|Love/Hate/Ricky Warwick/New Generation Superstars/ Vikki Van Zant - Swansea, Sin City - 28th August 2009|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Thursday, 03 September 2009 06:42|
It's like the nineties never happened in Swansea's Sin City tonight. I'm waiting for a four-band sleaze rawk show to start and that's Jay Pepper from Tigertailz stood just yards way. Jesus I'm starting to doubt if Britpop ever really happened here. Then the harsh realisation that this was in fact a gig celebrating Love Hate's twentieth anniversary of their seminal 'Blackout in the Red Room' sent me back down to earth with an age defining bump.
So enough of my ramblings first up tonight were local metalheads Vikki Van Zant, their brief set just wasn't brief enough for me as they sounded like a dirge. Having crammed as many metal clichés into twenty minutes as possible they made the cardinal sin of forgetting to pen any decent tunes. Not my cup of tea at all. Sorry guys.
Next up were New Generation Superstars. Not having seen them before but having heard the first album I was interested in what they had to offer live. They kicked off proceedings by announcing that they had a stand in bass player due to regular bassist having prior commitments. At this point a guy nearby asked me where they were from, and was a bit shocked when I told him they were English as he was convinced they were Scandinavian from their image and sound.
They carry the songs off well and there was a fair few decent toe tappers in their too brief set. I do like tracks like 'Dopefiend' and 'White Trash Queen' off the first album but as a live band they defiantly suffered from support band sound. Saying that they seemed to be enjoying their first visit to West Wales and won a lot of the crowd round with their enthusiasm. I'm not sure how far a band like New Generation Superstars can go but as long as they're having a ball touring and making their kind of music, then all the more power to them.
Next up was an acoustic slot from former Almighty Frontman Ricky Warwick, who launched straight into 'Wild and Wonderful' and continued without pause into the best of the Almighty, unplugged. The assembled crowd seemed to appreciate the acoustic setting as Ricky played a blinding version of the Iron Maiden song 'Running Free' with participation from the front rows aplenty.
After this it didn't take long for Mr Warwick to have the attention of almost everyone and by this time he sounded well up for it. The shame was he only had about half an hour set, and I guess with so much material to choose from (be it Almighty or Solo) it was always a big ask to hear too many of the excellent newer songs.
With that in mind Ricky certainly saved the best 'til last as he bowed out with 'The Arms of Belfast Town" off the Belfast Confetti album. Ricky then announced he would be back later next month with fellow Belfast noise merchants Therapy? I'm looking forward to that already. But please next time how about airing 'Jesus Loves You'? Pretty please?
After a brief wait there are people on the stage, the lights dim and headliners Love/Hate are belting out their classic album opener 'Blackout in the Red Room'. There is no fanfare or intro, just four guys doing their musical thing like their lives depended on it.
First night of the tour and you'd never be able to tell that the band had only just landed in the UK with only a couple of hours to show time, as they sounded fresh and right on top of their game.
Jizzy Pearl looked lean and tanned, grinning from ear to ear and that voice that can melt faces at forty paces is most definitely intact. Welcome to the anniversary tour celebrating twenty years (yikes its back again) of 'Blackout in the Red Room'. There isn't any messing about as we blast headlong into 'Rock Queen' I think they were all in there even if it wasn't played in track list order. 'Mary Jane' in particular sounded awesome, and still after all these years that song is the one for me that should have put these boys up there with the best of them, but musical hindsight is a dangerous game and not everyone gets the breaks (just ask the guys).
Jizzy and Skid still leap around the stage like time had stood still, and I got the impression that Jizzy was especially sincere and genuine in his thanks for the fans turning up and still being there after all these years. In turn he was lapping up the applause from the very enthusiastic audience.
As the night was drew to an end Jizzy's voice showing no sign of wear or tear at all and with an encore of 'Don't Fuck With Me' followed by the superb 'Wasted in America' it was all over way too soon and the band were gone.
If you can catch Love/Hate on this tour then do it. Honestly, don't think about it just do it. You won't be disappointed. And for those who didn't get enough of Jizzy's voice, remember he will be back next month touring with Tracii Guns version of LA Guns. ...............Stay tuned folks!