We’re fully embedded in the new year now, so it must be time for music fans to get back into the UK’s fine music venues. In fact we are close to the ever important, Independent Venue Week, so it’s great to start the year at one such venue – Epic Studios in Norwich.
The versatile venue can host events of all sorts but on this bitterly cold January evening, it hosts lots of denim and leather rockers as British Lion come to town!
The final night of a full UK Tour, the band led by the legendary Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, attract a very healthy crowd tonight. Those in attendance are treated to not one but two accomplished support acts with the first of those, Airforce, in full effect as most attendees enter the venue.
Musically very suitable to supporting a member of Maiden, Airforce make the most of their short time on stage with a succinct and vociferous performance which no doubt wins over any uninitiated in the audience.
Next up is Voodoo Six, a band that Maiden/Lion fans will be very familiar with. The band stepped in on short notice to fill the void left by Canadian group Coney Hatch being unable to fulfil the tour.
Disappointing for some, for others like myself, this was actually an upgrade. Voodoo Six have consistently put out quality music and put on great shows for two decades now. Numerous line-up changes haven’t prevented the band putting out six albums and playing shows all over the world.
Tonight, they are on top form once again with an assured performance, mixing tracks old and new, to the delight of the crowd. Perennially tipped for bigger things, perhaps that ship has sailed but the constant of quality music and great shows doesn’t appear to be going anywhere as Voodoo Six once again show themselves to be criminally underrated.
Finally the time arrives for British Lion to take to the stage and they naturally receive a hero’s welcome. It’s the last show of the tour but also a (close to) hometown show for a number of the members, so the atmosphere is relaxed and the band let the music do the bulk of the talking.
The group have two albums in the bank at this point and the set list is a good mix of the two. Harris and co are able to give a good account of themselves, with singer Richard Taylor even acknowledging the apparent identity crisis that the band often have thrust upon them by others.
Long since dispelled as a mere solo project for Harris, since their inception in 2012 the group has evolved and that’s evident tonight with the stage presence of Taylor as exhibit A. This is a package now and not a vessel for Harris alone.
That makes the spectacle greater as far as the live show goes and places more emphasis on the music as opposed to the “oh look there’s Steve Harris” feeling for their early shows. It’s great to see and will hopefully lead to greater longevity from the project.
As this tour draws to a close with ‘Eyes of the Young’, British Lion may take a step back to Iron Maiden once again, but with performances like tonight you know it won’t be long before the band are reunited onstage again.
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
This week we begin with a handful of festival announcements including one that is always a hotly anticipation one, who is playing Reading & Leeds Festivals?
Your headliners this year are Sam Fender, Foals, The Killers, Lewis Capaldi, Billie Eilish and Imagine Dragons. They’ll be joined by the likes of Wet Leg, Nothing But Thieves, Slowthai, You Me At Six, Baby Queen, Inhaler, Don Broco and The Snuts.
DMA’s continue to tease new music from their fourth album ‘How Many Dreams?’, with the release of new track, ‘Olympia’, which you can check out above.
Guitarist Matt Mason comments on ‘Olympia’: “’Olympia’ was written for a crowd, and is a dedication to all of our fans, especially the ones who’ve been with us from the start. we can’t wait to play it for you all.”
Their new album is out March 31st, pre-order your copy here.
Levellers have announced their brand new acoustic album ‘Together All The Way’ will be released on March 10th. You can listen to new single, ‘Down By The River ‘O” above.
Of the album and recording, the Levellers say, “It was truly a fun record to make, under the rigorous guidance of Sean. Sean’s a musician himself, always bringing ideas and get out of jail free suggestions when we got stuck. It’s a stripped back, raw iteration of the collective with deep folk leanings. As energetic as the first one but definitely different.”
Blondshell explains, “I was obsessed with the [US teen drama] show ‘Veronica Mars’ as a kid and I was revisiting it around the time I wrote this song. I wanted to sing about that childhood era when I was being exposed to a lot more than I was comfortable with. ‘Gimme shelter’ refers to the song but I’m also saying please give me shelter from graphic TV and film, from New York City, overwhelming lyrics, etc. I think the song is just about having my boundaries crossed and the effects of those transgressions (for example, growing up to think men are hot if they’re assholes).”
overpass – ‘3AM’
overpass have shared their latest single, ‘3AM’.
They commented, “‘3AM’ is an innocent coming-of-age song that I think most people can relate to. It’s about the excitement you get when you’re going out, knowing you might be able to connect with that person, or at least hope that they will call you back when the night is over and done with.”
Life In Mono – ‘Blackout’
Life In Mono have just shared double A-side singles ‘Blackout/Sex To White Noise’
Speaking about the inspiration behind the singles, vocalist Sarah Clayton says, “Blackout is about people in your life that you know are no good for you but are hard to give up, whereas Sex To White Noise is about trying to find a connection that makes you feel something when you’re feeling really numb. If you’ve ever been on prozac you’ll know!”