ARMED FORCES CHARITY WEEKEND - FIREROAD / HANGFIRE / GIN ANNIE / VOID - The Patriot, Crumlin 29.06.18
PHOTO CREDITS: MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
What better way to spend a warm, sunny Friday evening than supporting local rock venues. This evening made even better because it is a weekend event being run over three nights in aid of Scotty’s Little Soldiers - a charity whose aim is to support the children who have lost a parent while serving in the British Armed Forces. The staff in the venue have all donated their wages and all the entry money is going into the charity’s coffers.
The first band of the evening was V0id, a local 5-piece band who have just finished their mini-tour supporting The Heretic Order. With three albums under their belts and a fourth on the way, they have a lot of experience, but little to show in the way of exposure. Wayne (Vocals, Guitar) introduces the band, qualifying his introduction with the news that the band will soon be changing their name.
Kicking off their set with ‘Plastic Saviour’, they give the early crowd some good old-fashioned rock. Those who were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine are drawn in and the band perform exceptionally well, with no signs of tour weariness. Wayne expresses concern that his voice might struggle due to air conditioning and hay fever, but he needn’t have been concerned, his voice is strong and clear as he delivers his powerful lyrics. They have a great rock vibe and their Welsh influences of Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers shine through in their guitar lead music which is full of riffs, multi-level melodies and heavy, hearty drumming.
Flawlessly performing their set, they engaged in banter with the crowd and clearly enjoy what they are doing. They are a band that deserves a higher profile than they currently have. One of the aims of the name change is to improve their visibility. I hope that it works for them. I thoroughly recommend checking them out.
Blow Your Mind
Part of Me
Let Me In
All Cos of You
Say My Name
You Take My Breath Away
Wayne Doyle - Vocals/Guitar
Gary Doyle - Drums
Wayne ‘P’ Esmonde - Bass
Chris Jones - Lead Guitar
Josh Townsend - Guitar
Check them out at:
Second on the bill tonight were West Midlands hard melodic rock band Gin Annie. Having only seen them in the same venue a few weeks ago, I was expecting to enjoy their performance and I wasn’t disappointed - they were fab. They have a polished performance with their foot stomping rock - they are very good at engaging with their audience, and Byron (guitar) takes several opportunities during their set to wander off stage and get up close and personal with the audience.
Kicking off with ‘New Bad Habit’ they get the place bouncing, and their brand of rock gets those who can find a space in the dancing mood. David (Vocals) is expressive in his delivery, with a voice that is made for rock. Byron and David work together on stage as the latter gives us screaming solo after solo, and Dave invites us to ‘have some fun’ - as if we weren’t already! They are talented, and perform brilliantly and connect well with each other as well as the audience. As they perform ‘Dead andGone’, with its several tempo changes, the crowd show their appreciation for what must be a challenging track to play live. Although most of their set is made up of their own compositions, they also drop in a cover of ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ which has backing vocals performed by the Welsh audience who are now packed in tightly.
If you haven’t already seen them live, I urge you to check them out. They are a band who want you to enjoy their show as much as they do. There will be plenty of chances to see them as they have just announced many tour dates later in the year, supporting The Graham Bonnet Band in the UK and Diamond Head on their European dates. It is a fantastic opportunity for the band and one they are very excited about.
New Bad Habit
All I Want
Dead and Gone
She Sells Sanctuary (Cult Cover)
Damage is Done
Next to Me
Highway to Hell (AC/DC Cover)
Born to Rock n Roll
Gin Annie are:
David Foster - Vocals
Byron Garbett - Guitar
Brian Green - Guitar
Phil ‘Hammer’ Burrows - Bass
Jack Ryland-Smith - Drums
Check them out at
Anyone who is a rock music fan in South Wales will recognise the familiar sight of Max Rhead. He is often to be found at rock music venues near and far checking out bands to appear at Steelhouse Festival, uniquely held each year on a mountain top not far from the Patriot. Tonight, he was fronting Hangfire - a band who agreed to reunite to play one final gig in aid of charity. By the time they appeared on stage, The Patriot was full to bursting, many of whom know Max and his Steelhouse Family. It has been about 4 years since they last performed, and to fill the drum stool, Max had co-opted his son, also Max. Although they were amongst friends, they had a bit of a shaky start, but after less than half a track, they found themselves and settled in to give a set that many people had come specially to see. Somehow, having not performed for so long, they pulled it off and were absolutely brilliant.
Max has a rich, deep voice and clearly enjoyed singing tonight. With Lee ‘Lizzie’ Evans on backing vocals, they filled the Patriot with classic rock. Bob Goo (Bass) and Max Rhead Jr were a great rhythm section and kept the pace up. Between songs a breathless Max gave us insights into what influenced him in the writing of some of the songs, such as ‘Careful What You Wish For’, which refers to his son, and they dedicated ‘Deadman Walking’ to the memory of his brother, Aaron, which brought a tear to many eyes in the the crowd as they slow it right down for this superb track.
Throughout the set, there was plenty of banter on stage, making in clear to everyone just what a close group of friends they are. Lizzie is a fabulous guitarist, and shows that not being able to see doesn’t mean you can’t write and perform riffs hooks and solos of a exceptionally high standard. He jokes on stage about being blind, but manages to find every pedal, every string and every note to give the band its solid sound.
There were many people at the Patriot that night who had come out to see Hangfire reunite for one final gig. Without exception, everyone enjoyed the trip down memory lane and it is clear that Max is very proud of the incredibly talented drummer his son has become, who is currently in between bands. No doubt someone will snap this young man up quickly.
It was a one off gig, but their album ‘Shoot The Crow’ is still available on Spotify and Apple Music, and is well worth streaming.
Shoot The crow
Faith in Me
Careful What You Wish For
Turn to Stone
For Crying Out Loud
Max Rhead (Vocals)
Bob Goo (Bass)
Lee ‘Lizzie’ Evans (Guitar)
Max Rhead Jr (Drums)
Find out more at:
The final act of the night were Fireroad, a four piece local band who have recently been seen out and about supporting The Stereophonics in some stadium gigs. They are, without doubt, a band who should have a higher profile than they do, and hopefully the exposure from those gigs, as well as tonight’s, will help that.
Although they were quite late on stage, due to some technical issues, they were, as always, worth the wait. The crowd who had been in for Hangfire had thinned out a bit, and the venue was about half full. The rest were sitting outside, listening to the final band from the now cooler evening air. As they struck up with ‘I Got Sound’ they started a set which was worth waiting for filled with melodic harmonies, heavy drumming and great riffs and solos.
Fireroad have a solid baseline which underpins Richard Jones’ clean vocals and the great range sits well with the guitar led sound. After ‘Raven’, the band ramp up the pace with ‘Falling Down’ and this tidy Welsh band bring humour and reality to the evening’s entertainment. Introducing ‘Second Hand Soldier’, Jones reminds us of the charity, which is one they hold dear to their hearts as Anthony Evans (Bass) is an ex-military man.
The delay meant they had to cut their set shorter, but the audience were having none of it. They demanded, and got, an encore of ‘Rocking in a Free World’ which was a perfectly appropriate way to end a night of rock music in aid of a great cause.
Throughout the evening, we were regularly reminded that it was a charity event. Everything was donated, including the wages normally paid to the venue staff. The buckets were brought round, and by the end of the night, they looked pretty heavy, so although we don’t have a total amount raised at this point, I am sure it will be a good sum. Once again, The Patriot have hosted a night of great music with Angela and her staff giving the bands and the punters a night to remember.
Richard Jones - Vocals/Guitar
Gavin Davies - Guitar
Anthony Evans ‘Evsy’ - Bass
Matthew Whitney - Drums
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