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Sunday, 6 October 2013

The View From The Back Of The Room: White Wizzard

White Wizzard, Monument & Blackwolf; Bogiez Cardiff

Weird things happen at gigs sometimes and the White Wizzard show at Bogiez was one that maybe historic for all the wrong reasons, but first let's back track and start at the beginning:

BlackWolf

The last few times I've seen Bristol's Blackwolf they have really impressed me with their classic hard rock sound full of swagger, groove and a hell of a lot of rock crunch. The hard rock back beat is provided by Ben Webb and Thomas Lennox Brown on bass and drums respectively they are topped off by the Malcolm Young worshiping rhythm guitar of Jason Cronin. The soulful grooves then are the other side to the band’s sound and come from the fluid lead guitar of John Greenhill and the great vocals of Scott Sharp. The band played a couple songs of their album with the excellent Stairway Ticket being one of the highlights. Blackwolf continue to impress and just need that one big support slot to be boosted to that next level. 7/10

Monument

So this is where things get complicated, Monument are British trad-metal band formed by Vocalist Peter Ellis after he left White Wizzard, as my friend (and fellow contributor) Paul explained it to his wife earlier in the day Monument sound like Iron Maiden on speed. This proved to be an accurate representation as the riffs fly at lightning speed and the dual guitar harmonies of Lewis and Dan soar above the galloping bass and drums of Matt Scott and Matt C. With tracks like the pulverising Fatal Attack along with Midnight Queen and Rock The Night (not the Europe version) the band had the crowd eating out of their hand, raising their fists and shouting along with every air-siren-like note from Ellis who is a great frontman and has a killer voice that is like Dickinson in his prime. A great set form Monument that also included a cover of Deep Purple's Black Night that fits surprisingly well in the NWOBHM style. 8/10

White Wizzard

After Monuments triumphant set...nothing, well lots of tuning up from the two guitarists, the drummer and Bassist/band leader Jon Leon. Then we got the bad news, Leon informed us that their singer Joseph Michael was out getting pissed somewhere and didn't want to play. Now many weren't surprised by this as White Wizzard's luck with singers is legendary, but this was all a bit Spinal Tap. Leon then opened it up to the floor, if anyone could hit the notes and knew the words they could be the singer for the night, now no-one from Cardiff took the challenge, but the band vowed to put on a show and plunged straight into Strike The Iron which saw Leon taking up the vocal duties, now he is not a singer, not by a long shot but to sing in front of a crowd they have never played in front of before takes some bottle. He was helped though; like a conquering hero Pete Ellis arrived on stage and proceeded to sing the earlier Wizzard songs that he sang during his tenure, the band felt at their most whole when Ellis was shrieking through High Speed GTO and 40 Deuces and it meant that Leon could relax a bit, the set was mixed around and had to be truncated a bit due to the singer search at the beginning however White Wizzard did well with what they had even though the set was a bit shambolic at times. I was very disappointed, not with the band but with singer Joseph Michael, whatever the reason he had for staying away from the gig is not good enough, your letting all the people that came to see you down which is very unprofessional. As for the band like I said they were far from on form but they did what they could, they do however need to think long and hard about who they have as their next singer otherwise they will descend into a farce. 6/10

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