Traffic, it is always traffic that makes sure I miss the opening act. No matter how early I set off it will always find me. Tonight is no different, although thankfully I do at least get to grab the last couple of songs of Blind Channel's set. And what a great couple of songs they are. These guys have got buckets full of melody and even though they are playing to an incredibly lack luster crowd (apart from a small group of girls at the front that sing back every word) they are clearly playing this show like it is their biggest show to date. And that straight away grabs my attention. These types of opening slots are perfect for bands to cut their teeth and showcase why they should (or in some case why they shouldn't) be the next generation of headliner and Blind Channel have proven to me in only a few songs that they have a mass of potential to go far.
Next up we have All That Remains. A band I have been a fan of for an extremely long time and one that until now I've never had the pleasure to see. The European leg of the tour will see the band returning to the stage for the first time since the passing of guitarist Oli Herbert, who along with Phil Labonte was the only other member to of been there from the start. So it goes without saying that continuing on the European leg of the tour wasn't a decision that the band took lightly. But they don't let tonight become a sombre affair. But instead play with heart, creating a fitting tribute to their friend. In the wake of stand in guitarist Jason Richardson (Chelsea Grin, Born Of Osiris) having a limited time to learn a full set of songs, the fans are treated to what can be essentially described as best of set. And fuck me is it exactly that, even with a few technical issues meaning the cutting of a few songs, the band still churns out hit after hit. With 'Six' being a personal highlight, as it takes me back to playing guitar hero in my family home, attempting with my brother and best friend to hit that perfect score on expert (we never did). It is criminal that ATR tonight find themselves playing to what can only be a half capacity room, because these guys are certified Metal royalty. The guys let the music do the taking and tonight it roars.
Finally we have the mighty Sevendust. Royalty in their own right with a 25 plus year career and a mass of hits to compliment it. Lead singer Lajon Witherspoon has one of the most infectious smiles, and he spends the whole set beaming away. Half capacity or not the crowd give back everything the band sends their way and they give it back tenfold. The band provide hit after hit both new and old and show just exactly why they've been able to stay relevant in an ever changing musical landscape.
Overall I think the time of year has meant there were fewer in attendance than the bands deserved, I mean gigs are all well and good but you can't recount that awesome Metal show you went to as a present to Grandma. December is always hit or miss and sadly the turn out was poor for what I see as two bands, at the top of their game. I have no doubt this won't be the last time the UK see's these guys and I know the previous nights London show was rammed so I don't think the guys will be deterred from returning. Overall a great night and for me, for many personal reasons All That Remains took the night.
Sevendust - https://www.facebook.com/sevendustofficial/
All That Remains - https://www.facebook.com/allthatremains/
Blind Channel - https://www.facebook.com/BlindChannelBand/
Photos & Review - Friswell Photography