Saturday, 7 June 2008

Bad Attitude/The Skimps/Stolen Creation @ The Queens, Basford. June 5th.

Review by Steve Dean

Photo by Leo

I last saw Stolen Creation at the Godless festival and I have to say that they gave a far better performance this evening than then. They have an excellent guitarist in Jake Weston and some of their riffs are on a par with with anything Black Sabbath ever put out. In fact, their opening number put me very much in mind of the vintage heavy metal men; but not so much the material; more in the sheer earth and fire of this band’s delivery. Calling the small crowd up to the front, gravelly-voiced young vocalist Pete Crutchley announced the second song as being ‘Eternal Hate’, a split-second before the mob launched into the usual extremely violent, but apparently fun-filled moshing session. It was at this point that they appeared to have a short break. Invoking a ‘youth club’ atmosphere, band and audience casually chatted and walked around both on and off the stage for a few minutes before song three had them all charging and leaping around again. Finishing with their tribute song to Sammy Fallon, ‘My Ruined Soul Aside’, the band left the stage to enthusiastic applause – then most of the audience departed before the next band came on; although there were enough punters left to make the gig worthwhile. It appears Stolen Creation brought most of the early audience with them; and going by their response, a pretty devoted one at that.

The Skimps are just as heavy, but a different style altogether. The band obviously very much influenced by the more traditional sounds of rock, my long-battered ear could detect vague overtones of Sabbath’s classic ‘Paranoid’ in their very first number. On the whole, The Skimps remind me of the various bands the great Richie Blackmore was involved with in the early 70s. In fact, 17-year-old guitarist Dan Ogden’s cracking leadwork tells me that before too long, he could himself reach the heights of dexterity enjoyed by Blackmore and the other guitar heroes of that era. As the current rock renaissance unfolds, It will not be long before new master axemen, as they used to call them, begin to emerge. Dan and Jake Weston in the band before them are good examples. Not that there’s anything wrong with the rest of the group. They have a good solid drummer in Matty Clarke, while bassist Jack Beardsall and rythym guitar Adam Brookes play their parts very well indeed; treating us to a worthy set of good ‘n’ hard driving rock, overladen with some of the best soloing I’ve heard in a good while. Although I wasn’t sure of the wisdom of attempting Hendrix’s exotically erotic ‘Foxy Lady’, The Skimps undoubtedly proved themselves to be an up and coming force to be reckoned with. I was given a CD which I’ve since listened to several times and they have a great deal of potential without a doubt. ‘Times of War’ stands out in particular. Give it a listen if you get a chance.

Headliners Bad Attitude came on wearing somewhat oddball stage attire that could only be described as ‘motley’. Leopard skin coats and leather hats to the fore, Bad Attitude blasted off with an energetic act that had them covering practically every inch of the stage. I didn’t catch the title of their opening song, but with their second offering, they did a fine job of covering Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’; if a little over-frantic. In that vein, they have plenty of zestful vim; constantly crossing over the stage and spinning round throughout the entire set. Sounding something like 80s band Def Leppard, they have plenty of good tunes; the most appealing, to my mind, being a strong, catchy composition called ‘Fly or Fall’. Singer Grant (yet another band with no surnames on their myspace site) handles most of the vocals with drummer Morley joining in on the harmonies from time to time and making a very good job of it. Towards the end, they did a spirited cover version of Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’, and that makes three mentions of said veterans in three reviews. Interesting that Tony Iommi’s famous solo was not copied note for note, but improvised in lead guitarist Sam’s own blistering way. Good to hear it. I don’t want to leave out bass player Ash; he is a fine bassist, and supplies a constant powerpack to the band’s overall drive. Their last song, ‘Bad Boys’, put me very much in mind of the style of Gun ‘n’ Roses, and that can’t be a bad thing. Called back for an encore, some of the audience danced onstage with them as they rocked out and all involved looked like they were having a really good time, as they undoubtedly were. Bad Attitude are a really good band.

All three groups at the Queens tonight showed remarkable potential, and them all being so young gives them the time to achieve it. They have my confidence at least.

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