in Europe.

Making the most of their debut album, 'All The Time', the band sail through the set with no sound issues and looking like they'd not rather be anywhere else. Bass player Kieron Conroy and guitarist Chris Davis make the most of the ample stage, considerably larger than the one they made their debut Glasgow appearance on, whilst at the back, drummer Robyn Haycock keeps the thunderous drum beats at the back solid and true.

Before 'Be There', there was a shout-out to one of the fans in the audience who helped the band land a support tour with Cheap trick (of which, sadly, there are no dates north of Manchester), before Moss presents him with a drum skin and drumstick (both used on the recording of the bands second, and as yet untitled album), which is a nice touch and it shows that both band and their fans go the extra mile when it really matters.

Talking of their second album, the band showcase a couple of tracks from it to the delight of the audience, and it looks like this is another great release from them if these two songs are anything to go by. First up is 'The Other Side Of You' which features some fast and furious guitar playing from Moss and Davis whilst 'Doesn't Matter' sees the band laying down a much heavier groove then perhaps the songs from their debut album have.

Moss is in his element as he really stretches his voice here but his efforts are rewarded with one off the outstanding performances of the night. There's no firm release date for the second album due to touring commitments, explains Moss, so it'll most likely be next year but it will be well worth the wait I'm sure.

stone broken

Back to their current album and for me, 'Let Go' was one of the highlights of the set as Haycock laid out the solid beat during the long intro as Moss got the crowd energised as Davis put everything into his performance as he covers every inch of the stage in an energetic performance. 'This Life', Moss explains, was written during a tough time in his life time and as is about the way out of bad times come good things, and its touching that the track is respectfully dedicated to Chris Cornell, who died only a few days previously.

'Wait For Me' is the big ballad moment of the evening, in fact the only ballad moment of the evening, and the crowd do their best on backing vocals as they swayed from side to side. It's something of a watershed moment in the set, and it's a truly great song that should always have a place in the Stone Broken set list. There's no time to dwell, though as the band launch into 'Just A memory' before closing the main set with 'Fall Back Down'. Stone Broken's career trajectory in the last twelve months has been significant and it'll be interesting to see how far the band travel during the rest of 2017 and beyond.

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stone broken

Stone Broken Setlist:
Stay All Night
Be There
Let Me Go
The Other Side Of Me
Another Day
Doesn't Matter
This Life
Save Tomorrow
Wait For You
Just A Memory
Fall Back Down
Larger Than Life
Not Your Enemy

Stone Broken are:
Rich Moss – Vocals/Guitars
Chris Davis – Guitar/Vocals
Kieron Conroy – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Robyn Haycock – Drums/Vocals


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