WARWICK JOHNSON / GILL MONTGOMERY - Eleven, Stoke-on-Trent 25.09.18

LINDSAY SMITH-BOAM

 

As the nights begin to draw in and an autumnal chill is in the air, a night of acoustic music from GILL MONTGOMERY of THE AMORETTES and Ricky Warwick (BLACK STAR RIDERS) and Damon Johnson (a recent departure from BLACK STAR RIDERS) has to be a good way to banish the post-summer blues.

It is the first night of the tour and there is an expectant air around the now filling room.  The stage looks bare without the usual drum kit on the riser, just a couple of mic stands and guitars on stands as the lights dim and GILL MONTGOMERY, accompanied by WAYWARD SONS’ talented guitarist, Sam Wood, takes to the stage.

 

Gill looks slightly nervous without her usual bandmates around her but as soon as she starts playing and singing these seem to dissipate.  Opening with ‘Still Got Rock and Roll’ it’s very clear that Gill has a wonderful clarity to her voice which you can’t always hear when she belts out the songs with the Amorettes.  Her guitar playing is good and the stripped back songs sound great.  Backing vocals from Wood added to the vocal melody and the memorable lyrics ensure the crowd join in.  Gill chats easily between songs giving an insight into their writing.   The set is up-tempo and creates a great vibe in the room, as there is a familiarity with the songs, The Amorettes having toured with BSR and received extensive airplay.  ‘White Russian Roulette’, ‘Born To Break’, ‘Waking Up the Neighbours’,  ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ continue the set as the guitar skills they both possess allows them to spar easily off each other, smiling and seemingly really comfortable with their performance.  Feet are shuffling and hands clapping as ‘Everything I Learned I Learned from Rock and Roll’, a song written jointly with Ricky Warwick, draws appreciative nods from everyone. 

A brief but very well delivered set, Gill is a great choice as support on this tour.

 

Check out Gill in her day job here:-

http://www.theamorettes.com/site/

https://www.facebook.com/theamorettes/

 

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

The lights dim, smoke fills the stage as cheers erupt from the assembled music fans.  ‘Are You Ready’ kicks things off as Warwick and Johnson begin as they mean to go on.  It is loud and lively, an energy emitting from the stage which spreads through the already warmed up crowd.

How can two acoustic guitars sound so huge?  The sound is always good at Eleven and the clarity of the guitars playing in harmony is stunning.  Taking no prisoners, ‘Killer Instinct’ hits the eardrums and the crowd sing. 

 

Peppering their set with quips, anecdotes, jokes and memories, this is so much more than just a gig.  Ricky Warwick has a powerful voice, it needs to be when singing with BSR as their sound is so massive and hearing it on some of the quieter songs from their set, the tone, passion and emotion comes through the lyrics and the chords.  ‘Blindsided’ is a highlight for me, is just beautifully sung, I get goosebumps.

Both Warwick and Johnson have had successful careers apart from BSR/Thin Lizzy and both played and sang songs from these parts of their careers too. Alice Coopers ‘18’ sung by Johnson naming Cooper as the person who taught him how to wear eyeliner.  Warwick singing ‘Wild & Wonderful’ from The Almighty was another highlight.  I had no idea you could hit a guitar so hard and it still remain in tune…One minute these guys play like demons, the next like angels.

 

What is plainly obvious to all is that these two are friends, chipping off each other and it feels like we are a part of it albeit for just over 2 hours.

 

Classic songs to finish off a classy night.  ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ and ‘Whiskey In A Jar’ ensuring we all left with fond memories, no voices left and searching for more tickets for other venues so we can all do this again.  A splendid night.

 

Catch the guys on this tour:

 

SEPTEMBER 2018
Grimsby Yardbirds – Fri 28th
Norwich Waterfront Studio – Sat 29th
Chester Live Rooms – Sun 30th

 

OCTOBER 2018
Bilston Robin 2 – Mon 1st
London Dingwalls – Tue 2nd
Evesham The Iron Road – Wed 3rd
Nuneaton The Queen’s Hall – Thu 4th
Sheffield The Foundry – Fri 5th
Bournemouth Zephyr – Sun 7th
Manchester Night People – Tue 9th
Newcastle Cluny 2 – Wed 10th
Belfast The Limelight 2 – Thu 11th
Glasgow Audio – Fri 12th
Dundee Church – Sat 13th
Edinburgh Bannerman’s Bar – Sun 14th

 

For Ricky Warwick:-

http://blackstarriders.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BlackStarRidersOfficial/

 

For Damon Johnson:-

http://www.damonjohnson.com/

https://www.facebook.com/damonjohnsonfans/ 

 

 

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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