Bonafide + Greybeards + The New Breed + Black Cat Bones at Rebellion
Manchester gets painted blue and gold as Rebellion yields to the ‘Swedish Invasion’!
Having recently reviewed the brilliant new album, ‘For The Wilder Minds’, by Swedish four-piece Greybeards, I was eager to see them perform live, so when they announced that they would be supporting fellow countrymen Bonafide on their May UK tour, I jumped at the chance to see them.
I’m not the only one to have noticed an influx of great music coming out of Sweden lately. Our friends at Down The Front Podcast have certainly picked up on it and The Greybeards’ single Fast Asleep has enjoyed considerable airplay on Planet Rock’s New Rock Show in recent weeks.
The show kicked off with support from Liverpool-based hard rock five-piece, Black Cat Bones – the first of four bands to perform that night. With new member Dan Byrne (formerly of Black Diamond) at the helm, the band played tracks from their second EP ‘Down To The River’ as well as their new single, After All.
It’s not always easy for a band to replace their lead singer so seamlessly, but Byrne fit right in, confidently fronting the group, who gave a tight, cohesive performance, crammed with massive riffs and killer hooks. Their huge sound incorporated a generous sprinkling of blues and grunge, served up with a healthy dose of rock n’ roll swagger.
Up next were another quintet, The New Breed, from Manchester. Their six-song set was a modern take on 70s and 80s influences, with impressive showmanship from singer J. Michael Ward, who yelled “Let’s turn this place into a church of rock n’ roll”! Enthusiastic foot-tapping and hand-clapping soon ensued and the set clearly went down well with the crowd, most of whom it seemed were previously unfamiliar with this promising young local band.
When Greybeards came on, the moshing began. Performing songs mainly from their new album, Olle Westlund’s voice sounded incredible, his vocal style effortlessly crossing the blurry line between hard rock and heavy metal. The energy was sky high and Fast Asleep was exceptional. One In A Billion really got the crowd singing along and the Greybeards gave classic rock a whole new lease of life.
This was stadium-worthy rock in a small venue. There was an unexpected moment of nudity when the bass player flung off his shoes and socks, but nothing could distract from the excitement of what was in several places a jaw-dropping performance. Closing track The Nerve left one hell of an impression, with crashing guitars accelerating like a runaway train. Superb!
Seasoned musicians Bonafide had attracted a slightly older following to Rebellion but immediately had everybody stomping to their electric, blues-drenched rock n’ roll rhythms. The band looked extremely comfortable together and were clearly having a blast on stage. The solid, old-school sound they produced was anything but stale and dated - it was vibrant and dynamic, with songs such as One Kiss and Rag And Bone Man really hitting the spot.
The band played an ample set and kept the energy in plentiful supply all the way through to the very last note. The final song, Fill Your Head With Rock, from their 2009 album, ‘Something’s Dripping’, has a decidedly AC/DC vibe and went down an absolute storm. The down n’ dirty on-stage party rapidly spread to the floor, with lively cavorting in the crowd. What a way to end the night!
A big “thank you” to all the staff at Rebellion – It was a real pleasure, as always.
The New Breed
Black Cat Bones