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Almost Easy Live @ Slade Rooms – 14th March 2014

It might not come as much of a surprise to you to know that I have attended quite a few gigs in my time. But some just feel different. I know that most of you reading this know exactly what I mean. From the drive there to walking through the doors at the venue, there is something in the back of your mind saying ‘I’m going to see something brilliant tonight.’ On my shofar driven journey (I say shofar… my brother drove us, but still, artistic licence and all that) to the Slade Rooms I had that feeling.

I had only seen Almost Easy once before last night, and that was in a cramped corner of a pub in Dudley with a dodgy floor. So as much as I taken by them that night this was going to be the first time that I saw them perform at a proper gig, so was very much looking forward to it.

The set kicked off in brilliantly up tempo fashion with ‘Dark Sided Woman’ the title track from the bands current EP. The song has taken on another dimension since the recording as the vocal has gone down a notch or two, but for me this really adds to the song leaving it sounding better than I ever heard it before. The band look right at home and their energy is fantastic.

Somehow things were kicked up a gear for ‘Set In Stone’ which is in short drum smashing, guitar thrashing chaos. It was an all-out musical assault, which fired straight into ‘Lost.’ It may have only been the 3rd song of the gig but I can say without exaggeration that it was one of the highlights of the entire night. Guitarist Adam Saunders really comes to the fore with a Randy Rhodes inspired solo, to start things off, while he uses the rest of the song as a dance floor to carve his guitar playing talents all over.

‘Out Of Me’ and ‘Still Remains’ are characterised by their sheer brutishness. The vocal from frontman David Saunders just growls over the top of the thundering rhythm that is hammering the songs forwards. There’s head banging and hair flying everywhere and that’s just on stage.

The next track ‘Mouth Cash,’ (Look that’s what it says on the set list!) for me just sums up the entire performance. There’s energy and charisma in spades, and a very very well drilled band at the top of their game.  Drums, bass, guitars are totally on point.

The set has absolutely flown by and those who have arrived early doors have been given a real treat but the band were not quite done yet…

‘Take It Away’ fills the room with a sound that you can feel coming through the floor, it’s just about as heavy as it gets. And the band’s finale ensured that they went out with a bang. The best way I can describe ‘Closer’ is ‘Sabbath like.’ And I mean that as the highest compliment. It’s a relentless march of a song, crashing symbols and a passionate vocal. Topped off quite superbly by A. Saunders playing part of the solo behind his head and I mean ‘playing’ not just twanging the same two chords over n over for 10 seconds. It was a brilliant end to what had been a fantastic opening set.

Tonight was a perfect demonstration of why I think Almost Easy are one of the best up and coming young bands around. They can rock any stage now and trust me there is so much more to come. They are only young guys, but they are seriously dedicated to their craft and on the rise. They may well have been the opening band on this night, but I have no doubt that headline status awaits.

 All photos shot by the brilliantly talented Justclairephotography

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