Age Of Reflection / A'Priori / Atlas Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 27, 2019    
0.0 (0)
862   0   0   0   0   0

Age Of Reflection / A'Priori / Atlas - Birdwell Venue, Barnsley (UK) - 09 November 2019

This evening the Birdwell Venue hosted the triple-A bill of Atlas, A'Priori and Age Of Reflection. At just a tenner it was fantastic value for money, but sadly only fifty to sixty people were in attendance, including the bands themselves!

The previous evening, the groups had played on a shoebox stage in Manchester, so you could see their obvious delight of the large stage at the Birdwell Venue. In my review of their first ever gig (supporting Vega last summer) I said that Atlas (Craig Wells – vocals; Howie Little – guitars; John Moss – guitars and overcoat; James Thorley – keyboards; Christian Redfearn – bass; Ryan Briggs - drums and percussion) looked like a band of real-ale drinkers: tonight, they looked like a bunch of art students! What is in no doubt is the quality of their musicianship and songs (most of this evening's set taken from their debut album 'In Pursuit Of Memory', which I was privileged to review for Fireworks in Issue#84).

'Cross The Line', from their debut 'World In Motion' EP, was the oldest song played, whilst if new number 'Weathered Heart' is anything to go by, then the sophomore album, due for release in 2020, looks like it's going to be a belter. Wells introduced the new song; however, it took what seemed an age for keyboard player Thornley to begin the intro, to which some sharp-witted fan shouted, "They're still writing it!"

Singer Wells was in fine voice throughout, notably on 'Signal Of Hope', whilst 'Flesh & Blood' and set closer 'As Time Goes By' exemplified the aforementioned musicianship.

Setlist: Samsara / Seasons Change / Cross The Line / Weathered Heart / Lock & Key / Breathe Me In / Signal Of Hope / Flesh & Blood / As Time Goes By

This was my first time seeing Blackpool power trio A'Priori, whose brand of music centres more around hard-hitting riffs, as opposed to melody and hooks. They are an unusual trio in that drummer Mouse Lang and guitarist/vocalist Tony Lang are completed not by a traditional bass player, but keyboard wizard Mark Wilson. Their set was largely Hard Rock originals with a couple of covers, neither of which I would have predicted. Firstly, Cameo's 'Word Up' (made famous by Gun in the Rock world), then the song with arguably the most famous riff in the world, The White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army'. This was an unusual rendition, with the keyboards taking centre-stage.
'Lady In Red' (not that one) was a highlight, before the ultra-heavy 'Better Man' that I did notice had a few of the AOR fans wincing. The set concluded with 'Wasted Years', 'Liberty' and 'Black Church'. As much as I enjoyed their energetic set, I think they would be better suited to fans of harder Rock (although most of us appreciate all genres).

The members of Age Of Reflection (Lars Nygren – vocals; Carl Berglund - guitar, backing vocals; Jonas Nordqvist - guitar, backing vocals; Jens Rüttgeroth - keyboards, backing vocals; Jan Skärming - bass, backing vocals; Peppe Vikman - drums, backing vocals) had spent the evening talking to the fans and supporting the other two bands before they hit the stage. They played like it was a full-house, and never stopped smiling throughout. The sound and mix were relatively good (although probably could have been turned down just a fraction). A large part of the set was taken from the excellent new album 'New Dawn', interspersed with older songs from the debut. Singer Nygren joked about calling them old songs as they are still only a couple of years old.

For such a small audience the participation during 'Evelyn' was impressive. Of the new material, the acoustic based 'What If I Break', 'Go' (first heard at Rockingham last year) and the ultra-Melodic 'Writing On The Wall' look like they will feature in future setlists for a long time to come.

The band took a lengthy break to thank everyone who had assisted with the tour, including fans, other bands, and in particular tour organiser Theresa whose birthday it happened to be. They brought the poor lady to tears presenting her with a present, getting the crowd to sing "Happy Birthday" and serenading her with the ballad 'Every Time'.
Their beefed-up cover of The Cutting Crew classic '(I Just) Died In Your Arms' fits perfectly with their AOR originals, and preceded the final song of the evening, the politically infused title track of their awesome debut opus 'In The Heat Of The Night'.

I love the attitude of the band, who knew they had lost money on the tour, but likened it to going on a golfing holiday; that is, paying to do something that they love! Thirty years ago a bill of this stature would have had the sold-out signs posted weeks before, but in this day and age, new Melodic Rock bands are definitely not the flavour; I doubt we will ever see a return to the glory days of the eighties, but that's not to say we cannot enjoy the great new music still being produced. AOR forever!

Setlist: Intro/ New Dawn / Stay With Me / Evelyn / Go / Borderline / What If I Break / Mirror Never Lies / Writing On The Wall / Blame It On My Heart / Everytime / Here I Stand / (I Just Died) In Your Arms Tonight / In The Heat Of The Night

Review and photos by Mark Donnelly

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  April 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
    1  2  3  4  5
  6  7  8  9101112

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 week, 1 day ago
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site