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Doomsday Outlaw/Gorilla Riot/Lowdrive/Mad Haven – O2 Academy 2, Sheffield, Saturday 19th February, 2022.

Well I have not been up here for quite a few months and am pleased to say it's warmish and plenty of folk in here are in to see the first band early on – good work Sheffield – no doubt the promoter put the work in as did the bands and their managements.

Set List: Wait To Continue/Get Lost/ Liar/Are You Ready?/Where did you go?

The openers tonight are a three piece outfit who look like they could all be brothers from another mother unless they are all blood related anyway – hahaha... a bunch who we were meant to be seeing at the Smoke On The Water Festival in the Lake District last year but they had to pull out due to one of the members falling ill.

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No such bad luck tonight though as the North Wales boys rampaged through their 25 minute set rocking the walls off with their full-throttle, energetic ditties without a moment to take a breath hardly. Like a good starting unit should do, they totally set us up for what's to come while we all enjoy their solid rock 'n' roll sounds.

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Highlights include the blasting and racing 'Get Lost' with its vibrant slices of guitar riffery and killer chorus that's like melodic rock with an AC/DC thrust to it; the cheesely worded 'Are You Ready?' and the closing straight to the point 'Where Did You Go?'

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I'd like to actually see a full set from them one day. Hopefully this will happen later in the year.

Set List: Evil Eye/Rise/Into The Light/Blood Sacrifice/Shield Wall.

No strangers to the stage in Sheffield are these virtually last minute added to the bill band who are of course Lowdrive. They recently headlined a big show in this very city up the road but aren't too big for their boots to second up slot for tonight's gig – good on 'em too.

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Many folk may be hearing some of these songs for the 1st time since they are all b-b-b-brand new Frontman, Andy Sawf tells me, so it's always interesting to see how they go over to a bunch of fresh faces. He needn't have worried since they simply lapped them up like a lavishly needed lunch.

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The cut that's really getting my attention greatly is 'Into The Light' with its rollicking, Sabbathy 'Hole In The Sky' like thunderous riff that couples in the perfect growlings of Mr. S plus those exceptional guitar tinklings of John Hodgson.

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A faultless set like always, albeit a short one. I really am looking forward to hearing that brand new Lowdrive album hit the shelves as its been a while since 'Roller' came out.

Set List: Riders/ Kerosene Clown/Hungry Like The Wolf/Still Doing Time/Most Wanted/Last Hymn/Wait On/Blush/Molotov Sister/Bad Son/Dirty.

Now this is a tour that has took the two headline bands up and down the UK to a varied size of audience capacities. Now it's our turn to witness a class pair of polished outfits who are out to do nothing but impress and amaze. All the time in the tranny van has definitely paid off over the years.

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Gorilla Riot who come all the way from Manchester are a Southern Rockband who I ain't seen for a for a bit around 4 years – in fact I saw them do at a set in the big room downstairs at this very venue believe it or not.

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They begin with the long opening 'Riders' that sets the standard of what's to come with its deep throbbing growling riffs which is followed up with the very likeable 'Kerosene Clown' that has a stonking solo to be found in there as well.

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Later on we get the groove of 'Last Hymn'; the bluesy Jack-like 'Blush'; the Skynyrd-like 'Bad Son' before ending with the crunchy 'Dirt'. A major thing that struck me from the performance is how much more confidence they gave off, especially the warm and humour personality of their frontman, Arjun.

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This was an extremely enjoyable set that made you feel like you were on the bottom half of the Mason-Dixon line without even jumping over the pond. Long may that vibe continue.

Set List: In Too Deep/On My Way/Spirit That Made Me/One More Sip/If This Is The End/Fallback/Saltwater/Turn Me Loose/All That I Have/Runaway/Crazy Horses/Bring You Pain.

And now it comes to that moment that many have been waiting for, though it's a dual headlining tour so I may be wrong on this assumption.. that aside, it's time for Doomsday Outlaw from Derby & Sheffield.

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They've regrouped again since I last saw them and now have another familiar face now manning the drumkit that is Nic Rudd of Sour Tusk who is an utter vital asset to the Doom'. He even behaves himself up there too.... okay, I'll take that back.... he makes every show his own – their answer to Keith Moon!

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Am glad Ryan Taylor is still there on keyboards who adds extra dimension and colour to the sound alongside mainstays, Bassist, Indy Chanda; Killer-chops, Vocalist, Phil Poole plus newer members, Rowan O'Sullivan and Alez D'Elia, both on Guitar.

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Opening a show with two newer number is often a risk, that's unless they grab the folk straight away, with with D.O, that is never an issue who succeed easily with the task, starting the set with 'In Too Deep' that is immediately followed up with the fresh 'n' powerful up-tempo 'On My Way' with Phil thanking us for coming out. In fact we get five brand new tunes tonight – now that's good going – beating Quo by 1 track as well on their current tour!

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Highlights included the slamming 'Fallback' that takes them back to the beginning which has some really impressive drum-work in there from Mr. Rudd, the good-time feel of new cut 'One More Sip' that has an Americana feel to it meets The Quireboys barroom boogieness; the deep blues of 'All That I Have' that reminds me very much of Bad Touch or killer riffs to be found in 'Spirit That Made Me'?

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A real standout was their inclusion of The Osmonds 'Crazy Horses' that's as dynamic and powerful as it gets, with Indy taking on the high end of the song, and man, can this dude sing – he has a cracking set of pipes on him – I was thoroughly impressed – plus it gave Phil a break as well that even has a bit of VH's Jump in there too for good measures.

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This was one hell of a mighty performance that the band can be proud of. A real tight and together unit that has improved greatly over the years. Be sure to see them headline the second stage on the Friday night at Rockin' The Bowl. The date: September 9th, 2022!

By Glenn Milligan

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