Concert Reviews

Last Great Dreamers / The Brink / Naked Sunday / Buzzard Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 18, 2018    
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Last Great Dreamers / The Brink / Naked Sunday / Buzzard - The Station, Cannock (UK) - 13 April 2018

The Station at Cannock is, relatively speaking, a new name on the Rock circuit and it's a cracking little venue too. Aimed fairly and squarely at the Rock fan, it was a perfect fit for tonight's show which boasted two local bands (Buzzard, Naked Sunday) along with an act recently signed to Frontiers (The Brink) and the inimitable Glam/Power Pop merchants Last Great Dreamers.

Both Buzzard and Naked Sunday delivered solid sets before The Brink took to the stage, these guys plough the same musical furrow that the likes of Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses did in their heyday, and very impressive they were too. Their music is definitely aimed at filling stadiums and there is loads of potential there judging by tonight's performance and with an album due in September on Frontiers, the future certainly looks bright for these guys.

However, I was essentially in attendance to catch the Last Great Dreamers who, after some time away in the wilderness, have returned to the scene these past few years with a string of stellar album releases and some of the best high-energy live performances I've had the pleasure to witness. On tonight's evidence these boys were at the very top of their game and in terms of vitality and sheer enthusiasm they can have few equals. I love their potent mix of seventies Glam aesthetics and the Power Pop crunch that bands such as the Raspberries were so adept at. The set-up on the small stage was minimal and with a no-frills approach, this was all about good time Rock 'n' Roll. Lead singer and guitarist Marc Valentine wore his trademark Bowler hat and was full of exuberance and so energetic and charismatic, and that goes for the rest of the band too – Slyder Smith on guitar and vocals, Denley Slade on drums and Berty Burton (from Tigertailz) who was guesting on bass.

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The opening number, 'New Situation', kicked things off and in a nutshell this song demonstrated several truths about them. They have that uncanny knack for writing cracking Power Pop and also have a fix on witty and sometimes dry, but always passionate lyrics that coalesce into that wonderful hybrid of Glam and Power Pop; Valentine has a perfect voice for their material, whilst the cohesion within the rest of the band makes them a quite brilliant live act. Although the band's new album, '13th Floor Renegades', had only officially dropped that morning, the small but enthusiastic crowd seemed very familiar with the material. A lot of the set focused primarily on the new album, but the band also dipped their toes into their impeccable back catalogue with the likes of the impossibly catchy 'White Light/Black Heart' and strident' Ashtray Eyes', as well as 'Only Crime' from the band's debut 'Retrosexual'.

The title track of said new album already seemed like it was going to be a real fan favourite; Slade pounded the beat out on his drums while Burton laid down a foundation of driving bass lines for Slyder's sassy riffs that really took charge, and when a bit of guitar jangle was added, such as on The Faces-influenced 'Miles Away', it made the band sound almost... and I do say almost... like a Country band. I swear I could hear the ghost of Mott The Hoople in between the notes of 'Crash Landing In Teenage Heaven'. Their set concluded with the wonderfully glamtastic/Power Pop stomper 'Primitive Man', before the group returned for a brief encore with the rabble-rousing 'Oblivion Kids'.

Tonight's performance was nigh on perfect, especially when you consider this was only the second date of the tour. The Last Great Dreamers are the real deal, fully committed, true to themselves and a real joy to see in the live setting. My advice is to catch these guys at any cost, I guarantee you won't leave disappointed.

Malcolm Smith

last great dreamers live

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