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Mitch Malloy @ The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton - Sunday 11th September 2016

posted 3 Oct 2016, 07:17 by Paul Woodward   [ updated 3 Oct 2016, 07:18 ]

Review by Woody

Aussies Kaato have worked with Malloy on their recent album which he produced and co-wrote on, the band also features as Malloy’s backing band on this European tour. The band provided a cool wake up set with a set of sleaze rock inspired by the likes of Hanoi Rocks, with strong melodic hooks especially on the choruses. I can’t say I was blown away by them as their brand of sleaze just doesn’t work for me, but they were entertaining enough and would go down well with the average Malloy fan quite well. Frontman Kurt Lowney has a touch of Mick Jagger to his stage presence and mannerisms and is an intriguing frontman, but I felt his vocals were a little too sharp (might have been a sound issue) and I found this a little bit distracting and it did dampen my enjoyment of their set. The rest of the guys were in contrast very static on stage allowing Lowney to been our main visual and Lowney does have the potential to be a very charismatic vocalist, I think he may have toned down his stage act to accommodate for a small and unknown audience. If you like eighties Scandi Sleaze and even some LA Strip sleaze ala LA Guns these guys should be right up your alley and definitely worth checking out.

Tonight’s main and local support is Black Country rockers Soley Mourning who I have become a big fan of in recent times. These guys have a unique sound which incorporates many influences and styles which can make them a bit of an acquired taste to some and I wasn’t sure how they’d go down tonight as they aren’t as commercial as many in AOR circles like. As a live act they are definitely one of the best, always full of energy and drive and they deliver their songs with panache and tonight is no different as the lads kick it up a notch and deliver a full on rock show. The set is tight and well picked and veers towards their high energy songs which maintains a great energy and keeps the audience interested and involved. I thoroughly enjoyed their set and buzzed off the energy they created.

These guys are natural performers, but the musicianship never falters because of them bouncing around the stage. Guitarist’s Andy Guest and Tone Chambers trade lead guitar duties as they rock to every riff never missing a lick and delivering some wonderfully delicious melodic guitar riffs and licks. They have a temporary drummer on the kit tonight who does the guys justice giving the guys a really solid and energetic backing projecting their music even better to the crowd. Vocalist Mat Partridge is a very entreating performer with a very energetic stage presence which draws you into the music and he has a great bluesy vocal which adds a really cool edge to their groove based rock. He puts me in mind of Glenn Hughes a lot vocally and I think these guys would go down immensely well playing with Hughes or even better the recently reformed Black Country Communion.

These guys have to be one of the most talented collection of musicians I’ve had the pleasure of seeing perform and it’s a shame they haven’t broken through yet – I think if the guys moved into a more defined blues based hard rock sound it would help them become a lot more accessible to causal music fans. I can’t recommend seeing these guys live enough, you’re guaranteed an explosive and entertaining performance. They have just celebrated a ten-year anniversary and the band show no signs of letting up now and long may they continue!

I’m a massive fan of Mitch Malloy, but this is the first time I’ve seen him live. Malloy hasn’t toured the UK in some time but has been a regular favourite at Firefest over the past decade, so it was hard to gage the sort of turn out he would get tonight. The turnout was a lot better than I thought it may have been and it was very clear all in attendance were big supporters of Malloy some people were visibly very excited and very animated during the course of the show.

He kicked off his show with a rambunctious run through of ‘Rock N Roll’ from his brand new album Making Noise afterwards he asked the audience to move closer as the crowd was spread out throughout the venue which they dutifully did. Malloy performed like a veteran and it was clear to me early on his set why he and his performances at Firefest are so well loved and received by melodic rock fans. His backing band were very much in the background and left the visual entertainment to Mitch which wasn’t a bad thing as that was exactly who we were here to see. There was no messing about or meandering spiel to fill his set out, he came to rock and he did just that and with him playing songs predominately from his beloved debut album the die-hard fans were more than a little bit happy.

His set was shorter than I’d expected – playing what I would call a festival set no one seemed to mind though as we got an hour of joyous and professionally executed melodic rock with Malloy’s voice sounding as strong as ever. If I’m honest it was all the old songs that had me grinning like a Cheshire cat and thoroughly enjoying every moment but the new song ‘My Therapy’ and his lost Van Halen track ‘It’s The Right Time’ fitted perfectly into the set.

The crowd lapped every song up and various people getting overly excited as their favourite is dusted off and rocked out – whether it was ‘Mission Of Love’, ‘Over The Water’, ‘Nobody Wins In This War’, ‘Cowboy and The Ballerina’ or the intensely emotively delivered ‘Our Love Will Never Die’.

I never thought I’d see Mitch live and this tour seemed to come out of the blue so I have to admit there was a little tear of joy in my eye during his set closer and iconic melodic rock song ‘Anything At All’ which is melodic rock awesomeness and Malloy gave it to us with a bang! Malloy announced that this tour was just the beginning and more shows and festivals would be high on the Malloy agenda for the future! Here’s hoping his small but loyal fan base are treated to an equal extensive UK tour next time around!