As the longer, lighter days are now upon us, it was The Rock Den’s turn to be lit up on Saturday as At The Sun, on the penultimate leg of their Leave Before The Light headlining tour, graced its stage. Support coming from Electric Black and the irrepressible The Hot One Two.
First up, making their debut at the Den, was Hitchin-based Rockers, Electric Black. Lead by the expansive vocal talents of Alistair Shiach (Rhythm guitar), Jonny Bryant (Lead guitar/Backing vocals), Ryan Trotman (Bass/Backing vocals) and Matt Butler on Drums, performed a front to back set of tracks that will appear on their debut album due for release in October. As well as powerful riffs, tight rhythms and mean guitar licks, there is a great bluesy feel to a lot of their tracks as well as a good solid rock sound and much to satisfy a range of musical tastes. The set included ‘Love Is A Light’, ‘Gravity’, ‘Build It And They Will Come’, as well as stand out tracks ‘Eagle’ and ‘Thrill Of The Chase’. Even with a few technical issues they still delivered a passion-fuelled set and the quality of the songs should make for a successful debut album.
Taking the Rock Den stage for the third time, Cambridge’s latest addition to the Rock family, The Hot One Two. From the first note it’s clear why that have a good solid fan base and have got many a tongue wagging. Simon West (Vocals), Nick ‘Foot Stomper’ Manners (Lead guitar/Backing vocals), Nick Blackburn (Bass/Backing Vocals), Ben Knowles (Guitar) and Joe Chivers on drums, have a great stage presence and an in your face attitude backed up by contagious riffs, face-contorting solos and monstrous beats. The set included, ‘Flush’, ‘Neon’, ‘Martial Law’ and ‘Better Than You Know’ from their excellent debut EP, along with ‘Bleed On Me’ and their latest track ‘Tie Me Down’. A must-see live show of classic rock with a modern twist that leaves nothing on the stage except for pools of sweat and weeping (slightly dented) floorboards.
Up next, making their debut at the Den, At The Sun, promoting the recent release of their Leave Before The Light album. What a class act they are. The exceptional vocals of Harry Dale are the perfect front for this powerful, no-nonsense London-based Rock band. Along with Chet Jogia (Lead Guitar), Alex Matthews (Bass), Kieron Heavens (Rhythm Guitar) and Craig Steen on drums they offered up a great blend of blues, metal and classic rock, full of dirty, powerful riffs, pounding rhythms and ripping solos. Pure, no bullshit, Rock ‘n’ Roll, delivered with a passion. It blasts its way inside your head, jumps around a bit before spreading speedily through the rest of you. It’s impossible to stand still. There is a unique, honest quality to their performance that makes them stand out from most others in the contemporary rock scene. It makes you feel good, it makes you want more, and the tracks will most certainly stand the test of time. ‘Only A Fool’, ‘Devil In Your Eyes, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Preacher’ were perhaps the stand outs but, in truth, you could put a pin in their set list and pick a winner. An absolute blinder of a set and a stonking album to boot. This is a band you don’t want to miss out on. Top drawer stuff.
By Steve Ellis
Next Gig Sat 18th May, Assimilate, Tomorrow is Lost & Trident Waters