Santa Cruz/Skarlett Riot – Corporation, Sheffield, Friday December 8th, 2017
Well tonight the small room of the Corporation was packed out with peeps are raring to hear some loud crunching metal and sleazy sounds. That's exactly what they got although the mix was rather rough with Skarlett Riot's snare drum sound being painfully loud and the vocals being drowned in the instrumentation of the songs.
The 'Riot (who were the main tour support) jeered up the Sheffield crowd – well to be frank they needed little convincing since many in here tonight were hardcore fans of the band as they are very much local heroes in these parts- even though they hail from Scunthorpe because they perform here a lot. Frontess, Skarlett asked us if we liked it after some of their up-tempo numbers old and new and they were given a definitive deafening yeah and a ton of cheers.
Skarlett's performance was extremely passionate, very emotional who held up against the strong, tight, killer guitar riffing of Danny; the bass booming of Martin Shepherd and obliterating drum-work of Luke. I just wish they had more lighting aimed at them on stage because they virtually played in the dark.
Gripe aside, the 'Riot really put it across musically and vocally and little wonder they headline so many shows in their own right with a pulverising old school like Metal that would be put of place if it was put out by the likes of Saxon or the late great, Ronnie James Dio with its deep, dark overtones.
The band were promoting a brand new album called 'Regenerate' that I'm sure many of the souls would have purchased if they knew what was good for 'em. At one point Skarlett announced an album that if my memory serves me right comes from that said album – a ditty called 'The Calling' whereby some wise-cracker in the crowd said “Carling” much to many folks amusement including yours truly and my buddy, Steve Froggatt.
An enjoyable set indeed despite the evident sound problems. It would have totally set the level if the mix had matched the musical output.
Now I don't know what was going off with Santa Cruz as it seemed to be forever before they hit the stage. Taking into account it was a club night with a curfew you would have thought they would have been on stage a lot earlier.
When they did get up there, they were given plenty of applause from the fans or maybe a relief that they were actually going to see them. Anyways, they cranked up in a very confident without being arrogant manner and the folk in here loved 'em. The sound was rather very boxy which to me was a great shame. I was really looking forward to hearing what this band were really about as well as seeing them perform..
The material they presented us was very gutsy indeed with a wide selection from their albums that was hard grinding sleaze to borderline metal with plenty of zest and tons of vocal harmonies. They were damn tight and appeared to be enjoying themselves.
I was rather taken aback by one the frontman, whose ripped jeans were clearly displaying his blue underpants – some things just shouldn't be seen and this was definitely a moment that was applicable – hahaha!
The set was strangely short since they were meant to perform until 10pm but instead cut the gig at 10pm. Many fans seemed happy though when the members came down to meet them all the same. To me it was kind of disappointing but you can't win 'em all can you?
By Glenn Milligan