It feels like it has been forever since I have been able to bring you a live review with some nice shiny pictures so I hope you enjoy this one.
As you will have seen on Tuesday I braved the crappy West Midlands weather with official Musical Outcast photographer Claire Trojnacki (justclairephotography) to go and review ’68 and of course one of my bands of the year The Crimson Star.
In 2014 the band released a brand new EP called No Ordinary Love and have performed a number of stellar shows many of which I was lucky enough to be at. Anyway, this show was scheduled to be the last of the year for me as well as the band so I was looking forward to ending the year on a high.
The set kicked off in familiar fashion with an incredibly thick and gritty rendition of New Road. It might have just been the Birmingham cold affecting me but the song seemed slightly slower than I have heard it before; in any event it got things off to a solid start. There are two things that really help the band standout when it comes to playing live, one is that regardless of the size of the crowd they always put the same energy into their shows and secondly they always look like they are enjoying themselves. Both of these things were in evidence on the night and especially in what was a typically energetic and hard hitting performance of old favourite Some Other Way.
The band then returned to their most recent EP for the next 3 tracks, beginning with Coercion, before moving onto A Darker Shade and the records title track No Ordinary Love. The newer songs are definitely more melody driven than the band’s earlier material but they still pack the same knock-out punch. Coercion began with a whisper before ending with a roar as A Darker Shade bust into life. Thundering along like an out of control freight train the band’s monstrous sound crashed against the walls for 4 ear-splitting minutes. No Ordinary Love continued the hard rocking theme; apparently making such an impact that Claire managed to split her jeans… Don’t ask…
Usual show closer and show stopper The Greed Effect brought the curtain down on what had been an absolutely barnstorming, hair flailing 30 minutes of live music. I don’t think that I had ever heard this song sound so dirty and heavy; exactly how rock music should be.
However, and this is no fault of the band, the turnout on the night was pretty poor if I’m being honest. There was so much empty space in the room it rendered any attempts to get the audience really involved rather pointless. So it was to the band’s credit that they played to the crowd of around 30 as if they were performing in front of a crowd of 300. This attitude means that you just don’t see these guys put on a bad show; you get professionalism and energy in spades as well as plenty of quality rock music and in my eyes as a paying customer that’s all you can ask for.
All photography appears courtesy of justclairephotography.