Up until last night you could have written everything that I knew about One Man Revival on the back of a cigarette packet. I knew that they are based in the North East, that they were a rock band and that they were supposed to be pretty good. I had heard a couple of snippets from one or two of their songs but that was about it.
Now before I get blasted about a lack of preparation I occasionally do this because it means that when the gig starts I have no preconceptions about a band and I have a totally open mind. My only view of the band is what I see in front of me, I see everything with fresh eyes.
Anyway, as I haven’t covered these guys before here’s the run down; One Man Revival are Andew Hanlon (Lead Vocals, guitar) Kyle Smith (Bass, backing vocals) and Wayne Glaister. (Drums, backing vocals) Based in Sunderland the band formed at the back end of 2012 and have garnered attention from BBC Introducing as well as gathering rave reviews for not only their music and their live shows. They are definitely a band with a growing as well as a glowing reputation. But were they any good?
The opening track of the set ‘Be With You Anymore’ set the tone for what would follow in brilliantly barnstorming fashion. Lots of noise and lots of energy are the order of the day as the 3 guys on stage power through their opening gambit to the sound of hearty cheers from those in attendance. Following some slick audience participation the Foo Fighters inspired ‘An Ordinary World’ fired into life after an intro which seemed long enough to put Meatloaf to shame. Much like a lot of the Foo Fighters singles the track has a great hook which will no doubt be a huge hit at more highly populated venues than the Victoria on this occasion.
My own personal highlight from the next track ‘Shipwrecked’ was looking around and seeing a line of people all bopping their heads as one as the track thundered along. Every track so far has been of real quality; all the songs are very well rounded and really sharp. There’s no treading water everything has its purpose.
As well as having a brilliant title ‘Nice Night For A Bar Fight’ is an absolutely awesome track and definitely one of the high points of the night. The intro sees the rhythm section takeover in building the track steadily until the guitar from Hanlon crashes into view with serious intent. The central riff is fantastic, one of those that will really connect with live audiences; the noise and energy that cascades from the stage is incredibly impressive. Are there really only 3 of them in the band?
After being beaten about the head by that wall of sound it was time for a breather, and that breather came in the shape of ‘Save Me.’ Rather than being the bands token slow tune, this song was actually my favourite of the entire set. The verses are a slow build into what can only be described as an anthemic chorus. If I had known the words I would have been belting the track out with the band up on the stage, it’s just got that feel. As a ballad/slow song or whatever you want to call it it’s pretty much flawless.
The band then decides to kick the next track to one side (Another slow one) to in their own words “rock out some more!” So with that battle cry ringing in the ears of those of us in attendance the band in typically full throttle fashion flew into ‘Out Of Here Alive.’ It’s another cracking track featuring some great guitar work and even a brief excursion into T-Rex ‘20th Century Boy.’ (I don’t think I dreamt that) ‘Your Lifetime’ is the bands current single and you can see why. It’s an uncomplicated slice of beautifully loud rock music which sums the band up perfectly.
Penultimate track ‘Jager, Jack, Vodka, Disco’ (What another brilliant name for a track) sees the band continue rocking the stage with their trademark swagger. This track like the band and the set in general is just great fun. The set comes to a close with the aptly titled ‘In The End.’ It might seem a strange thing to say bit the highlight of the big finale was when things actually went wrong. The last half minute or so of the song was beset by an amp issue. I say amp issue, what actually happened was the guitar amp died. But rather than crumble and just wrap things up they improvised, kept going and finished the song complete with a now resurrected amp. It was great to see.
All in all and amp issues aside this was a brilliant set. Every track was good fun, the musicianship was first rate, the rhythm section of Smith and Glaister was perfectly in tune with one another and kept the whole thing faultlessly thundering along. It’s just a shame more people weren’t there to see it.
The band have a great attitude but also the musical talent to back it up, and this set was a perfect demonstration of why they have been gaining those glowing reviews I mentioned earlier. Well here is another one. When One Man Revival visit your town, make it your mission to see them, do whatever it takes. They are that good.