A gig to “Give Peace a chance” at the Victory has a certain irony about it when it has a line up including one Metal, two charged Blues bands and some angry Punks. Let’s face it, who expects to get any peace from such musical intensity.
Onwards…..the night started off with Sweet Talk, who make the southern, shuffling blues that was a trademark of the great Stevie Ray Vaughan look very easy. They flew through a set that mixed light with shade, subtlety with machine-gun-palm-muting-speed-freakery, their own youth with a musical maturity that surely should have belonged to headliners The Troy Redfern Band. Sound engineering is easy when a band makes themselves sound this good, so good that I didn’t really know who I should be watching, I’m naturally drawn to the guitar work, but with each musician adding to the collective meant it messed with my brain. No painting by numbers here, just passion for their art.
Sounds like: SRV met Dave Mustaine “down the Crossroads” before passing out in a Texas Flood of their own making.
As soon as Terminal Rage began their set, they were greeted by a sea of bobbing heads in the crowd. You couldn’t help but appreciate the raw, punk energy that fuelled the atmosphere. The buzz was high, especially as it was new bassist Raph’s first gig….for thirty years! Lead singer/guitarist Rich spits out the lyrics, often directed at those smarmy politician types, whilst thrashing his guitar with genuine, vein popping anger, with self-penned songs like “Casual Racist” and “Guilty” letting you know they are no friends of the current Government.
Terminal Rage’s highlights were definitely a cover of Anti-Nowhere League’s ‘So What?’, which is a personal favourite of mine, as well as a cover of The Old Firm Casuals, ‘A Gang Like Us’. Bob bashes on the drums, and while he may be hiding at the back, he’s certainly not forgotten, as he sang an impressive version of The Clashes, ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’. Over all, it’s always amazing to be at a gig and have the crowd singing (which was more like shouting) along, whilst strangers acknowledge each others appreciation. Some may say that ‘punk is dead’, but Terminal Rage proved that term obsolete demonstrating that it is very much alive, angry and kicking. More gigs please, fellas!
Sounds like: David Cameron got run over by a Sex Pistols truck whilst Hard Skin walked over him wearing their DM’s, then they all went for dinner with Anti Flag, Lagwagon and Propoghandi.
A Hundred Suns
As the seething Punks cleared off-stage, A Hundred Suns strode in to replace them. This band has grown so much over the year, each performance has been a step forward from the previous one. What do I love about them? They look like a band, they fit together, despite being very different stage animals. Claire takes centre stage and oozes excitement – her love of performing shines and fronts up some masterful Metal groovy tunes – it’s like The Almighty bred with Pantera’s hate gene and Sepultura’s ginger dreads with a slice of………well no, actually, they are way too much of their own to give clever comparisons. They groove, undoubtedly: Richard’s guitar kicks out the big, ear-catching riffs and Claire’s vocal style and bounce deliver for me equal amounts of convention and invention. I know, I know…..sounds confusing, but they deliver energy, controlled, beautiful power and I can’t wait to hear their new album they are recording. They belong – big venue, small venue – who cares, they belong!
Quick change of equipment on stage and one of Herefordshire’s “most respected” take up the baton. The Troy Redfern band have been gigging their faces off this year, even managing some dates in dark and spooky Scandinavia. Masses of experience shown in an instant with the sound check – hit a chord, check the mic – “bit more top end please, Rich” bang, job done, ready to go. They play the sort of Blues I love – dirty, edgy, loud and electric, a mix of their own and covers they have made their own. I’ve not seen a bad show from them, each one is full of passion and just as Sweet Talk did, they blend the dark and light of the Blues with aplomb. And just to highlight how much of a Bluesman Troy is, he dragged Sweet Talk’s guitarist up for a jam, trading lead breaks, encouraging each other with nothing more than a nod. All this talent, Hereford should thank its lucky stars.
Sounds like: Jim Morrison bopped in a club with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then decided to party back at Cream’s house with Fleetwood Mac
The event was put on by Rich Lovell and John Hales with profits going to Hope Not Hate and Greenpeace.