Bullets and Octane/Sour Tusk/New Generation Superstars/Against The Grain -
Corporation, Sheffield, Saturday 17th February, 2018
Set List: Intro/Find The Thrill/Bleed Red/Fool For You/Come Down/Ghost/Slip Away.
Well this was the first gig I had seen since I had got back in to Blighty after being in the USA. The first thing I noticed immediately was just how many people were in here so early and it was not even 7pm. Now that's good promo for ya indeed and also down to the fact the first band up 'Against The Grain' have only played a handful of shows – so demand was there to see them for defo.
Having never heard much about these guys before I was pleasantly surprised how good they were and had a belting style of almost classic rock mixed in with stoner rock – stellar players as well I got to say – in fact the a member of a band higher up the bill used to be their drummer – more on that later.
Anyways, back to the point before I got off in a tangent or fly into a brick wall – ouch – Against The Grain had the people in here up and rockin' (well it's not seated – ahem!) with hot numbers like the opening 'Find The Thrill'; 'Fool For You' and the closing quiet atmospheric starting 'Slip Away'.
Now It's been a wee while since I have seen 'New Generation Superstars' and let me tell you that although the frontman's hair is rather shorter than I remember, they have lost none of their brash pzzazz and ballsiness that I remember from many years ago. It's brash, in-your-face rah-rah-rah ballad-free blasting.
A band that literally wears you out just watching them and it surprises me that they never really got bigger than they did because with a rock 'n' roll grandoise performance like this they deserve to.
They slaughtered up with the punk-o-rockin' sound and we had two more bands on the bill to take in.
Set List: Pretty Ugly/Desert Punk/Midnight/Born To Lose/Roll With The Punches/Johnny B. Goode/Drinking Man/Devil Run.
Now the drummer of this band/duo or whatever the f*ck you wanna call them was the stick man in Against The Grain a while since. I say band/duo cos they are as loud and full as a four or five piece – getting the bass sounds from the guitar and drums to fill in the gaps.
Sour Tusk have come on leaps and bounds since I last saw them and as well as being a supreme pair of stoner rockers who can match up to any act doing the rounds right now or in yesteryear they have cracking personalities.
It's like a comedy show up their with neither of them afraid to take the piss out of each other, the audience or just generally have a good laugh and banter for the sheer hell of it. It's like watching the two old guys from The Muppet Show – Waldorf and whatever the other one is called... oh yeah, Statler!
Nic is one hell of a blinding drummer with hair that will make any woman jealous over, while guitarist, Jake Johnson has less but that don't take it away from his superb quirky humour and overall professionalism throughout their set – oh he has a cool beard too.
The boys thram it up with killer cuts such as 'Desert Punk'; 'Roll With The Punches'; fave live number 'Drinking Man' and even have time to acknowledge the legendary Chuck Berry by treating us to a ferocious rendition of Johnny B. Goode.
If you don't like 'em you can #GoF*ckYourself. Steve Froggatt and I thought they were marvellous! So did many here to tonight!
Set List: Bad Motherfucker/My Disease/Cancer California/Burning At Both Wicks/Sweet Dreams/Fuck You Song/Sorry For The Underdog/Going Blind/Bad Things To Bad People/Caving In/Pirates/Save Me Sorrow.
Well what can I say about the band who were on top of the bill tonight – the headliners, 'Bullets And Octane' – well for one I am honest to say that I had hardly heard of them before and two, they totally blew the roof off this joint in Sheffield City.
A nice smattering of excitable folk lapped up their relentless style that was a bit like a cross of Buckcherry, Hardcore Superstar and Backyard Babies all rolled into one. Gene Louis is an unstoppable machine that was thrown up their by a guided missile who hardly wants to stop to get his breath back – forever singing from the side speakers and generally appearing to have the time of his life throughout the explosive set.
Their songs were bang on the bone, straight to the point and took no prisoners – I mean, how can you say otherwise when titled tonight included 'Bad Motherfucker'; 'Cancer California'; Fuck You Song' or 'Bad Things To Bad People'. Theirs nothing like pure honesty in your word and that's what you get in the songs coming from 'Bullets And Octane'.
At one point they swapped instruments, with Gene taking over on drums and their drummer looking after the vocals. Then there were moments when their Tour Manager got up and duetted – a crackingly strong voice too – I'd be surprised if he hasn't also got his own bands in Hollywood as well.
Their guitarist, Felipe came down and played in the crowd a lot which was really cool to experience – a band who equalled themselves to their fans – we are all fans of music at the end of the day anyway – nice! Gene also came down and gave everyone a hug – showing is mass appreciation to us all for coming out and seeing them tonight – a lovely gesture that you don't forget.
I thought he was going to swing on the lighting ring but decided against it. He had some scary facial expressions of a madman at times, stick his neck out and smiling which added to the wild atmosphere of the gig.
Having time to say hi to fans after was also really great and I think they are on their second wind – I can see them doing a few festivals this year after they have lit up parts of Europe and beyond on various club shows – good work guys!
By Glenn Milligan