Brotherly love from Greta Van Fleet and The Second Sons @ Academy 3
The anticipation for tonight’s show is palpable and arriving at the Students Union building there is already a long queue of young girls whom I presumed are here to see Greta Van Fleet when they were actually here to see teeny bopper boy band Yes Lad who were playing in the basement… probably the best place for them.
The walk up the stairs is particularly unpleasant, the odour is of decaying bodies (hopefully the aforementioned boy band), the SU needs to sort that out as it lingers in Academy 3 too.
Support for this tour is from The Second Sons who I know nothing about whatsoever (post gig find out they have so far released just two songs). The first thing that springs to mind is that they look like a very youthful version of the Rolling Stones, the singer Nick Harding has the looks and moves of Mick Jagger and his brother, guitarist Chris Harding looks like Keith Richards, even down to the moves. The brotherly love continues with brothers Alessandro Cinelli on drums and Marco Cinelli who uncannily like Mick Taylor; the line-up is completed by bassist George Price.
This London based band are being touted as the saviours of rock’n’roll – a heady description that could be hard to live up to, but they are entertaining and exciting to watch live. They work hard delivering their brand of classic blues rock with a set of solid, tight songs, performed with a poise and swagger most bands can only dream of, and they work the crowd well too leaving few in the audience unappreciative.
Greta Van Fleet are another brotherly proposition. A heavy blues rock band with a touch of soul they have already been widely described as the second coming of Led Zeppelin and lets be honest the similarities are obvious for all to hear. The band is made up of brothers Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka and Sam Kiszka on vocals, guitar and bass respectively with Danny Wagner banging the drums.
Opening with Highway Tune the band set out their stall straight away – the power and intensity runs all the way through the set, predominantly made up of their own material with a tremendous cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s Evil slotted in the middle. Flower Power sounds like it is from Led Zep III whereas Mountain Of The Sun, with it’s dirty blues slide sound, is quite astonishing. I am distracted by the singer though; wearing stage finery that is hippy chic and a voice which is so similar to Robert Plant that it is ridiculous. But tonight he seems withdrawn, a little out of it, but that doesn’t distract from the overall performance.
Even within the confines of Academy 3’s small stage the band as a whole have a huge presence and they are as engaging to watch as they are to listen to. An encore of Black Smoke Rising and Safari Song sets the place alight, albeit with a drum solo that is kept mercifully short, and as everyone leaves there isn’t anyone who doesn’t have a smile on their face – tonight was something very special indeed.