The Bad Flowers Album Launch Gig
Words: Diane Taylor | Photos: Anthony Firmin
Hidden away in an industrial area, just north of the Birmingham city centre, with no nearby neighbours, only the sound of pounding rock music gives away Asylum's location before see it. This evening’s show is in the smaller Asylum 2 upstairs at the venue; with a sweet shop at one end where the staff wear horror style nurses outfits and the live music room at the other end - this truly is an asylum!! With my feet sticking to the floor from many a spilt drink it did make me wonder if I would ever escape the asylum.
With only a 6" high stage you need to be at front to get a good view of the action and this fairly small room would get very hot and sweaty as this celebratory evening rolled on!
As These Wicked Rivers vocalist John Hartwell sings "it tastes like sugar" he is singing like honey and is making a sweet sound for the ears at the band spout forth their heavy blues rock. Guitarist Arran Day is pulling all the classic rock poses whilst the rest of the band get on with the business of rocking. Ending their performance singing "Hey hey, my my, rock n roll will never die" may be somewhat clichè but it is possibly a perfect ending to their dirty blues set.
The clichès continue with Those Damn Crowes but as they say with their opening song, they Don't Give A Damn and go on to state Rock N Roll Ain't Dead. Owning the stage is totally natural to singer Shane Greenhall even though this is a complete band effort. With confidence running very high they even include a new song Devil In My Pocket before returning to classic Damn Crowes ground with the likes of Blink Of An Eye. They are huge fun to watch and have loads of energy, all of which rubs off on the crowd and prepares them for the main event.
With their debut album landing yesterday this is The Bad Flowers day and Asylum 2 is theirs for the taking and by launching straight into Hurricane they show they are not messing around as the band thunder through tracks from the album with aplomb.
Let's Misbehave, as guitarist Tom Leighton says, is a little unusual for them but it leaves the crowd spellbound and Run Run Run was a welcome addition to their set, taken from their previously released EP, the band then returning to the album with a cracking Be Your Man.
Back to the new album and up next is Thunder Child which is simply... thunderous! The rhythm combo of Dale Tonks bass and Karl Selickis drumming is brutal here as it is throughout the night; leading in to the final song of the main set being City Lights, the crowd lapping it up and calling for more.
The encore is delayed somewhat due to the sound engineer going AWOL but the band acknowledge their Midlands metal roots with a rousing rendition of Sabbaths War Pigs sung by Tonks and the Asylum 2 choir with absolutely everyone joining in.
This is one hell of a way to launch an album, the starting gun has been well and truly fired for The Bad Flowers and one of those evenings where you can definitely say "I was there!"