MASON HILL / THESE WICKED RIVERS / WESTON ROAD / BAD DOG - Redrum, Stafford - 03.08.18

LINDSAY SMITH-BOAM

(PHOTO CREDITS: LINDZRS MEDIA-PHOTOGRAPHY)

 

First up are BAD DOG from North Wales. Launching into ‘Dead Mans Shoes’, a track full of punchy riffs and power packed rhythm, the band gave a clear message of what they are all about with some nice solos and nimble guitar work. Chatting easily with the crowd, Martin John Byast is a likeable frontman.

The band have been playing together for around 8 years and it shows as their sound is tight and they seem relaxed and comfortable on the small stage as they kick into ‘Jupiter’, a song that has a pulsating bassline and catchy vocal melody. Both of these tracks are from their 2016 self-titled debut EP, which the 7-song set was made up of, plus some new material. A really great start to the night by Martin on guitar and vocals, Oli Owen also on guitar, Ben Langley on the bass and Mark Beech on drums.

Find out more from Bad Dog at:
https://www.facebook.com/BadDogBand/   

 

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Locally based band WESTON RD carried on where Bad Dog left off with hard rocking kick-ass, riff driven music. The three-piece work hard in the very warm room allowing the music to heat up things even more. Joe Blanks has a gravel edged hard rock voice and churns out some classy grimy riffs, Leon Philipsen is a solid bass player filling the sound out well and  Jake Brown keeps the tempo fast and furious on the drums. Currently recording their debut album, the band are clearly enjoying themselves despite the heat and so were the audience.

 

Find out more from Weston Road at:
https://www.facebook.com/WestonRdMusic/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

THESE WICKED RIVERS have a bucket load of fans in tow, the cheers ringing out as they take to the stage. Blues infused rock delivered by 4 talented individuals with an original sound and well written songs will always draw the crowd and suddenly the room felt very full. I have seen the band play many times and tonight they are as tight as ever, quite literally too due to the tiny amount of space to stand.

 

Arran Day focuses his energy on his guitar with soaring riffs and a precise clarity to the chords. Dan Southall on drums has a flair and rhythm which props up the bass ably played by Jon Hallam. John Hartwell’s voice is just stunning, rich dark smooth tones enveloping your senses especially on tracks such as ‘Testify’ and their closing song ‘Don’t Pray For Me’ which brings out the goose-bumps and a chorus of more from the whole room.

 

Stunningly on form tonight and a real treat for those in the room who had not seen or heard the band before.

Find out more from These Wicked Rivers at:
https://www.facebook.com/TheseWickedRivers/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

Now to the headliners, MASON HILL. The melodic hard rocking Glaswegians seem to have been catapulted into the limelight over the last 2 years especially, and have gained a strong following, the room was packed to the rafters and incredibly hot even before their entrance onto the stage.

 

Their first EP was received well and their music video for ‘Now You See Me’ has over 237k views which I know, from talking to the band, they are completely blown away by. Their set included some familiar songs and some new including ‘No Regret’, ‘Survive’, ‘Blame’, ‘Out Of Reach’, ‘Wait For You’, ‘Broken Soul’, and ‘Hold On’, all accompanied by a sing a long crowd with participation lead by charismatic singer Scott Taylor.

 

Taylor was visibly moved as the crowd took over singing ‘Where I Belong’ a very moving moment for both the band and also those who have seen the band evolve from their very early days. James Bird is an outstanding lead guitarist, his playing is flowing and nimble, changes of style seem to come easily from gritty riffs to soaring solos and I’m sure Taylor’s voice has got stronger over time and, despite issues with not being able to hear themselves on stage, sounded awesome throughout the set.

Craig McFetridge on drums smiles and powers his way through the set, Matthew Ward on bass is just fabulous to not only listen to but to watch, he’s so full of energy and expression. Marc Montgomery pads out the guitars and vocals with great gusto, he and Bird complement each-others playing perfectly. A few complaints from some of the crowd about the drums being too loud or not being able to hear Taylors vocal did cause a bit of stress for the band but they dealt with it admirably.

 

To be honest, the size of the stage gave me the feeling that they were all like caged animals needing a much bigger stage to perform on and to allow their sound to flood out from. Mention of an album drew cheers as the set drew to a close.

An unbelievably hot and sweaty gig, the appreciative audience went away more than happy.   A great gig guys despite the challenges, well done, now let’s have that album...

Find out more from Mason Hill at:
https://www.facebook.com/masonhillofficial/
https://www.masonhillofficial.com/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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