Review By Woody
This review is brought to you courtesy of pissed up vision! Chatting away to a few people shortly after arriving at The Slade Rooms one of my contact lenses literally pops out, so I spent the gig with blurry vision and attempting to not squint or unintentionally wink at anyone I spoke too! I don’t think anyone noticed......except for the dude on the opposite side of the hall who found said lenses stuck on the back of his leather jacket!
I’m still to be won over by The Slade Rooms as a venue, I’m glad it exists as it makes it possible for smaller bands to play at a city centre venue. I have been too far worse venue’s but I think the venue’s biggest let down has been the quality of the sound, an issue I know I’m not alone in thinking. Tonight though I was surprised and glad that these sound issues seem to have been rectified as this was the best sound quality any band I’ve ever seen here has had!
I’ve been really looking forward to this gig for a while as I really like Stampede and Y&T always deliver a quality show night in night out! I’ve seen Y&T a couple of times over the past few years at JB’s in Dudley, a venue which the band never missed and I think played 5 or 6 years on the trot until it’s unfortunate closure. I learnt that the band were a little unhappy about the curfew here as they like to hang out and grab a beer with their fans afterwards, something I’m sure that the band liked about JB’s who had a curfew of when Sam say’s it time fook off!
Stampede have classed tonight’s gig as a hometown show because most of the band now live in or around the Black Country! Singer Reuben Archer shouts “How You Doin’, Wolvo!” which is greeted by some cheers and a big cheesy grin on my face not only at the nice touch of acknowledging the City’s localised nickname but as I’m thinking finally some pronouncing this City’s name properly!
The one thing I always notice about this band is what a quality live act they are and they are so at ease when performing. Stampede’s songs are made for the live arena and have a great energy to them which is infectious and I could hear a few other die hard stampede fans enjoying this short but sweet collection of blues infused rock n roll! Reuben’s vocals were top notch and it’s hard to fault his showmanship as he keeps his the crowd entertained.
I would have liked to have heard more form the new album “A Sudden Impulse” but with such a short set time they had to choose their set list carefully! They opened with an old live fan favourite from back in the day when the band started “Shadow Of The Night” which incidentally is available for free download via the band’s website! We also get “Having Fun”, “Send Me Down An Angel” and “Moving On” but it was the Stampede classics “Days Of Wine & Roses” and “Missing You” which stole the show and got the crowd cheering for more!
The band leave to cheers and applause as Reuben thanks the crowd for their support and lending their voices to their songs! Definitely a band I would highly recommend everyone to check out when they play near you – I already can’t wait to see the band tear it up in Prestatyn at Hard Rock Hell.
We are promised a lengthy set from the legendary Californian rockers Y&T and that’s exactly what we get for well over two hours – hit after hit! It never fails to amaze me what a killer live band these guys are, seasoned pros that always please their fans. Vocalist Dave Meniketti promises us early on to expect some surprises amongst the set, but even the surprises are met with just as loud a response from a rabid crowd of Y&T die-hards! Y&T have a built up a loyal and vocal fan base in the UK with their heavy and extensive touring up and down the country.
When Dave gives the obligatory “how are you, Wolverhampton!” bit he is met with a loud roar, but is then genuinely shocked to learn that when he asks “but how many of you are actually from Wolverhampton?” he is met with a mass roar! The Black Country Rock’s don’t you know! They kick off their set with the apt “On With The Show” from their latest opus “Facemelter” which is greeted like an old friend by the audience! And the band mange to keep the crowd loud and responsive all night long with a relentless assault of rock goodness!
This is the first time I’ve seen the band without bassist Phil Kennemore who sadly passed away earlier this year, Dave dedicates the beautifully melodic ballad “If You Want Me” to him. Taking on bass duties is Brad Lang, who does a grand job and seems to love every moment of his involvement with the band!
The track that wins my favourite moment of the night is the majestically melodic “I’ll Keep On Believin’” which has me rockin as were bombarded with its sing along beauty! “Summer Time Girls” is also another highlight, although I know I may be on my own on this one but I SOOOOOO miss the keyboards on this song live!
Big thumbs up go to drummer Mike Vanderhule who keeps his drum solo brief whilst the band take a much needed breather late on in the set! Guitarist John Nymann also gets a crack as front man as he sings “The Squeeze” which is followed by rapturous applause!
Amongst this epic set we also hear “Black Tiger”, “Dirty Girl”, “Mean Streak”, “Midnight In Tokyo”, “Shine On”, “Winds Of Change”, “Hungry For Rock”, a snippet of “Let Me Go”, “I Believe In You”, “Hurricane”, “Rescue Me”, “Looks Like Trouble” before rounding of their set with a stomping crowd pleasing blast through “I’m Coming Home”.
As the band are offstage the crowd are very noisy doing their best to get the band to return including a very vocal Peter Keevil (Midlands Rocks head honcho) who has a Pizza in his Car with his name on it! The band return with Dave saying screw the curfew and then proceeding to wind the crowd up by saying you have the power we’ll stay here as long as you shout for us! This wasn’t the first time he vocalised his annoyance at the 11pm curfew – which he duly ignores anyway!
Obviously the crowd shout request’s throughout the night something the band has always welcomed and they do throw a few snippets out there as and when they can – yes these guys really know how to keep their fans happy! So that’s how we come about having “Lonely Side Of Town” as the first song of the encore and the crowd and I loved it! These guys are determined to end on a high and blow us away with a full force performance of “Open Fire” and Y&T anthem “Forever”.
As we have come to expect from Y&T another fantastic performance, and a great night had by one and all!
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