Raw In Sect @ Rebellion Bar, Manchester

Raw In Sect @ Rebellion Bar, Manchester

© 2015 Anthony Firmin / Anthony John Photography It is not cool when promoters fuck over bands. With only a week to go I saw a post on Facebook saying tonight’s show had been cancelled. It turned out that the promoter hadn’t done his leg work in promoting the show and then changed the terms of the deal, nobody was happy and the gig was pulled.

However, Renegade and Retrospect along with Red Halo Promotions came to the rescue and Raw In Sect were offered a place to stay, some food and the door money, which they accepted, so the gig could go ahead!!

I arrived and The Kingdom were playing the penultimate song of their set. They describe themselves as hard rock and dirty blues although personally I thought they sounded more like a 90’s garage rock band. They had a great sound but I thought the vocals were a bit flat, they more than made up for it with the flare Taylor Fisher shows on guitar.

It would be easy to just describe The God Complex as stoner rock as they are now more complex than that. They have played a lot of gigs since I last saw them in July and it shows. They are tighter and more coherent and the sound seems to have evolved too. Nudity seems to be the overriding theme to their set this evening, with their drummer and bassist already stripped to their undies, guitarist (and ManchesterRocks writer) Greg Dixon decided to join in the fun and removed his clothes too. The bands performance just seemed to improve as the lack of clothes released their inhibitions and they just went for it.

The smell from the stage was, well, it was interesting, sweaty bollocks times three and as Dixon later admitted “I haven’t had a shower since Monday.” Thanks for sharing that. The end of their set saw the naked guitarist take things literally to another level by climbing up onto the frame at the side of the stage and subsequently jumping off it when it looked like it was about to tip over. This was followed by what appeared to be sexual abuse of his guitar – I think he may need a girlfriend! Blood on the stage and a damaged foot were the consequence of his escapades and as he later reflected “fucking whatever.” If he carries on like this he will need a “throne” to play on similar to Dave Grohl’s although in Dixon’s case it will probably just be a toilet.

Back to the music. The naked guitarist’s antics were merely a visual but not total distraction from the music because the rest of the band played faultlessly, a solid team effort. Their sound has evolved into a mash-up of Hawkwind and classic British blues rock with a modern twist and they are just getting better and better. You need to catch them live before Greg Dixon kills himself.

Lemon air freshener was deployed during the break to the relief of many and trust me dear readers, it was a necessity. Very rock’n’roll.

Renegade & Retrospect are another band who have improved immeasurably since I saw them at the same gig as TGC in July. They also have gigged solidly and have really tightened up their performance. A Belgian tour earlier in November has seen them approach international stardom with good crowds at their gigs along with the usual rock star trappings of groupie (singular) and beer (not singular).

Guitarist Jordan Leppitt’s Les Paul sound is now deeper and bluesier and his playing is both more fluid and solid. Their performance was bloody tight and ran along at a fast pace with the band hardly pausing between songs in their 30 minute set, their hard blues rock hitting the spot on this wet night.

Finally it was time for the headliners, all the way from Athens (Greece), Raw In Sect. Although many bands are cancelling tours as a consequence of the recent bomb and gun attacks, RIS are not prepared to give in to the terrorists and their tour continues, even if the original promoter tried to derail things.

I have to admit that aggressive metal is not my thing so it would be unfair of me to comment much other than they put in a lot of effort and the crowd enjoyed what they saw as they performed a set that included numbers from the new album Blue Haze.

Although it hadn’t helped that tonight’s show had been cancelled and reinstated, overall it was fairly successful evening. Top marks to Red Halo for helping to rescue the evening.

Epica @ O2 Ritz, Manchester

Epica @ O2 Ritz, Manchester

Tim Scott Brings On The Night

Tim Scott Brings On The Night