It was the first Planet Rock Live event of the year and it couldn’t have started with a better line up. Hosted by Wyatt Wendels who is at the forefront of featuring new music on his New Rock Show every Saturday, all 3 bands have been heavily featured on the show. Paul Anthony also made an appearance and with many in the audience regular Planet Rock listeners, there was a good turnout for a mid-week gig.
Fire Red Empress put on an impressive performance from the start. With singer Nik Taylor-Stoakes moving about the stage as the heavy guitars and powerful vocals blasted the venue, ‘Southpaw’ got the set off to a cracking start. ‘Hitman’ saw him pointing the microphone stand at the crowd as he weaved across the stage, with the rest of the band and the crowd seriously getting into the excellent sounding riffs, and even a touch of man flu wasn’t going to stop him from giving it his all. With a couple of older tracks from their EP, ‘Left Hand Spoken’ and ‘Paint Me The Devil’, which were full of massive sounding guitars and a heavy rhythm section, as the vocals powered their way through the tracks, this was an energetic performance. Thankful that he “hadn’t keeled over”, especially as “the man flu could kill me”, the rest of the band looked like they might manage it first, as Nik with his natural stage charisma announced all merchandise and drinks were free. Finishing off the set with new songs ‘Black Skies Mist’ and ‘Seven Shades To The Storm’, this gave a teaser of how brilliant their much anticipated album is going to sound, and fading out to the strains of ‘We’ll Meet Again’, Fire Red Empress wrapped up an excellent set.
Dirty Thrills launched straight into their set with ‘Shivers’ as singer Louis James waved the tambourine around to the opening bars. With great sounding guitars and a thumping rhythm, as soon as the vocals kicked in, this was a full on performance from the start. Barely pausing for breath, it was on to ‘Reign’, the thunderous drumming from Steve Corrigan pounding the venue. With guitarist Jack Fawdry moving about the stage with lightning speed and bassist Aaron Plows giving it some serious moves, the band were obviously enjoying the set as much as the crowd. The band continued with the immense sounding guitars and rhythm behind the more than impressive sounding vocals on tracks ‘Rock n Roll’ and the hugely popular ‘No Resolve’. With a set packed with songs that showcased their heavier tracks such as ‘The Man Who Lost His Way’ and ‘Follow Me Home’, the band were more than rocking the venue. Introducing a new song ‘Empire’ for the first time, with its dirty sounding groove and its chant-like ending, this went down well with the crowd before finishing the set with ‘Sigh’ and their guitarist getting down with the crowd at the end. The 6 months since launch of their debut album has seen the band grow in popularity and with a live performance that was full of confidence, as well as a more than impressive stage presence, this brilliant set reflected why there can be no doubt that Dirty Thrills are rock stars in the making.
Three piece The Amorettes are forging the way for female hard rock bands that are sadly lacking on the rock scene at the moment, and singer Gill, bassist Heather and drummer Hannah proved to the the crowd why they are one of the hottest bands around at the moment with a set that was a powerhouse of excellent rock tracks from start to finish. Sounding far bigger than just a trio, it was straight into an epic rock sound as they opened with ‘Rock Me, Roll Me’ with its monster sounding guitars and powerful vocals and harmonies. With the crowd joining in by shouting “Hey, Hey” on ‘Get What’s Coming’ as the second song of the night, this was why they were chosen as headliners as they put on an electrifying performance. With some new tracks from the highly anticipated album such as ‘Bull By The Horns’, which was drenched in classic kick-ass rock attitude and pure rock sounds, plus an impressive guitar solo full of fast-paced licks, the band had the venue absolutely rocking. With barely a break in between before they launched into songs such as ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’ and Take Cover’, the crowd were clapping and dancing away to every track, as the band played their high-octane set. ‘Daddy’s Got Money’ and ‘Give ‘Em Hell’ were foot stomping songs as fists were punched in the air, every song sounded immense in the venue and the vocals of Gill sounding on excellent form. It was fast, it was loud, it was heavy, it was all about the rock and when they played the new single ‘Fire At Will’, with its heavy rhythm, it sounded massive as the guitars blasted around The Borderline. ‘Boxticker’, ‘Shoot From The Hip’ and ‘Son Of A Gun’ were guitar-drenched songs that also had a thumping bass and rhythm section. Not to be outdone, during one song Gill climbed down from the stage and made her way to the back of the venue, still playing excellent guitar riffs, then Heather followed suit with her bass before being back at the front surrounded by the crowd as the song ended, and the girls totally owned the most impressive rock moves of the evening. Getting the crowd to sing along with the last song ‘Hot ‘N’ Heavy’, which was entirely how the set had been tonight from The Amorettes, it was face-melting rock to the very end, before it was a final encore of ‘Whoot Whoo’ and more of that excellent hard rock sound the band do so well.
Based on their live show, the band are going to go down a storm when they support Europe and Black Star Riders on their tour in March, so anyone going needs to get there early to check them out. The Amorettes put on a fantastic performance during their set and girl power reigned supreme.