If you follow me on social media you’ll know that I’ve made it my mission this year to get out to more live shows so with that in mind last night I hit the road once more. My destination this time was a sold out o2 Academy 3 in Birmingham to check out Toseland and Colour Of Noise.
I have been lucky enough to see Toseland play live before so I was pretty sure what I was going to get from them but Colour Of Noise were a new name on my radar. Being the ultimate professional that I am (No laughing at the back) I checked out a couple of their tracks before the big night and liked what I heard but I always think that you can never really tell about a band until you see them live. It’s fair to say that my apprehension didn’t last long.
The thing that I love most about the Brighton natives is their approach. No gimmicks, just massive hard rock tracks soaked in the finest 60’s and 70’s rock tradition. At bang on 8 o’clock last night the band hit the stage with the sole intention of tearing it down and by 8.40 they had done just that.
The Blues influence is there for all to see but they have built on it and created their own brilliant brand of rock music and an energetic stage show to match. The audience were maybe a little slow to get into the action but by the time the band got to the rousing Head On they had those in attendance eating out of the palm of their hands. The track itself is up-tempo riffage of the highest order while the badass guitar solo which tears through the track like a bat out of hell (No Meat Loaf) is about as much fun as you can possibly have with your clothes on.
Can’t Take It With You is as heavy as hell and Rock Bottom which crashed its way onto the scene shortly after was another undoubted highlight. By the time that the band fired through Drive It Like You Stole It in rapid fire style and the thick, swaggering and appropriately titled closer Heavy it was plain to see that these guys knew how to put on a rock show. There are some support bands who are just happy to go through the motions but Colour Of Noise left it all on the stage, and the hearty roar which greeted Heavy’s grandstand finish said it all. Keep an eye on these guys.
As I mentioned earlier on I had the pleasure of seeing Toseland play in Wolverhampton only a few months ago so I was pretty confident that I was going to see a good performance. As it turns out ‘good performance’ was a spectacular understatement.
There was a palpable feeling of anticipation among the capacity crowd and in the seconds leading up to the band hitting the stage the buzz was pretty incredible. Then once the band did take to the stage the roof just came off, opening salvo Living In A Moment was huge and the band didn’t let up for the next 90 minutes. Stranger Things sent a cascade of hard rock riffs and rhythms tumbling down from the stage as the audience rapturously soaked it all in. The thing that really struck me though, wasn’t the obviously quality of the songs or the musicianship but the fact that the band were clearly having such a good time on stage. That kind of infectious enthusiasm as a member of the audience is pretty hard to ignore. Frontman James looked like he was having the time of his life and that feeling just pulls you in.
Crash Landing was a brilliantly raucous affair while my notes for new track Nothing You Can Do About It simply read ‘F**king mega.’ I have nothing more to add! It was also a feature of the band’s set that the new music like the previous track and stuff like the personal Never Love Another got as much love as the older more established songs, which isn’t always the case.
Lead singer James had such a good rapport with the audience, telling little jokes and interacting with a few shout outs, it was great to see. He seemed hell bent on making sure that everyone in the room got their money’s worth. The band’s performances of Hearts And Bones and ‘closer’ Singer In A Band were probably my own personal highlights. The crowd was so live for those tracks and a series of searing solos and the band’s back to basics brand of hard hitting rock and roll meant that they weren’t disappointed.
The encore consisted of Cradle The Rage, a monster rendition of Renegade and We’ll Stop At Nothing. The band didn’t want to leave the stage and the sweaty Birmingham crowd didn’t want them to leave either. Talk about leaving them wanting more…
This was such a good rock show, it was just shame that there were only two bands playing which left a lot of standing around at the start of the night. That being said the two bands who were on the bill both turned in fantastic performances. I had a brilliant night and as I worked my way through the crowd to the exit it was clear that I wasn’t alone. When these bands roll into your town check them out, you will not be disappointed.