Peter Pan Speedrock, Suns Of Thunder, Lacertilla, Whiskeydick
So into the bowels of Cardiff as the NATO summit ended it was time for some angry rock music in the shape of 4 (originally 5) riff heavy rock bands, with the show headlined by Dutch Rock N Roll Punks Peter Pan Speedrock.
As we entered the gig we had been told that J.D Pinkus from the Butthole Surfers was not going to be on the tour, or indeed at the show so now we had 4 bands rather than the original 5. Still as myself and my compatriot Rhodri, entered the venue we were greeted by a stage with just two stools.
We weren't left in suspense for long as the two mountainous members of Whiskeydick entered the room and took up their positions on the stools, acoustics in hand. What followed was a revelation the two man band played an amazing, joyous set of Hillbilly rock music full of toe tapping, guitar picking Southern spirit. The band had hearty songs about drinking, fucking and the Devil. Sung with relish by the big vocals of Fritz who booms every song with a voice that are clearly inspired and shaped by the drink in their namesake. As he crooned and bellowed he also plays some great countrified chicken pickin' rhythm playing and as he does the second man of this Texan tandem; Rev Johnson plays some searing lead guitar using an array of pedals to create some excellent solos, he plays the acoustic guitar like an electric lead player with EVH and even Dimebag coming to mind. As the crowd swelled the band exploded in a rebel yell of noise getting the crowd moving and shouting the occasional hell yeah in reverence to the bands talent. This is blue collar music perfect for drinking, fighting and romancing in a venue such as this. I urge everyone to see Whiskeydick as often as possible they are a hell of band and I will proudly wear their t-shirt as much as possible despite the looks their name may incur. A great way to start this show and a pretty strong gauntlet laid down to the rest of the bands. 9/10
The lizards are back!!! Having seen Lacertilla's first gig as a whole unit the Welsh band made up of of members of Throun, Culver and the awesome Akb'al seemed to be a much more cohesive unit than when I first saw them. The performance was tighter but the riffs were still heavy as hell, with a set packed with heavyweight guitars, thundering drums and bone rattling bass all topped with Fry's strong vocals. These guys have a doom/stoner/sludge vibe that brings thick guitars and crushing percussion to the table as well as some great stage presence and song construction. The partisan crowd were well into their psychedelic heaviness with heads banging and fists pumping, with calls for everyone to move forward the crowd duly obliged meaning that the gig got a lot more intense very quickly, the shaman at the front bewitched the crowd before joining them in their enjoyment rocking out while performing as the band laid down a heavy backing groove. Lacertilla are definitely a band to watch and like I said the fact that they are drawn from so many other local bands shows that the South Wales rock scene is very alive and well! (and makes them a kind of supergroup I guess) They are band best experienced live (perhaps because they have no recorded content) as they are all about the feel of the music and what it can do to you. So let me tell you it feels so good when in a small venue like this. Go check them out! 8/10
Suns Of Thunder
As the crowd were now thoroughly warmed up it was time for Suns Of Thunder to continue the fuck tonne of rock that this night was turning into! The band burst on to the stage with their groove based rock exploding out of the speakers, more riffs as this Swansea four piece added a liberal slice of funk and blues to the heavy rock riffs that had come before. The band were more in the classic rock vein but still the stoner ethos was rife with the dual guitar/vocal assault from Greg Bombroffe and Matt Williams which gave the band a sound that is a mixture of Black Label Society, Alabama Thunderpussy, Fu Manchu, Kyuss and even old schooler like Zep or AC/DC. The band sound like they come from California with a mix of blues and hard rock meaning that the songs fizzed with heavy riffs and a huge bass sound from Chris James. I've never seen Suns Of Thunder before even though they have been doing the rounds for a while, I'm glad I did see them though as they are a great band, their brand of blues based stoner riff rock is right up my street and when you have a beer in hand you can just bang your head and enjoy. A band that I will be looking into more and I encourage others to do the same! 8/10
Peter Pan Speedrock
After three great bands it was time for the headliners and as the arrived on stage and started to play their scuzzy punk n roll riffs I enjoyed the first few songs but their appeal quickly wore thin with many of the songs sounding the same and by the middle of their set I left. I'm sorry but punk has never really done it for me and despite their album being good their live show is a lot of bluster and noise with not much in terms of substance, maybe I was tired from the barrage of riffs that had proceeded it but live the Dutch band did very little for me. 5/10
Despite leaving early the night had been very good, two of the bands showed well an truly that the Welsh rock scene is alive and well, one band showed that their may be an even littler ol' band from Texas and with a drink in hand the night was a full on rifffest right up until the end still cest la vie three quarters isn't bad at all.