Jack Viper and Red Star Rebels rock the hell out of Cardiff
The book is written so let the celebrations begin. With the manuscript for ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD now in the hands of the publishers, it's time to kick back and rock out. I haven't been to a gig since Budgie back in the middle of December. (That's last year for heavens sake!!!) To rectify this error, I head down to the Point in Cardiff, which is a cool venue. It's a converted church. The bands play on a stage where the pulpit used to be and the crowd stand where the old aisles would have been. It has a very goth atmosphere and I just love going there.
Anyway, I head inside to find the third act on the bill just starting. Now usually, I find the third act is more often than not terrible or, if you're lucky, average. Tonight I extremely bloody lucky. The first act on is Jack Viper and boy are they good. Even with a temporary stand-in singer, they absolutely rocked the house!!! This is sleaze rock at its best. Kick-ass tunes, bad-ass attitude and tonnes of talent. Guitarist Eddie Shredder sprays out cool riff after hot lick, while Mr Kiss on bass keeps the rhythm hot and steady along with the superb skin-pounding of The Ferlanger on drums. Songs like Walk the Line and g.f.y had the crowd singing along in a one massive, leaping mass of bodies. With usual singer Jay R out of action for personal reasons, the band enlisted the help of friend David Domminney on vocals. He did a superb job. After the gig, Eddie Shredder assured me that Jay R will be back soon. He also told me that the band are also getting ready to go into the studio to record a new ep.
These guys are good. If you get a chance to see them - don't miss it. This band is going far!
Next up were the Red Star Rebels. This is a band that oozes charisma. I've not see a lead singer dominate and command the stage so much since a very young Jon Bon Jovi, strutting the stage, in 1988 just before Slippery When Wet was released. He reminded me back then of a young Mick Jagger. Bon Jovi were superb that night and its a shame they decided to turn their back on glam metal and turn to pop-rock. They could have been great. But back to the Rebels. (see the top three pics at top of blog) Singer Blacky Rebels has geniune stage presence. He is captivating. Guitarist Meady is also a revelation. Superb. At the start of Too Young Too Care he has two guitars, one slung over each arm, and proceeds to play the both. Outstanding. A cracking set is over all too soon. They could have gone on for at least another two hours and the crowd still wouldn't have been satisfied. 2007 is definitely the year of the Rebel!!!!
Next up - top of the bill - The LA Guns. Strangely, and sadly, they are very disappointing. Seeing Tracii Guns (See final two pics) in action was great but he seemed a little muted and quiet. To make matters worse, the sound was terrible. The vocals were muffled making every song blend into the next. The band seemed to lack the hunger and excitement of The Red Star Rebels and Jack Viper. It's a shame as the LA Guns are a great band. But everyone has an off night, I guess.
After the gig I chat for half an hour with Meady from the Rebels, who is a great bloke. The band are a level headed bunch and are doing all the right things. They are shortly due to make their first album. It should be a smash hit!!
I stagger home at 1am - having enjoyed a throughly good evening. The next gig I see has a lot to live up too if its to outdo tonight.
Long live rock!!!!!!
ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD by Jeff Collins is to be published in the summer 2007 by University of Wales Press (Europe) and University of Chicago Press (USA).
It will be available from www.amazon.co.uk/www.amazon.com