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Molly Hatchet @ The Robin, Bilston (14/12/11)

posted 8 Feb 2012, 12:33 by Paul Woodward

Review By Woody

Tonight’s opening act is the youthful Naked Sunday, seems an odd name as I thought everyone had naked Thursdays not Sundays, or is that just me? I don’t want to knock the band as the seemed to be having the time of their lives and enthusiastically performed for tonight’s assembled collection of classic rock fans. For some reason the band failed to grab my interest, I think some of this was down to the mashed up mix of influences shown within their songs. We went from Rock-a-Billy to Sleaze Rock to straight ahead Melodic Rock to even some modern country rock.

A couple of songs I thought were ok, especially one of the ballads but on the whole the band failed to light my fire. I have to give kudos to the band for putting their all into their performance and making the most of their time on stage. Whilst live music is never perfect, nor should it be, certain members of the band were well below par tonight. They are a young band and hopefully with experience and a few stronger songs the band will come into their own. In essence lots of things about this band should make them be my cup of tea, so I’ll keep an eye on how they progress, cause they have the right attitude they just need the songs to match.

I know I wasn’t the only one who was totally gobsmacked to learn the main support slot was to be filled by a covers band! Yeah you read right a covers band! Personally I would have put Naked Sunday on in this slot as an original act. To make matters worse Silent High were not that good either, these guys were going through the motions and performed like they do at every pub they play at, emotionless statues.

As musicians you can’t knock them, they played a set of songs near faultlessly. They obviously know these songs inside out and I would say perform regularly on the covers circuit. Had I been in a pub slowly getting pissed they would have provided a nice background noise of extremely well known and familiar rock songs, but for a gig where your attention is focused on them, err no, not for me. I still can’t believe a cover band got this slot, I’m aghast.

You probably don’t need me to name the set list; you could probably name it yourself no surprises here. Van Halen, Metallica, The Cult, Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys ect.....yawn...

Since I’ve become involved with Midlands Rocks I have taken a few opportunities to see bands I probably wouldn’t have gone to see before. So there are a few classic bands I have chosen to take the opportunity to see at least once and tick off my list of bands that many deem as classic. Molly Hatchet are one of those bands, I don’t know the band that well, but when the opportunity arose to see them I took it with arms wide open. These southern rock legends have been going since 1975 and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them play in the Black Country.

I was unfamiliar with most of the set and was totally unaware the band had a new album out called Justice. I had thought this was a nostalgia trip tour, but glad to see it wasn’t and a good crowd had turned up for this rare opportunity to see the band, and I believe this was one of only three gigs in the UK too.

So what did I think, I don’t know what to say really, the night never seemed to lift off and unfortunately Molly Hatchet didn’t get the party started either. It just seemed lifeless and whilst the crowd was noisy and appreciative it never got me buzzing. Maybe my unfamiliarity with the songs didn’t help. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad gig as the band did their best to put on a show and Phil McCormack was an energetic and talkative front man. It just wasn’t for me.

Performance wise it was Guitarist Bobby Ingram who shone out, he pumped out some great riffs and solo’s and the crowd adored him for it. It was his guitar performance which maintained my interest and stopped me from having an early night.

The Robin seems to be a popular venue with bands, on various levels, good sound, good layout and decent stage space obviously appeal but for Phil tonight he couldn’t enthuse enough about the venue’s hospitality and the amazing food they had been served!

I think we got a cross section of the band’s material over the years and amongst the set list was, ‘Whiskey Man’, ‘Bounty Hunter’, ‘Gator Country’, ‘American Pride’, ‘Fall Of The Peacemakers’, ‘Justice’, ‘Breakin All The Odds’, ‘Into The Drakness Of The Light’, ‘Been To Heaven – Been To Hell’ and for the encore there was a cover of southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ and ‘Flirtin With Disaster’.

The band seemed to go down well with the diehard Molly Hatchet fans, but there were a few dicks about. The band were constantly thanking the fans for their responses and came across as very humble but as the band left a few fans pushed towards the front to shake hands with band members as they left the stage. One fan started openly aggressively complaining to Bobby Ingram about not playing a song ‘Boogie No More’ I think. Bobby tried to deal with it diplomatically all smiles explaining set lists would differ from night to night. The fan though was having none of this and for some reason seemed to demand a reason why his song wasn’t been played. Bobby obviously upset and shocked had to just walk away, then a few people by him just grabbed Bobby’s mic stand and like vultures picked it clean of plectrums. To these people I openly say you were a bunch of dicks.

I probably wouldn’t go see Molly Hatchet again, but I’m really glad I took this opportunity to see a band with such a long legacy and popular body of work behind them.

Did anyone else notice American actor Sam Elliott was on bass? Well I think Tim Lindsey is a total doppelganger!

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