Killing For Company - Live review from Bristol June 12th
KILLING FOR COMPANY -- Live at Thekla Social
(ALL PICS BY ANDREW PRITCHARD)
The latest outing for Killing For Company saw them arrive a popular music venue -- a boat moored in the historic Mud Dock area of Bristol -- called Thekla Social.
A few drinks and some food saw the band gain their sea legs on the upper deck. The actual venue - below deck - was more cramped, while full of character. But more than a few nervous glances were cast as people noticed the lack of port-holes and exits. Occasionally you'd see people's eyes glaze over, and a unconvincing smile on their lips, as their thoughts drifted to the ending of James Cameron's blockbuster Titanic.
But all thoughts of nautical disasters were cast aside, as the good sized crowd for a tuesday night, were warmed up by an energetic set by the band Loci and a heavy riff-fest from Welsh metallers Ectospazz.
Killing For Company take to the stage and blaze straight into She Would Wait - an excellent anthemic opener with its hook filled chorus, which won the crowd over straight away.
That ploughed into the download single Enemies before moving onto The Boy Who which is as near as dammit the perfect rock song. Steve Williams 70 miles an hour bass riff is eventually joined by Andy Williams and Richie King's clanging guitar chords as Greg Jones sings one of the catchiest verses ever --- followed by a real sing-along chorus. By the end of this song it was game over, as the band had successful wowed another set of loyal followers.
For The Taking and Reasons saw the band continue in top form. The stylish playing of lead guitarist Andy Williams impressing all while Greg Jones in particular was growing in confidence and stature with every song. While hanging from the ledges or clambering across the front of the speakers, the singer made use of every inch of the stage in captivating style. His banter in between songs got longer as his confidence grew. His humour as enthralling as his stage presence.
For Secrets Of Empty Bottles it was the turn of rhythm guitarist Richie King to step to the fore. His sparkling, chiming and hypnotic riff was the core of this song. It shimmers and shines as the the rest of the band add layer by layer of melody to make this song the perfect future single.
Richie's style bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Pete Townshend in the way he throws his guitar in violent strokes around his tall thin frame while striking poses that wouldn't have looked out of place on a 70's Who tour.
Richie's playing is at the heart of this band -- the framework for the break-neck bass playing of Steve Williams, the delightful guitar sketches of Andy Williams and the frenetic and powerful drumming of Stuart Cable. Stuart’s drumming is starting to resemble that of John Bonham. And I don’t say that lightly. But like the Zep legend, Stuart pounds his drums with a savagery and ferocity that looks like his life depends on hitting each note as hard as he can. He pounds the skins so hard it’s a surprise they don’t break or run for their lives screaming for mercy!!
Soon the band reach the final song Say About Me. Greg sings the chorus to the audience and tells them they have to sing along. When he’s satisfied that the crowd know the words and when to come in, Greg announces “Bloody Hell! They’re better than me!” and asks the sound guy to hand microphones to everyone in the audience. The song is the archetypal anthemic tune and a rousing way to finish the set.
Once off stage, the band are mightily pleased with their performance. “That’s our best gig yet!” beams Steve Williams proudily. “I know we played a good gig because my nipples are itchy” declares Andy Williams. “My nipples are always itchy after we play a good gig!” No-one enquires further but Andy’s nipples are right. It was a very good gig. It’s amazing to think this was only Killing For Company’s seventh gig. They play with a tightness and understanding that makes it look like they have been on the road together for years. Unbelievably they will get even better. When they play next, this is a band not to be missed.
ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD by Jeff Collins is published on Sept 15th. It’s now available for pre-order on Amazon and all good bookstores. ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD is a humourous, bizarre and fascinating tale of the recording of some of the greatest rock albums ever at the legendary Rockfield Studios.