First up is local classic rock covers band Tranzam, can’t say I was overly excited at the thought of seeing a covers band. As the band plowed through the first couple of songs, I was a little under whelmed at the bands performance. They seemed a little uncomfortable on stage at first, but as the set progressed the band came into their own and by the end of their hour long set I was actually quite impressed, maybe they just needed a quick warm up! They seemed to go down well with the crowd as many people moved to the front to dance along to a very varied set-list.
Amongst the songs were - Ozzy Osbourne “No More Tears” & “Crazy Train”, Judas Priest “Breaking The Law”, UFO “Doctor, Doctor”, Thin Lizzy “Whiskey In The Jar”, Scorpions “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, a Led Zeppelin medley, Iron Maiden “Number Of The Beast”, Deep Purple “Black Night”. They even came back for an encore of a Rush song!
My favourite song of the set was probably AOR classic “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey. Actually it was at this point that the band started to win me over, it also got a great reaction from the audience. The only downside for me as I was watching Tranzam was the fan with the Pin-head (from horror film Hellraiser) tattoo, cool guy, scary as fuck tattoo! Now everyone who knows me knows I hate horror films and have developed a fear of the leather clad chain wielding SM loving one. So I spent a lot of time trying to avoid the gaze of Pin-head… but his bloody eyes seemed to follow me everywhere… so the light stayed on all night… j-j-j-just in case…!
When Stampede burst onto the scene in the early 80’s they were lumped into the NWOBHM genre. This tag does not sum up the style of the band, which I would call more Bluesy Melodic Rock as opposed to the more metal bands like Iron Maiden, who are normally associated with this tag. Barring the drummer it’s the original Stampede line-up of Reuben Archer - Vocals, Laurence Archer - Guitar & Colin Bond - Bass. Joining the guys on drums is Clive Edwards who has played in many classic rock bands through the 80’s and 90’s including UFO, when Laurence Archer’s played with them also. Tonight’s turn-out at The Robin wasn’t great, but there was obviously a few hardcore fans here to see the bands reunion performance.
They opened up with “Hurricane Town” from their recently re-issued album of the same name, and with its atmospheric intro it was a good choice for set opener. Unfortunately as the set progressed, the band seemed to lose their way. The sound was good, the playing was near faultless and tight, but something was missing from tonight’s performance! When I saw the band at JB’s, I was taken aback at a fabulous performance from a band I knew very little about. Tonight some of the fire and excitement from that gig seemed absent and left me a little disappointed.
Amongst tonight’s set were, “Missing You” & “Days Of Wine & Roses” from the Days of Wine & Roses EP , both of which went down well the crowd, and probably brought the loudest cheers of the night. “Photographs”, “The Runner”, “Baby Driver” & new songs “Humble Pie” & “Who’s Havin’ Fun” also got an airing. One of Laurence’s songs from his days with UFO also got dusted off in the form of “Back Door Man”. A new album is on the way with Reuben mentioning his favourite new song “Who’s Havin’ Fun” will definitely be on it!
The highlight of the set was “Send Me Down An Angel” a great slice of bluesy melodic rock, complete with sing-along chorus! They played the song twice, so it’s obviously a popular song within the band too, as it was the band’s encore. Reuben also managed to get the small crowd to sing along quite impressively to it as well… hey everybody “Shine A Light On Me”…
Whilst not the greatest gig I’ve ever been too, it is great to have Stampede back and hopefully with a new album and more gigs to follow!
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