Wed 11th February 2009
Support from Stone Gods, Sevendust
My how times have changed, I can remember when the Carling Academy used to be a cinema and many youthful hours spent watching crap films!!! Now it's one of Bristol's foremost music venues and for a medium capacity place, isn't too bad…not the same as your sweaty flea pit but intimate enough to not feel like a barn.
Anyway, on to tonight's "BIG ROCK SHOW". I arrived mid way through Sevendust's set; which was good as I only had to endure half of their overplayed, mindlessly dull, 3rd rate nu-metal noodling. In the mid 90's you couldn't throw a stone without hitting a band like this but most have now died out - for a reason we must suspect. The killer blow when in a fit of apparent spontaneity they attempt snatches of covers or Bark At The moon, Number of The Beast and Master of Puppets which highlight not only their own technical shortcomings but also how shit their own material is.
You would expect a band featuring half of the Darkness to be shit but I have to admit, they're not too bad - certainly in comparison to their former band. A lot heavier than the Darkness ever were and minus the god awful squealing vocals, they play a set of half decent kick ass heavy rock that displays a far darker and more aggressive edge than you might imagine. Ritchie Edwards doesn't have the strongest of voices and you suspect he isn't a natural frontman, the performance is a bit forced, but this was ok stuff - not so good as to make me go and buy the album but good enough to keep me from the bar.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Black Stone Cherry. I've seen them once before supporting Aerosmith at Hyde Park and they were pretty good as I recall. I also kind of enjoyed the first album, not in a compulsive "I must put this on to listen to" kind of way but in a "the wife has put it on in the car" kind of way. This show was pretty much what I expected though... bland, faceless and corporate American would be arena rock. They wear the right clothes, they make the right moves, the songs all have "the big chorus" but it all seems so derivative to my jaded ears. It doesn't help that the sound is pretty gash, very muffled - t's all very well getting a sponsorship from Peavey for free amps but make sure you pick ones that don't sound like shit!!! The drummer is also highly irritating, I couldn't help wishing he'd stop cocking around behind the kit, pointing at the crowd and gurning and actually tune his snare drum so it didn't sound like he was playing a fucking biscuit tin!!!
I think it says a lot that we retired to the bar and discussed what Christmas presents we're buying with the band on in the background than actually watching them any more..thank fuck I missed the drum solo!!!!