Little Caesar / The Black Hands / Hazel –
Corporation, Sheffield, Saturday 24th February, 2018
Set List: Teenage Sleeze/Cali/Priorities/Wake Up/Cheer Up London/Love Machine/Set Me Free/Sugar (Going Down).
Well I missed these locals when they were first on the bill for The Kentucky Headhunters show last year but this time I got to witness them. A more alternate band than full-on rock with a female vocalist leading the pack, surprisingly enough called Hazel who has starting to make her way onto the Sheffield scene.
While not the best vocal around, she did her best and promoted their new songs too. Nice bit of posing from their bassist and what about the press-stud trousers she was sporting? This chick has balls.
They definitely got the place intrigued somewhat and finished on some classic Fall Out Boy which got Tonito & Chris bopping away at the front of the stage. An interesting warm-up outfit.
Set List: House Of Cards/That Ain't The Way/Grape and Grain/Spoonful/God Loves A Trier/Mexico/EXP/45.
Since I knew nothing about the next band up, I went and asked my bud Geno D. Lora about The Black Hands who informed me that they were classic Rock with Southern Rock which pleased me immensely – know that I'd like them. He wasn't wrong either. These guys got us as soon as they plugged in up there putting us in mind of Led Zeppelin, The Answer and as Steve Cooper said perfectly, Rival Sons!
The Black Hands, from just up the road – Chesterfield in fact, took us right back to the blues when it became the thing to go electric and add some heaviness to the equation. Throwing in a healthy helping of slide guitar and some killer harp playing they really are masters of the groove, even delighting us with a brilliant rendition of 'Spoonful' by Willie Dixon.
This band make a brilliant impression in here with so many energetic, in the zone moments throughout their set. They've either worked at this style an awful lot or theirs. High ended passionate waling vocals, soaring solos not to mention a bass and drum unit that plays right in the pocket too as they say.
Set List: Drive It Home/Rock 'N' Roll State Of Mind/Hard Times/Hard Rock Hell/21 Again/Time Enough For That/Dirty Water/Stand Up/Down & Dirty/Real Rock Drive/In You Arms/Mama Tried/Rum And Coke/Chain Of Fools.
Encore: Nobody Said/Straight Shoot/Every Picture Tells A Story.
Now I've got to say that it's always an absolute joy to see Little Caesar when they come and play a show in Sheffield. Crazily enough the last guy I saw at NAMM was actually Loren Molinare – the chances of that right? L.C. Were up on stage before they started because unlike a lot of headline acts they set up their own gear. This ensured perfect sound throughout the show, not to mention lighting up there to match as well.
Lead Vocalist, Ron Young who happens to be vocally top-notch, tells us that he recently had bronchitis, feels snotty, but he's not contagious anymore. Even going on to says how cold they all finding it here since they are wusses from L.A. and not used to the low temperatures we have here – hey funnily enough neither are we – hahaha! So even though the guys are freezing their asses of, Little Caesar are bang on form and have a new guitarist in the line-up, Mark Tremalgia (formerly of Bang Tango) who fits right in – completely complementing Mr. M in the six string section of the band.
There's some new numbers in the set too that come from the just released 'Eight' that see Ron using his tablet at times for lyrics such as the cooking rock n roll one by Loren entitled 'Red And White' where he takes on lead vocal as well as who bouncing around a lot during the set – that dude is so frikkin' agile that it's beyond belief.
Elsewhere in the night plenty of singing ensures from the crowd in that even includes cuts from the debut album – talk about hardcore fans in here tonight – Sheffield never ceases to amaze at times. This was one of those shows that seems to whisk away in 20 minutes since it was packed to the gills with marvellous musical moments and fun galore throughout. For example, how about Mr. Young. Taking the piss out of drummer, Tom Morris for wanting more in his monitor You can't top some 'Rum 'N' Coke (one of my fave drinks by the way if anyone is buying) or getting 'Down 'N' Dirty'.
Other highlights included 'Hard Rock Hell' which Ron told us was about their lives and of course other classics like their cover of 'Chain Of Fools' & Rod Stewart's 'Every Picture Tells A Story' that closed the encore. An awesome addiction to that was the inclusion of 'Happy' by The Rolling Stones sung by Bassist, Pharoah Barrett while Ron did his best Mick Jagger impressions. Nice to see him bring out the harmonica too for a number. Also it's always good to see Blackstar Amps on the stage too – who one of the band are part of.
On stage left in the corner is an old Amp box with 'The Four Horsemen' logo on it which was rather interesting to say the least and was curious what the connection was. After doing some research later, I found out that Ron did a stint as the frontman of that said band and the line-up at the time also coincidentally featured Pharoah too – I guess that's how they both met and later the two collided again in a later guise of 'Little Caesar'.
Ron and the boys never wanna leave stage but have to be done by 10:30 due to a curfew (club night after in this case). Not to worry though because after the gig was done there was no waiting around for the 'Caesar to come out since they walked round to meet the fans virtually straight away which was really good of them. Plenty chatting, signing and photo-taking took place. They hung out for ages as well proving they totally value fans time while not on stage as well – such great guys.
Another marvellous night in Steel City from Little Caesar – a band who are more than happy to be there for us because as Ron said himself, we are the show too!
By Glenn Milligan