Category: Gig Reviews

Impericon Never Say Die! Tour – Engine Rooms, Southampton – 10 November 2019

Let’s get this out the way right now; Sunday night gigs suck. Aside from the transport links being rubbish, there’s the ever-present knowledge that another work week is looming, and it can make it harder for bands to thrive onstage. So, it’s refreshing to see the Engine Rooms coming alive tonight for the Never Say Die tour, even during the later hours when the audience starts to thin out. This package of seven bands is sponsored by the Impericon clothing company and focuses primarily on the metalcore world. It’s become a fixture of the Autumn gig season these past few years and there’s a lot of baseball caps and flesh tunnels in attendance tonight.

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The Ciceros/The Acid Club/Speak Easy Circus – Glasgow – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut – 7 November 2019

One thing we pride ourselves on here at Über Rock is discovering and supporting young, local talent all across the Über Kingdom of Rock ‘n’ Roll – and often before the mainstream media have got wind of exactly how good the grassroots musical gene pool really is… The Ciceros are a band that have been making waves here on the Glaswegian scene since they emerged from the ashes of local heroes Vincent a while back, so their biggest hometown headline show to date seemed like the perfect excuse to send young Jess R along and find out what all the fuss has been about…

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Oracle/Drakonis/Grey Stag – Belfast, Voodoo – 9 November 2019

The Northern Ireland metal scene seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment. Audience numbers for shows have been steadily growing, as have sales of CDs and T-shirts as fans seem to have suddenly woken up to the strength, and depth, of the talent we possess in this particular corner of the Überverse. It helps, of course, that the bands themselves are consistently able to prove their worth and deliver the goods, both in terms of the sheer quality of studio recordings that are being released on an increasingly frequent basis and, perhaps more importantly, in the live arena, into which one of Belfast’s new bloods, Oracle, this evening launched their debut full-length album, the ÜR-approved ‘Novissima’.

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Leprous/The Ocean/Port Noir – Manchester, Academy 2 – 9 November 2019

Three prog bands within a three-and-a-half-hour window, plus changeovers, means probably two songs each for the support acts, right? Not quite, it turns out, but then neither Port Noir nor The Ocean are typical prog bands in that manner. The cold and the rain couldn’t keep our resident gigaholic away, once trains were fairly back to normal, and he was raring to get gigging after the washout of the previous evening…

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Life of Agony/Doyle – Birmingham, O2 Institute – 25 October 2019

West coast titans, both Life of Agony and Doyle have a storied history of ruling the roost so far as alternative metal goes, the former as radio-toppling warriors throughout the 90s, the latter as the iconic guitarist of legendary horror punks The Misfits. With such stacking – right before Halloween no less – you can bet your bottom dollar that we wouldn’t miss such a gig for the world. Or at least, we wouldn’t if Birmingham’s O2 Institute weren’t so abysmal at crowd management, the queue as doors open stretching right down the expansive length of Digbeth high street, making it apparent that nobody is getting in any time soon.

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Royal Republic/Blackout Problems – Birmingham, O2 Academy – 27 October 2019

Nobody does fun like Royal Republic. Stylish purveyors of ultra-slick dance-happy rock n roll with enormous funky beats, the band have gone from strength to strength across their discography thus far. Marking themselves out from the pack amongst their fellow Scandinavian classic rock revivalists, the band have proven time and again that nobody in the modern rock game captures the spirit of old school rock n roll so thoroughly, the band’s Download 2019 appearance cementing them as a firm favourite for rock fans up and down the nation. Which makes it entirely unsurprising that the room is absolutely jam-packed tonight, signalling that their time in smaller venues should soon be ending.

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Marillion/Harry Pane – Manchester, Bridgewater Hall – 4 November 2019

Despite only getting home at 6.30am from the previous days shenanigans of the Judas Priest and David Ellefson collaboration in Wolverhampton and being pretty goddamn tired still after that 21 hour day, there was no way our resident gigaholic was going to pass up the opportunity to catch prog legends Marillion just up the M62 in Manchester, especially in such a venue as the Bridgewater Hall, a venue known for its acoustics and set up for incredible clarity of sound, never mind that they have orchestral backing too! Guitar wankery ahoy!

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Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons/King Creature – Southampton, Engine Rooms – 6 November 2019

Having been away for 13 months in New Zealand, the opportunity for the returning Phil C to get stuck into some hard-hitting rock ‘n’ roll was most welcome. Not to say that the land of the Long White Cloud didn’t provide many excellent adventures and memories. It’s just that where our resident Hobbit fan was located, live music was a little thin on the ground. In addition, seeing Phil Campbell keeps the Motörhead flag flying.

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Mayhem/Gaahl’s Wyrd/GosT – Dublin, Academy – 3 November 2019

It had been a long time since Monk had ventured down south Dublin way (sic), but when it was announced that one of the trve kvlt bands of black metal, one of the genre’s progenitors, as well as one of its most controversial, were paying a rare visit to this corner of the Überverse, then the boss man didn’t need a second excuse to board the express bus and head down the motorway to defile the Christian Sabbath with a bunch of like-minded heathens…

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Squeeze/Heaven 17 – Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall – 2 November 2019

Squeeze’s ‘Greatest Hits’ was the first CD our resident gigaholic’s dad bought himself, when he got his first cd player, while the then not-so big lad picked a triple Madness CD box set, with rarities on – yeah, he’s always been that person. He remembers hisdad putting the Squeeze CD on and really liking it, at the point where he was starting to develop his own music taste at the start of the’ 90s. He’s even seen Glenn Tilbrook solo before, supporting someone on a show where he worked the sound desk, but never Squeeze as a full band, so taking it in in a venue designed for clarity of sound like the Philharmonic Hall should be quite the experience. It’s been a while since the big man has been so ‘Tempted’ to give in to ‘Temptation’, so he surrendered to it and headed on down…

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Funeral For A Friend/Raiders/Pay The Man – Cardiff, Y Plas – 28 October 2019

The history of rock ‘n’ roll is littered with tales of bands splitting up and then getting back together again. Often, such reunions are often for the most cynical of reasons – usually money. But, occasionally – very occasionally – one comes about that is for the most honourable of reasons. And the latter is exactly why south Wales post-hardcore legends Funeral For A Friend came out of retirement this past week: to pay tribute to a man who could only be described as their biggest fan (both figuratively and literally, to quote the band), who died over the summer after a short battle with illness, and to raise money for his wife and three young sons by playing three shows, including two in their hometown of Cardiff…

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