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Tuesday 10 July 2018

A View From The Back Of The Room: Vega (Live Review By Rich)

Vega, Midnite City, & Devilfire, Fuel Rock Club

There's a reason that the outdoors summer festival was created and it was probably to avoid sweltering to death in indoor live venues during a heatwave. Unfortunately not all shows can make it outdoors and so it was to an exceedingly sweaty Fuel Rock Club in Cardiff for an evening of hot rocking by a trio of British melodic rock bands.

Kicking off the proceedings were Birmingham's own Devilfire (7). Due to some logistical problems courtesy of Ryanair the band were down a guitarist but not wanting to cancel the show and let people down the band opted to do a stripped down acoustic set instead. The Cardiff crowd tend to be awful with support acts and tonight was no exception with a very sparse audience watching Devilfire but the band took it in their stride and performed a number of acoustic renditions of songs off of their debut album Dark Manoeuvres. Instead of pumping up the audience the acoustic set created a more relaxed atmosphere which was unusual but no less enjoyable. It wasn't a flawless performance with a few bum notes here and there but massive respect to Devilfire for pulling this out of the bag instead of taking the easy option and cancelling their appearance. Due to earlier technical problems delaying the start of the show Devilfire only managed to perform four songs but they were enjoyable enough that I would like to see the full Devilfire live experience one day.

In the main support slot were Nottingham's sleazy rockers Midnite City (8). Thankfully Fuel had filled up a fair bit by the time Midnite City hit the stage but the excess amount of bodies meant the temperature in the venue began to rise. The sweltering conditions did not affect Midnite City in any way who performed a tight and energetic set of sleaze influenced melodic hard rock. The sound was a bit off for the first few songs with the drums dominating everything and the guitars and vocals low in the mix but thankfully this was rectified as the set progressed. The band performed a good number of tunes from the self titled debut album to an enthusiastic audience with tight performances all round. Frontman Rob Wylde may not have the strongest of voices but he more than makes up with energy and enthusiasm in his performance.

The headliners of the evening were the mighty Vega (8). The temperature in Fuel had now reached thermometer breaking levels but band and audience forged on regardless. Vega are absolute pros and performed an absolutely flawless set of melodic hard rock. Touring in support of their fantastic fifth album Only Human a good chunk of the set was taken from said album with songs such as Let's Have Some Fun Tonight, Worth Dying For, Mess You Made and Come Back Again sitting comfortably alongside older songs such as Every Little Monster, Stereo Messiah and What The Hell. Older fans were treated to a performance of Wonderland off the first album which has been resurrected into the setlist for this tour.

 The band are an especially tight unit with not a note out of place and despite the sweltering conditions performed impeccably. Frontman Nick Workman seriously impressed with his fantastic vocal range and some incredible falsettos. The band opted not to do in their own words 'that encore bullshit' and just kept on playing until the end. By the time the band had reached the end of their set I think they were just as desperate as the audience to get outside and cool down a bit. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening showing that the British hard rock scene is definitely in safe hands right now.

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