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Electus + The House Of Ghosts + Crows and Crosses + The Loved and Lost @ The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton – Wednesday 6th July 2016

posted 12 Jul 2016, 15:16 by Paul Woodward

Review By Woody

When Electus announced this headline show at The Robin a few months ago I quickly added it to my gig diary and thought I’d take advantage of this opportunity to check out these local rockers at my favourite venue while I had the chance. Add to that a very intriguing selection of support bands, all of whom I was keen to see after some minor research piqued my interest in their very different brands of rock, it always promised to be an entertaining evening. Sadly, clashing with the Wales European Championship semi-final match was always going to effect the turn out for tonight’s band showcase, even I came close to staying home to witness it but thankfully a few peeps’ still made the trip out to support some live original rock at The Robin!

First up was Worcester based female fronted metal band The Loved and Lost who were playing Wolverhampton for the first (and hopefully no last) time. They stormed the stage determined to take no prisoners with their energetic performance and rip snorting metal riffage and thunderous break neck rhythms. I was blown away by their confident and hugely entertaining stage presence, normally female fronted bands let their vocalist take the limelight and fade into the background – not these guys they were bouncing around and rocking to every beat and riff. Technically these guys are a little heavier and sharper than the style of music I normally listen too but I still really enjoyed their songs and was truly impressed with their song writing. They have some slight symphonic touches to their sound but they are more of a straight ahead metal band.

Frontwoman Jordan Quinn has a humongous voice and for such a petite woman having the epic sounding voice that she does left my jaw agape on a few occasions! She has an amazing vocal and that should help propel the band to larger crowds in the not too distant future. I hadn’t expected such a full on performance from tonight’s openers, but they really made the most of their time on stage and seemed to enjoy it immensely which made them even more pleasurable to watch! They were also great at getting the audience involved and they find it very easy to generate an awesome atmosphere.

Songs amongst their set included ‘Insomnia’, ‘Undone’, ‘Drag Me Down’, ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘Mister Ignorance’

A young band to keep an eye on, the have an exciting sound and crowd winning stage presence that will see them rapidly increasing their fan base with every passing live show! If they are in your neck of the woods do yourself a favour and go and check them out, trust me you won’t be disappointed!

Kidderminster’s Crows & Crosses were next up and if I had been them I would have been exceedingly nervous following the explosive performance from The Loved and Lost, luckily for us the band showed no signs of nerves and put on an equally impressive and powerful performance. The Crows have a blues based modern rock sound akin to Black Stone Cherry – so it was no surprise they slipped a BSC cover into the mix!

I have to say they sounded fantastic and I found that their guitar groove and vocalist Nick Pagett’s gritty voice really got me rockin’ and made a real lasting impression on me. Fans of this style of whiskey soaked biker rock will think the sun shines out the Crow’s asses and their flawless and powerful live performance would definitely have rockers nodding in agreement with me.

They picked a great set-list which never lost my interest and showcased the band in the best way possible and with such a booming sound should easily impress fans on bigger stages. They played ‘The Devil In Me’ and ‘One Lonely Road’ amongst their short but impressive set.

If there was one perfect word to describe The House Of Ghosts, it is Ethereal because they are just that in every possible way from the vocal style to the keyboards to the guitars and rhythms. Their brand of melodic rock is extremely atmospheric, with touches of Prog but the band are far too commercial to really justify that label – it’s the atmospherics that swing me into the Prog playground.

Given my own personal musical tastes it was nice to have something a little softer on the menu to wrap my lugholes around and I have to say I really enjoyed their quite unique sound. Vocalist Gina Stone has a voice that puts me in mind of Kate Bush she also has mannerism’s that also make me think of Bush and as the set progresses I can’t help but think The House Of Ghosts sound is like a rocked up version of Kate Bush! Not a bad thing in my books!

I can see these guys appealing to a very eclectic audience given the mixture of sounds and flavours in their song writing. I of course gravitated to their more commercial songs like the very memorable and radio friendly ‘Magnetic’ but I think the drive and infectious nature of ‘Crushing Butterflies’ made that specific song a personal highlight amongst a very strong and entertaining set.

Electus frontman Russell Peake takes to the stage unexpectedly wearing face paint and a headdress something that not only lends an extra layer of visual performance but to a degree accentuates the slight alternative vibe to the band’s music. Peake and the rest of Electus determined not to be outdone by their impressive support bands storm through a non-stop rock n roll show which sees the band run through an impressive catalogue of no frills rock! While the band as a whole might not be as bouncy the energy in their music is enough to keep an evening of enjoyable rock n roll going! It was a good night to be in the crowd as all the bands were on fire and having great sets and Electus were definitely firing on all cylinders and making the most of their time on the Robin stage.

While Electus play no nonsense rock and roll, they do have a quirky angle and an alternative vibe to their music which helps them stand out amongst other similar sounding bands, accentuated even more so tonight by Peake’s onstage attire. Peake’s vocal style also pushes things in a more contemporary way which gives the band a definite sound all of their own which if you listen to a lot of music like I do is very refreshing and makes you more appreciative of them as a live act. There is nothing worse than listening to bands who are so engrossed in a sound or genre you feel like you’re listening to the same song done by a hundred bands – the blues rock genre is littered with them at the moment!

‘Fake Love’ has a really quirky and unusual chorus but the hook is there and it really gets stuck in your head and as Russ expects the commercial ‘Just One Night’ gets a good reaction from the audience and deservedly so as it is a real highlight of their set. We also get ‘Sunflower’, ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Rider’ and a brand new song ‘Ticket to Nowhere’ which I really liked the sound of and it was quite different so I’m intrigued to hear where the Electus song writing is going on their next album.

I’m loathe to say my highlight of their set is a cover – especially given the awesome original songs that Electus had already played – but this was ‘Wild and Wonderful’ god damn it!!! Peake had played with Ricky Warwick on a few acoustic dates previously so playing an iconic Almighty song was of course a good idea. They did a great job with a song I’ve been addicted to for more years than I care to admit, Peake’s vocals also gave the song an Electus spin and put their own alternative stamp on it but they never lost the joyous rock n roll roar that is the essence of this sing along classic!

This was my first time seeing Electus live and I’m very sure it won’t be my last following their highly entertaining rock n roll show.

It was a real pleasure to see all the bands putting everything into their set’s and they all had top nights which was great for winning new fans especially for someone like myself who had never seen any of these bands live before! It was great night out full energetic performances, memorable songs and an all-round fun night of rock!

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