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Thursday 28 July 2016

A View From The Back Of The Room: Airbourne

Airbourne & Leogun, Y Plas Cardiff

The Australian hard rock maelstrom that is Airbourne having been doing the rounds on the festival circuit culminating with Ramblin Man Fair which took place on the same weekend as Steelhouse Festival and looks like it will continue to be with both festivals taking place on the same weekend next year. Anyway back to the show and it was one of just two dates in the UK the band played post Ramblin Man, the first night was in Edinburgh and the second was right here in the fair city of Cardiff. Personally I was very impressed that Airbourne added Cardiff to their limited tour schedule so I was heartened to see that the Cardiff rock fraternity was out in force for the Aussie nutters.

This was to be my sixth viewing of Airbourne and even though they do sound like AC/DC, they have enough songs to keep you head banging, your fist in the air and you singing along all night. Due to a club night the support came on around 8pm after the 7:30 and went straight into their set. The band were London town's Leogun (6) who are a blues/soul three piece that do have a some great songs but their slow paced bluesy numbers were lost on the hard core fans in attendance that seemed more interested in getting drunk waiting for the headliners, Leogun in their own show would be better appreciated I think but on a Wednesday night in Cardiff the crowd, decked out almost exclusively with AC/DC and Airbourne T-Shirts (with the noted exception of one Chris De Burgh shirts), wanted beer fuelled hard rock.

As the theme from Terminator 2 played over the PA, it was time for the four piece to storm the stage and as the percussive piece ended the show kicked off with Ready To Rock guitarist Justin Rhodes and bassist Justin Street rocking in synchronicity as Ryan O'Keefe kept the beat hard and heavy then Joel O'Keefe made his shirtless entrance slinging his guitar like a weapon. From the chant of Ready To Rock it was back to the debut for Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast and due to this tour being a post festival bit of fun, the band set the tone by making it a greatest hits affair, not that anyone was complaining. I'm assuming that this will not be the case in their Autumn tour supporting their soon to be released album. Back to the show and it was two of their dirtiest numbers back to back with Chewin The Fat and Diamond In The Rough following each other allowing Joel to solo his heart out while gurning for Australia. The interaction was as you'd expect the same as if you'd walked into a bar in Warrnambool, Joel started by smashing cans of beer on his head, then proceeded to sit on a roadies shoulders for a solo section then moving into throwing out yet more cans to a more inebriated audience.

Black Dog Barking gave way to Girls In Black and Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women then one solitary new song the album title track Breakin' Outta Hell filled the gap as an hour neared we got the final two songs of the main set, No Way But The Hard Way twinned with Stand Up For Rock N Rolls which got the heads banging hard as it rumbled along. I was surprised how quickly the time went to be honest, a band like Airbourne (8) can make the time just melt away especially with a set full of anthems. Resuming the fun with an encore of Live it Up and the evergreen Running Wild in just over an hour it was all done and dusted the crowd were going nuts and the band were smiling from ear-to-ear. It's nice to sometimes see a jukebox set from a band inside a venue rather than in a field and it pays dividends as it keeps the band in peoples minds, expect the Autumn tour to sell very well, due to the evidence of the packed Y Plas there is a healthy appetite for their style of no-frills rock n roll, shame they are playing nowhere near us then...

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