It’s Friday night and I’m off to The Big Red in London’s Holloway Road. It’s always a great place to see real down and dirty rock music and tonight I’m seeing one of my favourites.
This will be my third time seeing Stonewire this year, having seen them play a sweltering summer show at The Black Heart, Camden, and a sublime semi-acoustic show at Big Red three months ago. Now, the band return to the same venue for a full on electric set to light up the night.
Tonight Stonewire demonstrate that they are not only a brilliant live band but a brave one too - they kick off by debuting a brand new song! Dedicated to the late, great Greg Allman, ‘Play An Old Tune’ is a superb track with bluesy riffs and a hint of Allman Brother’s southern groove in the chorus.
With an almost Alice In Chains like riff and pounding drums, ‘River Blues’ follows. During the fast and upbeat rocker ‘Monkey Talk’ and crowd favourite ‘Southern Honey’ front-woman Sky Hunter’s voice comes through with enough strength to knock a hole through a brick wall. Cutting a powerful figure on stage in all black and downing shots between songs, I can hear certain crowd members behind me comment that she is “hardcore” in impressed tones!
“Now we’re going to do a new song that’s not new, but it’s new to you!” – so ‘Hero’s Journey’ is introduced with a country flavoured twang of guitar before the solid rhythm section of Steve Briggs and Rob Glasner locks us in to a fantastic hard rock song. Followed by riffing boogie ‘A Story Of What Is’ and my friends are now muttering (and I kid you not) “This band is f***ing wicked!”.
It’s always interesting to see a younger band tackle a classic song - a nice window into their influences as artists and a chance for them to shine (which many bands sadly miss by turning into a bad tribute band). It’s even more interesting when the band is Led Zeppelin. Of course, since this is Stonewire they decide to do a 13 minute Led Zeppelin medley. From ‘Dazed and Confused’ through to ‘Immigrant Song’ via ‘Black Dog’, guitarists Gaz Annable and Duncan Greenway handle them all with aplomb! The crowd absolutely love it too.
Going back to Originals, the band pick up with fan favourites ‘Walk The Line’ and ‘Favourite Bitch’ before introducing another new song. Sky informs the crowd that this one is so new it still doesn’t have a title! Nobody minds and it goes down a storm.
The bass heavy country blues of ‘Gimme A Reason’ is far better than the recent singles of many a “Southern” rock band with far higher profiles (who shall remain nameless!). I firmly believe that Stonewire are hugely underrated. Before ‘Running with Ghosts’ ends the main set the band swerve into the brilliantly crazy mash-up of ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘Links 1234’ by German Industrial titans Rammstein!
Before the encore Sky once again thanks the crowd who’ve packed out the venue for supporting original live music and the southern tinged Sabbath weight of ‘Fix You’ ends the night before a riotous cover version of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’.
The Crowd simply refuse to leave so the band huddle and decide to go off script and setlist and keep playing! A gloriously spirited cover of Lynard Skynards’s ‘Simple Man’ finally brings the figurative curtain down on a stupendous gig. With an always impressive live show and a new album on the horizon, I think Stonewire are definitely ones to keep a close eye on.
For more information and to the follow the band you can reach them on the following links:
Play an Old Tune
When the Crow Flies
A story Of What Is
Ledwire (Led Zeppelin Medley)
Walk The Line
New song with no title!
Gimme A Reason
Links/Enter Sandman Medley
Running With Ghosts
Killing In The Name Of (RATM Cover)
Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
Stonewire are :
Sky Hunter - Vocals
Gaz Annable - Guitar
Duncan Greenway - Guitar
Steve Briggs - Bass
Rob Glasner - Drums
**PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA**