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Saturday 20 April 2024

A View From The Back Of The Room: Kris Barras (Live Review By Debby Myatt)

Kris Barras Band, South Of Salem & The Nocturnal Affair, KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton 13.04.24

The lure of two of the hottest UK bands together in one night was an opportunity not to be missed and at one of our favourite venues, so it was a no brainer really.

Added to the bill for this tour was The Nocturnal Affair (8) who travelled across the sea from Las Vegas to add their own brand of dark moody rock to the menu.

After a blistering drum intro, they started the set with their current single It’s No Good, a cover of the classic Depeche Mode song from the ‘90s before dipping into their debut album (Meta)morphosis with the track A Thousand Ways To Die

I was surprised at how heavy they were live, having listened to the album. You can hear the influences on the album with their slightly mournful style, from Type O Negative to Gary Numan, but live, they kick it up a notch to get the crowd going, and it was good to see a decent sized crowd supporting the first band. 

It was also a brave decision by the band to include no less than four covers in their short set of nine songs, but if you are relatively an unknown quantity to the majority of the crowd then as long as the covers are good then I’m ok with that. 

And what a mix of covers they threw in, the aforementioned Depeche Mode song, N.I.B (Black Sabbath), Hash Pip e(Weezer) and the big curveball of the pop hit What Is Love from Haddaway to end their set. The few original songs they did play were enough though to give a taster of this band who can look forward to bright (or is that dark) future.

South Of Salem (9) seem to be everywhere at the moment and have built up an adoring fan base with an extremely busy schedule on the live circuit, and in between all that touring they released their latest album Death Of The Party which got to #4 in the official rock and metal charts and received great reviews.

It’s from that album that most of tonight’s set was taken, beginning with the heavy chugging riffs and pounding drums of album opener Vultures, followed by the heavily sleaze influenced Static

The band are on a high at the moment and their energy on stage is a physical embodiment of that, they barely stop moving and singer Joey Draper knows how to play the eager audience.

This is full on rock ‘n’ roll that flies by in a blink of an eye, highlight is the glam/gothic rock Cold Day In Hell and the final song of the night Jet Black Eyes with its catchy hooks and blistering guitar solos.

South Of Salem are a band on the up and get better each time we see them, if this band were based in the USA they’d be massive by now, highly recommend you get to see them if you get the chance.

From one band on a high to another. The Kris Barras Band (9) are a band that have undergone a switch in style from an soft American bluesy outfit to a much ballsier rock outfit, but done in such a way that seems natural and part of the bands growth.

They open up with the big radio hit Who Needs Enemies from the 2022 album Death Valley Paradise, the album that really brought them to a much wider audience and the first hint of a heavier rock sound.

The set is packed full of sing-a-long songs, particularly from their latest album Halo that, as I write this, is sitting at #7 in the main UK album charts! (It got to #5 - Smash Hits Ed) The audience lap up everything, as the band dip into the last three albums but they also remember their roots as well and throw in some powerful blues tracks such as the very emotional rendition of Watching Over Me I literally had goosebumps and filled up during this song.

Kris himself is no stranger to the spotlight having had a successful career in MMA fighting, but he is well and truly in the rock spotlight now with his incredible guitar skills and powerful lyrics, that make this band much in demand, it will be interesting to see how far these guys can go, and like their touring companions, the USA beckons and could see this band become huge.

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