Lionize/Planet Of Zeus/Lowdrive /Firegarden –
Local Authority, Sheffield, Thursday, April 19th, 2018
Well its always good to go back to my favourite intimate music room in Sheffield – Local Authority of course which has sound and lights to die for every time I have been in seen a show!
Set List: Ride The Storm/Lilith/Mountain/Pigeons.
Tonight marked what later became a special gig since it was one of the last ever Firegarden shows to feature female frontess, Adelle who recently left the band. Anyway, they performed a marvellous short set of songs from their 'Voyage To Crab Mountain' album which was a perfect start to the ending of a hot day.
It began with the fast old school metal of 'Ride The Storm' and continued with the exceptional 'Lilith'. Very joyous to watch and hear indeed. Okay, it was cut short by one song making the quirky, jazzy instrumental number 'Pigeons' the last ditty of the set.
Let's see what the future holds for Firegarden now currently working as a 3-piece with Ash, Jake and maybe Adelle fronting another band or even going solo!
Whatever happens we wish every one of them the absolute best!
Set List: Endless Rain/It's Not Heaven/Left For Dead/Fallen Saviour/Roller/The Last Stand.
Next up were another gang of locals going by the name of 'Lowdrive' one of which looked familiar from many moons ago – the frontman actually was none other than Andy Sawf who I enjoyed seeing when he fronted a great band called Induce down at the Classic Rock Bar run by the late Christopher Vine (DJ Sass) and Buffy Trowbridge.
Lowdrive cranked up some killer stoner like rock and grunginess thrown in there too with Andy often down on the floor bawling away like a possessed blonde bearded Jim Morrison while the rest of the guys meanwhile rocked it out on the stage.
Highlights included the sinister, subdued 'Fallen Saviour' that turns into loud stoner rock on occasions; the deep riffery of It's Not Heaven' or the bulldozing 'Roller that is the title track of their newly released album.
Definitely a band to keep tabs on in the near future!
Set List: Intro: Unicorn Without A Horn/Macho Libre/A Girl Named Greed/Loyal To The Pack/Devil Calls My Name/Something's Wrong/Them Nights/Your Love Makes Me Wanna Hurt Myself/Leftovers/Vigilante/Vanity Suit.
Planet of Zeus follow who have a few albums under their belt already. Starting off quiet and atmospheric with 'Unicorn Without A Horn' they soon mach it up a wee bit later with likes of 'Loyal To The Pack'; the speeding 'Something's Wrong'; the powered up'ness of 'Them Nights' alongside bluesy-stoner rock like 'Leftovers' or 'Vigilante'.
Hailing from Athens, Greece they are as loud as hell in this small room – a bit too much for my liking – never took my plugs out once as it was truly brutal. Volume aside, the four piece conquered throughout their co-headline set who mix in normal straight vocals with shouty ones at times with thumping drums and killer guitar riffery.
Reminiscent of bands from yesteryear a la Sabbath and more recent bands like Clutch, moulding in a real retro vibe with and some deep south like voicings now and again.
They are lapped up real good from this steaming stage in Sheffield.
Set List: Face Of Mars/Power Grid Blues/Darkest Timeline/Trustafarian/Vessel/Replaced By Machines/Breather/Ain't It A Shame/March Of The Clones.
Encore: Election Year/Blindness To Danger/Fire In Athena.
Now here's a band I knew little or nothing about I must admit – it kinda made me realise why I had never heard or seen them before. All the way from Montgomery County, Maryland, USA they have some killer organ work delivered throughout that is reminiscent of Uriah Heep and Deep Purple at their finest.
The songs are so glorious and mix in blues, rock, metal and with even pop chucked in their uplifting set, not to mention ample doses of funk to boogie out to. You were bopping all night – it was simply impossible not to.
Highlights of their set that was heavy in material from their latest album 'Nuclear Soul' included the opening epic in its own right 'Face Of Mars' with Entwistle like bass runs at times in the chorus and the incredible quirky 70's Rock meets Stonerfied 'Trustafarian'.
Then there was the blues meets ELP'esque 'Replaced By Machines'the funk of 'Breather'; the excellent 'March Of The Clones' or the encore starter 'Election Year' that puts me in mind sometimes of The Black Crowes.
A band well worth checking out for sure – take my word for it!
By Glenn Milligan