Hereford City Centric sent our local music wordsmith, Gavin Brown, to check out the Black Sabbath tribute act, taking place at The Booth Hall and supported by Herefordshire Punks on the up, The Youth Within. I am going to assume he really enjoyed it by the enthusiasm in his review.
The Booth Hall have launched a series of tribute-themed nights that have included Chili Peppers and Blink 182 tribute acts in the past. Finding myself in a crowd of super pumped Blink 182 fans a couple weekends ago on the night Blink tribute act One Eighty Two played was a pleasant change for me. The truth is, I have always found bands that do covers the most boring of the lot; especially those “pub” bands. Stale beer fragrance comes to mind. There is a difference between cover bands and tribute acts, although I love it when local bands do the occasional cover.
Tribute acts have something to live up to. They study the musicians/performers they are emulating and really have to put in the effort. There is always something distracting about them though, they never ARE the actual band, and I would hate to be a tribute performer knowing everyone is staring at every detail about me in search of the resemblance to the original person they are mimicking; guess that makes them pretty gutsy and confident too.
Written by Michelle Cuadra
FOREVER SABBATH & THE YOUTH WITHIN REVIEW
When the mighty Black Sabbath called it a day after almost fifty years as a band at the end of January, fans across the world were left devastated at the news, sure the many classic records they left behind will live (after) forever, but the fact that you will never have the chance to see them again in a live environment (probably, never say die, I mean never!) leads you into the void of disappointment.
Thank God (or the other one) then for Forever Sabbath, a band who will forever carry on the legacy of Black Sabbath on stage. Having thankfully seen the real Sabbath live a few years ago, the thought of hearing those bona fide metal classics live once again was a tantalizing thought and the band didn’t disappoint in that front.
First up tonight though were Ledbury punk band The Youth Within who warmed up the audience, eager to hear some stone-cold Sabbath grooves, with their fiery brand of upbeat punk rock. On paper, this meeting of punk and heavy metal may seem an odd match to some but after all, Sabbath had The Ramones supporting them back on the Never Say Die tour in 1978. When that meeting of amazing bands happened,
The Ramones didn’t go down too well with the Sabbath faithful and had to put up with constant booing and things being thrown at them, but thankfully, there’s none of that tonight and The Youth Within are given a warm reception by the audience. The bands quickfire, three-minute punk anthems which were both catchy and punchy, and their tight rhythms got the crowd more than warmed up for the main event.
The band are playing a number of dates in Hereford in the next couple of months as well as a spot at the Rebellion Festival and are not to be missed at any cost.
After this fiery start, it was time for the headliners to take the stage and as the strains of the intro tape faded out, Forever Sabbath erupted into the unmistakable opening riff of After Forever and away we go. Classic followed classic, all delivered with an air of gusto as the audience banged their heads and nodded along to the music with N.I.B, Into The Void and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath being played early on. The Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album was touched on a lot more later with this year being 45 years since the album was recorded and the title track sounds as timeless as ever and an airing of Sabbra Cadabra in particular, being a joy to hear as well.
Children Of The Grave from my personal favourite album Master Of Reality, went down a storm as did the band’s renditions of Symptom Of The Universe and Under The Sun from Vol. 4.
The Dio years were paid tribute to as well with Heaven And Hell proving a particular favourite before the band bowed out with the band’s most well-known songs including Iron Man, War Pigs and, of course, Paranoid to rousing applause.
The band themselves did justice to material that some would say is sacred with guitarist Chris, silver cross proudly in display doing his best Tony Lommi impression, bassist Paul cool and collected, working in tandem with hard hitting drummer Mick as Butler and Ward and singer Bob with his Ozzy mannerisms down to a tee ( and doing a fine job as Ronnie James Dio too) although his Bristol accent took a bit of getting used to when you kept on expecting a Birmingham one!
With Black Sabbath having so much classic material, the band couldn’t possibly play it all and sadly there was no renditions of Supernaut or Snowblind but Forever Sabbath chose their set well and delivered on all fronts. Black Sabbath may be sadly gone but Forever Sabbath live on in their memory.
Review by Gavin Brown
Nick Vidal-Hall for Booth Hall Photography