Rock double bill
Rival Sons - Live At The HMV Forum, London

Do you like your rock music loud, hard and in-your-face? The way it should be played? Then this was the gig for you. The HMV Forum was packed out with a double bill of Kentucky metal band, Black Stone Cherry and LA ‘70s-style blues rockers, Rival Sons.

First up was the bunch from LA. They’ve enjoyed extended playtime with the single ‘Pressure and Time’ from their debut CD on the UK rock waves lately. Their gritty blues based rock is well suited for Jay Buchanan’s voice and screeching guitars of Scott Holiday. Joey Tempest (Europe) was spotted in the audience, seemingly having a rocking good time, and commented later that Rival Sons are the business. Drummer Miley had a jam-packed evening, set to support legends Steve Winwood and Roger Daltrey later the same night for their gig at the Royal Albert Hall, but this did nothing to prevent him giving his drums a good old fashioned pounding.

By the time they reached ‘Burn Down Los Angeles’, the crowd was clapping and stomping in delight. Rival Sons have matured into a tight unit and they seemed to enjoy themselves on stage. Old school rock fans loving passionate and ballsy ‘70s rock certainly got their money’s worth. Only time will tell, but Rival Sons could earn the title of “classic rockers” a few years from now.

From slow rock ballads to fuzzed-up, teenage, metal outrage, Black Stone Cherry packed it all. This band feeds on adrenaline and energy. They played their big guitars and large riffs at maximum volume and the onslaught was relentless. Chris Robertson’s voice was almost too good to be true. Ben Wells’ axe work was in overdrive, backed by drummer John Young, hell-bound on destroying his drum kit. ‘Things My Father Said’, ‘White Trash Millionaire’ and the latest ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’; all their hits were there and the fans loved it.

A few years ago this group supported legendary bands like Def Leppard and Whitesnake, and it showed. They stepped it up a gear and delivered the goods which left most of their fans gasping for more. Set to appear at the Isle of Wight Festival later this year to cement their place in rock history, and judging by their performance on the night, they’ve probably done so already.

Words and photo by Stephen Fourie

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

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