TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN / BLACKWATER CONSPIRACY - The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham 02.12.17


(Photography Credits : Samantha Lloyd Photography)


Amidst a crowd that’s packed into the Castle & Falcon like sardines in a tin, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown kick off their Ramblin’ Bones Tour with support from the Irish quintet that is Blackwater Conspiracy, both of which bands deliver an outstanding set full of Southern rock and blues infused music with awesome riffs and huge vocals.


The distinctly recognisable keyboard intro and opening riff of ‘Waitin’ On Hollywood’ kicks off the set from Blackwater Conspiracy that blazes a path through an incredible 35 minute set that’s chocked full of blues rock, rhythm and those all too familiar dirty blues riffs that I love so much about these guys. ‘Waitin’ on Hollywood’ ignites the atmosphere within the small venue and lets us know that Blackwater Conspiracy mean business tonight. Packed full of their catchy choruses, dips and peaks and groove laden rhythm, BC deliver a seven song set from their new album Shootin’ The Breeze that has the crowd clapping along from the beginning.


Phil Conalane addresses the audience in between songs, involving the crowd for the clap along sections and pumping out his raspy, sandpaper vocals that has the crowd grooving through the bouncy ‘Monday Club’, the swaggerlicious and dirty blues of ‘Blackwater Swagger’; pulling us through the emotionally charged, lyrically thought provoking and beautiful composition of ‘Hanging Tree’ that Conalane delivers with such passion and tells the crowd that it’s “dedicated to anyone who has lost someone”; before compelling us to consider spending a ‘Penny for Your Dirty Thoughts’… saucy! Concluding their set with the heavy rocking track ’85 Rockstar’, the crowd throughout is in high spirits, clapping cheering and generally just loving every moment that BC share with them.


As a live band you really won’t find a single thing to fault these guys on, Brian ‘BAM’ Mallon continually churns out his killer riffs while his long, wild hair is kept under control by his customary black fedora as he bops about in his small designated area on the stage; Kie McMurray delivering the booming bass rumble and his partner in crime in the rhythm section Fionn O’hAgain hammering the drums. Kevy Brennan delivers the keyboard sections and remains seated throughout the performance but as he’s crammed onto the edge of the stage I don’t blame him for wanting to stay still… one move in the wrong direction and he would be off the edge and flat on his back behind the barrier.

Probably best to stay as still as possible then!


Such an amazing set, played with such effortless ease from the Blackwater Conspiracy guys, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to catch a live show. I definitely recommend that you get yourself along to one of their gigs as soon as possible; you will not regret it! Oh and buy the merch too! #supportthebands #buythemerch (for the ladies there’s a very nice purple fitted T-shirt that looks awesome!).


Blackwater Conspiracy are:


Phil Conalane – Lead Vocals / Guitar

Brian ‘BAM’ Mallon – Lead Guitar / Vocals

Kie McMurray – Bass / Vocals

Kevy Brennan – Piano / Keys/ Vocals

Fionn O’hAgain – Drums


Set List:


Waitin’ On Hollywood

Monday Club

Blackwater Swagger

Roll The Dice

Hanging Tree

Penny For Your Dirty Thoughts

’85 Rockstar


Check out more from the band at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BlackwaterConspiracy/

Or on their Website: http://blackwaterconspiracy.com/



After the awesomeness that is Blackwater Conspiracy there seemed to be a swell of excitement in the air, and with the promise of an epic performance from Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown it’s unsurprising that the atmosphere seemed to intensify.


“Birmingham are you ready to rock ‘n’ roll??” shouts out Tyler Bryant as he and The Shakedown take to the stage, the crowd huddling ever closer as they cheer and shout, the band breaking into ‘Backfire’ and the whole place erupts. That’s what tonight is, it’s an eruption of music, an eruption of cheers and applause that roll through every song, every moment of the epic set that Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown deliver is immense. The sound is bang on perfect throughout and every person in the room is feeling the Ramblin’ Bones that the band bring here tonight.


‘Heartland’, ‘House on Fire’ and ‘Don’t Mind The Blood’ has the audience rocking to the colossal performance that these guys display, vocally Bryant is hugely impressive while his performance on the stage is solid and satisfying, tossing his jet black hair around, sweat spraying the front 2 rows, while Graham Whitford delivers whole hearted slide guitar riffs and the awesome Caleb Crosby on the drums delivers just as much energy and enthusiasm from behind his drum kit, at times he’s standing on his drum kit too! ‘Downtown Tonight’ and ‘Jealous Me’ bring the blues side of their music to the forefront, the slow swagger and sway is delicious, the change in the audience is palpable as they ease themselves through the different styles that TBATS manage to display, switching easily between classic rock ‘n’ roll and blues swagger then back to the heavy hitters that would easily feel at home at arena size venues, every single track receiving huge applause and cheers from the crowd tonight.

The bass heavy ‘Manipulate Me’ that sees Noah Denney really go to town is awesome, while ‘The Wayside’ is hugely impactful for me, the audience singing back every word, the atmosphere indescribable and it was truly one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments. ‘Lipstick Wonder Woman’ saw Crosby remove his rack tom from his kit and thrust it down into the audience whereby he takes his place on his knees amongst the crowd and batters the living hell out of it! Such a great way to really interact with the audience and make them feel like they are part of the music and the performance!


Their encore tracks, which saw them cover Tom Petty’s ‘You Wreck Me’, went down a storm with the crowd and TBATS made it their own. Finishing up their set with Denney, Crosby and Whitford playing tambourines for a short time during ‘Ramblin’ Bones’, the audience raise the roof on the Castle & Falcon. This wasn’t just a performance, it was a culmination of devoted fans and a hugely talented band bringing together their love of music to show appreciation for all that is rock and blues music.


Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown you have made a new fan in me tonight and I will definitely be seeing you live again. What an awesome way to spend my Saturday evening! Truly thrilled me! Thank you!


To catch up with all the news from Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown you can catch them on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TylerBryantAndTheShakedown/ or on their Website: http://www.tylerbryantandtheshakedown.com/ .


Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown are:


Tyler Bryant – Vocals and Lead guitar

Graham Whitford – Guitar and vocals

Noah Denney – Bass guitar and vocals

Caleb Crosby – Drums and vocals


Set List:




House On Fire

Downtown Tonight

Criminal Imagination

Don’t Mind The Blood

Jealous Me

Manipulate Me

The Wayside

Easy Target


Mojo Workin’

Lipstick Wonder Woman

Weak & Weepin’

You Wreck Me (Tom Petty cover)

That’s Alright (Elvis) Blues Jam

Ramblin’ Bones



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