Rose Hill Drive, The Answer, Roadstar.
The Cavern Club, Exeter. 05/10/06
£6 a ticket? Yep £6. A bargain. If you dont take advantage of this you really do deserve to have a carrot shoved forcefully up your arse!!!!!!!!!
Right, Im going to lay my cards on the table straight away here.
This gig finished early; way too early. Id reckoned on being out on the streets by two in the morning. Shit, I was back home and in bed by one. Thats after a hundred and fifty mile round trip too. Whats all that about then?
It seems the rock clubs of today bare little resemblance to the clubs of my youth. It seems that while venues for rock bands are hit with an 11pm curfew, the chavs and the innits can dance the night away till the early hours and beyond, with nothing said.
And its those fuckers who cause the trouble. Go figure!
Who the hell are Rose Hill Drive? I dunno.
They just took to the stage with no fanfare or anything else. Not even an announcer. But what a band! A trio, they play power blues of the sort so beloved by Zakk Wylde, especially in his Pride And Glory days. They look, and sound, like they should be in one of the great American jamming bands of the seventies. Yknow what I mean, all hair, moustaches, flares and Gibson Les Pauls, they wouldnt be out of place in the Allman Brothers or Quicksilver Messenger Service. Their last track, Cross The Line, sounded and looked like they couldve jammed it out all night. These boys play the sort of rock that belongs on the road. Chunky blues/rock with not a little southern comfort to keep things sweet. They hail from Bolder, Colorado. Remember this, as I hope you are going to hear a lot more from Rose Hill Drive. They only had half an hour to do their stuff in. It was enough. For a support act given short notice, they were shit hot stuff.
Then God walked in. No he didnt buy me that pint the owes me. But he was there for a reason. The Answer.
Right then. Whos into religion? Hold yer hands up. Cmon, dont be shy. That it? Youll know an epiphany when you get one then? Yes? Good. Cos thats whats going to happen when you see The Answer. This is a band who, if there is any justice in this world, are headed for world domination. This lot were awesome. Their singer is a red haired dervish of a man with a voice that is awesome. Eric Martin crossed with ol Percy with a touch of Roger Chapman (Family? No? Oh well).
His stage craft is reminiscent of Joe Cocker. Better still, he does live what he does on their debut disc (Rise), but better. Quite extraordinary. Easily Irelands best band at the moment. The Answer sound real funkyblues. Rock with a real groove to it. Think Cry Of Love dipped in classic Zep. Their stuff has a real bump, grind and swagger to it. Shagging music. Excellent.
And last on stage were Roadstar.
Dknow, there was the odd moment during the Roadstar set when it couldve quite easily have been classic UFO at full tilt (Lights Out or Natural Thing any one?). Ill tell you something here, the sound was excellent. It was better than some halls Ive been to.
Where Rose Hill Drive and The Answer took to the stage in T-shirts and jeans, Roadstar glammed it up a bit. No make up (yet?) but plenty of scarves, trinkets, bangles and studded belts.
Roadstar nailed their colours to the mast straight away. A five piece they were very much the British rock band doing what British rock bands do best; rock! What can I say? These boys hit the stage smiling and left the same way. To be honest, what Roadstar is missing is a keyboard player. And if they look at Moggs mobs mistakes and learn, Roadstar will be massive. This lot are quite capable of taking off from where the classic UFO stopped. Again, they do live what is on their debut cd. Excellent stuff.
I dunno. I was expecting Roadstar to run away with the night but The Answer beat them hands down. Rose Hill Drive ran them both close. But their age told in the end. Their still very young. However, I suspect that if this was an all-night club, Rose Hill Drive would be still playing come the dawn. And playing well. And guess what? Yep, Id be there too.
To sum up. The bands were excellent. I really cannot complain about them at all. The three outfits played their hearts out. The time constraints meant that none of the bands gave a full set but what they did was enough. Truly excellent. I kid you not.
And what about The Cavern Club? In short, this is my new spiritual home. Small, tight and personal, its the perfect place to see a band in the raw. The stage is the size of a postage stamp so there is nowhere to hide. The bands stand and fall on their performance alone.
The staff are ok, and they have loads of bands lined up. Ill tell you, The Cavern Club is the sort of place the likes of Aerosmith, Metallica et al.. would love to play. A health and safety nightmare, I reckon it has a capacity of 600 max. Fuck yeah! Gimme some of that. Say no more gvnor. Booze prices arent bad either. There are eateries close by too. Toppa stuff!
This is the second night of a two month tour, so catch them if you can. Youll not get a chance like this again. At least one of these band will be huge and the others will be playing bigger venues than this.
Youve been warned.
I think the telling thing is the audience. Rose Hill Drive managed to fill the front stage area and got a good farewell from a definitely indifferent welcome (well, a silent welcome actually). In fact, if truth be known, RHD had the harder job and pulled off the impossible. Nice one! The Answer packed the place out. For Roadstar the audience was not so full. The Answer pulled in a lot of older greys (like me) where Roadstar got the young vote. But at the end , there really wasnt that much to choose between the three bands. Tonight we had a funky blues rock out that begged to be allowed to continue until the wee hours.. What more could you want?
Rose Hill Drive were the ones to smoke a joint to. Roadstar you grooved to. The Answer you shagged to. Which one is it for you?
All three bands have a CD out as I write this. Get them and then get a ticket for the live show. You will not be disappointed. Trust me on this. A good night is guaranteed.
And if youre still not convinced, Ill tell ya this. When I left the Cavern, I couldnt hear a damn thing. At last Valhalla!
Recommended? Oh yes. And then some.