HRH CROWS 2018 - Sheffield - 09.09.18 (Day Two)

MARIA GLOVER

PHOTO CREDITS: MARTY MOFFATT

 

GORILLA RIOT are a 5-piece "dirty rock n roll blues machine" from Manchester and opened Day 2 of the Main Stage at HRH Crows in an awesome energetic and ebullient set. Frontman Arjun Bhishma’s vocal is a deep and rumbling force of nature, the drums immense, and the beat vibrated through the floor, the whole experience a delicious riff-laden and hook-driven wall of sound. The room filled despite the early slot, and the crowd were almost all dancing. The pumelling beat melted your face off, the music; muddy, dirty and sexy, and the band and audience were fully immersed.

 

Vocalist Arjun appears so laid back he is cooler than Batman, his performance effortless, as he belted out 'Last Hymn',  'Bad Son' and 'Black Heart Woman'. I found every song enticed me to sing along, whether I knew the words or not, and the whole set was scorchio! I loved hearing the gnarly riffs live, the intensity of the lyrics, this is one of my favourite bands right now.

 

The band are just as comfortable performing acoustically, demonstrated by the semi-acoustic EP 'American Honey Vol 1', and they were here in Sheffield last week for an acoustic set which I really wanted to attend but couldn’t. Next time! A sure highlight of the weekend for me at Crows.

 

For more information check out:

Website http://gorillariotband.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GorillaRiot/

Twitter https://twitter.com/gorillariotrock

 

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STONEWIRE have big shoes to fill following Gorilla Riot but if anybody could do it, they could. Vocalist Sky Hunter is pure powerhouse and the musicianship of the band, impressive. The sound was bass heavy, filling the air, and the music sounded familiar, yet not dated. The look and initial feel reminded me a little of Pat Benetar but the sound is more The Answer mixed with The Black Crowes. The vocals are a mix of gravelly and husky, the harmonies spot on, the music ballsy, heavy and classic rock. I admit I hadn't listened to this band before but I've already added them to my playlist. My favourite track and highlight of the set, 'All That Matters', from their forthcoming album, due early next year. It's gnarly repetitive riffs had me shaking my hips, the rasping vocals seductive, this track is a foot-stomper. This is a band to watch, and in a world with an increasing number of good bands this is one that could be really great.

 

For more information check out:

Website https://www.stonewire.net/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/StoneWireUK/

Twitter https://twitter.com/stonewiremusic

 

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I first saw WESTERN SAND a couple of years ago and am delighted that they have finally crossed the Northern borders once again. I attended the weekend with the mothership (anyone who's met me in person has probably met her too) and she's a massive WS fan so I was trying to contain her… This is a band you can headbang to as well as dance to, and plenty were doing both. Their sound is heavy with a strong southern rock influence and they have two critically acclaimed EPs, a live EP and a few years of relentless touring under their (gun)belts. Quite why they haven't been signed yet is beyond comprehension.

 

There is a great chemistry between the band and they have more confidence than when I last saw them perform. Highlights of the set were the thumping 'Black Water Resolution', the badass 'Broken Bones' with a brilliant guitar solo, and 'Fly Like The Crow' - I'm transported to sitting on a porch with Tyler drinking JD. 'Welcome To The Badlands' had the most fervent crowd dancing I saw all weekend. Great set, they were on fire, despite issues with guitar straps. Please come back soon!

 

For more information check out:

Website https://westernsand.co.uk/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/westernsand

Twitter https://twitter.com/westernsand_uk

 

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Mississipi native ZACK LOGAN released his debut album, 'Raised By Wolves', earlier this year, inspired by people he met and experiences he had while travelling around the Southern states, and his first single 'Annalee' was released in May. I caught a little of his acoustic set earlier in the day and was entranced by his fabulously expressive voice which fed my very soul. I found that his lyrics tend to be hopeful, the content or subject matter may be sombre or unhappy but he has a gutsy, stubborn edge which tells you all will be ok in the end. He's a survivor and so are you.

 

The performance was very stripped down, creating a lovely ambience in the room, the focus on the songs and their meaning, delivered by a smooth country-influenced vocal. The set was heartfelt and sincere, emotion behind every word and note as Logan showcased tracks from his album. The audience was captivated, me more so than anyone, as Logan painted a picture with his lyrics. The guy just oozes charm and has a soothing vibe about him, the world comes to a standstill and all that is present is this man and his guitar.

 

'Home I Call Place' is an emotional song, the story of a small town in changing times, heart wrenching in places. My standout tracks include 'Ramblin Shoes' and 'Raised By Wolves' from a very talented singer-songwriter who took my breath away more than once. I've ordered the album!

 

For more information check out:

Website https://www.zacklogan.net

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/zackloganmusic/

Twitter https://twitter.com/zackloganmusic

 

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JARED JAMES NICHOLS is big news right now and rightly so. An amazing guitarist, he can also carry a tune rather well (read 'brilliantly') and puts on a great live show.  The American blues-rock guitarist and singer is best known for his high-energy performances and 'pick-less' electric guitar playing. If you're unaware of Nichols, check him out. He is at the forefront of contemporary country-blues-rock acts taking the industry by storm right now.

 

As the band took to the main stage all I could see was a forest of men, bassist Gregg Cash not being much shorter than Nichols himself, Dennis Holm hidden away behind his drum kit. It's said that you either have it or you don’t when it comes to blues, and Jared James Nichols has it in spades, the whole venue eating out of the palm of his hand from the moment he struck the first chord. I've been lucky enough to see them live in Sheffield before, so I thought I knew what to expect. The big stage and themed event however brought fire to their bellies and from the first song it was clear this would be special.

 

The blistering set included 'Can You Feel It' from the 2013 album 'Old Glory & the Wild Revival' - a 50s vibe with hypnotic riff. Nichols had such a natural charisma and was at ease with the packed venue. 'Don't Be Scared' has a heavier sound, grinding guitars and sexy as f* vocals screaming at me "don't be scared"  #hearteyes. 'End Of Time' is pure outlaw, dirty riffs and chugging bass with a southern drawl. This is a cowgirl's fantasy come true.

 

At one point, Nichols played his trusty Les Paul with a beer bottle! The band are tight as can be, Cash a bundle of energy, and the combination of three great musicians makes for an outstanding show. 'The Gun' from the 'Black Magic' album leads into a cover of 'Mississippi Queen' to close an amazing set which has led us on an incredible journey through some of the finest guitar playing and southern-blues rock you're likely to find. They are on tour with LA Guns right now so please check them out, buy the album, spread the love. A musician who had played 500 gigs by his 21st birthday, Nichols is simply a star.

 

PS Gregg, we didn’t get to finish our Chewbacca-headphones conversation from Corp - I do hope you bought them! Catch you next time.

 

For more information check out:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Jaredjamesnichols/

Twitter https://twitter.com/JJNicholsMusic

 

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I last saw BROKEN WITT REBELS on the small stage at Corporation, Sheffield less than a year ago. Now they are just before the headliner on the main stage at O2 and I couldn't be prouder. I love seeing bands grow and gain the momentum they deserve, and seeing these guys at Crows was an amazing feeling. They're fresh off the plane from America recording their next album but looked and sounded on top form.

 

Danny Core has such a texture to his voice, it is exquisite, and performs with such passion and eloquence, the dual guitar attack adds volume and style, and the songs are infectious. Personally I like the comparison with Rival Sons as I love both bands and see similarities in the Americana elements of their sound. Broken Witt Rebels certainly have the appeal and potential to make a big splash both here and across the pond with their crafting of blues, soul and rock, but they are their own band and unique, with their own sound and personality and we mustn't take away from that.

 

The set included most tracks from the album - their self-titled debut album features six songs from two EPs, ‘Howlin’’and ‘Georgia Pine’, plus four new tracks. 'Low' was a stand out track for me, the audience joining in with the "Oh Oh Oh"s, Core giving his usual impassioned vocals, so much so that I worried for his blood pressure. 'Howlin'' is surely a modern classic, dark and truly authentic blues with an almost guttural vocal in places, this is a song to get anybody and everybody moving. 'Guns' is a solid fan favourite and always raises the roof!

 

An entertaining set where every member of the band looked to be in his element and having the time of his life, whipping the audience into a frenzy with every track. This band just keeps getting better and better and I cannot wait for album number 2!

 

Setlist:

Loose Change*

Low*

Fearless

Give It Up

Wait For You*

Howlin'*

Bang Bang

Bottom Of The Hill

Save My Life

Georgia Pine*

Save Me

Snake Eyes*

Getaway Man*

Guns*

Shake Me Down*

 

* From the self-titled album

 

For more information check out:

Website https://www.brokenwittrebels.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BrokenWittRebelsUK/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Brokenwittrebel

 

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Blues Music Award winning singer, guitarist, and producer Devon Allman, son of the late Gregg, was the founder of Honeytribe and one of the original members of Royal Southern Brotherhood. Allman started playing guitar before he met his father in his teens. He has been a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and a producer since then. In 2013, Allman launched his solo career as the Devon Allman Band, and has since released three albums. His latest tour, branded as THE DEVON ALLMAN PROJECT, features special guest guitarist and singer-songwriter Duane Betts (son of Dickey Betts).

 

First and foremost, every single musician who takes to the stage as headline act under 'The Devon Allman Project' is superb, at the top of their game, and riveting to watch as they are all absorbed in their craft and damn good at it. The set opens with 'Mahalo' from the Honeytribe first album, the familiar pulsing of the drum leading to the divine and funky 70s vibe.

 

The set is Allman Brothers heavy - 'Blue Sky', 'Dreams', 'In Memory of Elizabeth Reed', and the closing song 'Midnight Rider' - but also features a few covers including Marvin Gaye, Don Henley, and a fun and entertaining cover of The Spinners' 'I'll Be Around' with synchronised footwork from the guitarists.

 

Vocals are commanding and enigmatic but the real focus of the evening is on the musicianship - par excellence. The guitars fall and rise, the rhythm section a powerful engine room, the overall performance an elegant display of guitar-duelling southern bluesy rock, magnificence. This tour is something you really don’t want to miss.

 

 

Band:

Tyler Jackson Stokes, Johnny Stachela, R Scott Bryan, Nicholas David, John Lum, and David Corgan

Special guest Duane Betts.

 

Setlist:

Mahalo

Ten Million Slaves (Otis Taylor cover)

I'll Be Around (The Spinners cover)

Taking Time

Downtown Runaround

Dreams

What's Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)

In Memory of Elizabeth Reed

 

Encore:

Boys of Summer (Don Henley cover)

Midnight Rider

 

 

For more information check out:

Website https://www.devonallmanproject.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/devonallman/

Twitter https://twitter.com/devonallman

 

 

THE NILE DELTAS

 

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ELLES BAILEY

 

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THIRTEEN STARS

 

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Sunday:

Unplugged (Royalty and VIP) 12.55pm

Stonewire

Elles Bailey

Zack Logan

 

Stage 1 from 2.30pm

Gorilla Riot

Stonewire

Western Sand

Jared Jamed Nichols

Broken Witt Rebels

The Devon Allman Project

 

Stage 2 from 3pm

The Nile Deltas

Thirteen Stars

Zack Logan

Elles Bailey

 

 

Other Links:

http://www.hrhcrows.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HRHCROWS

https://twitter.com/crowshrh

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