Concert Reviews

Kobra & The Lotus / Santa Cruz / The More I See Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 16, 2014    
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Kobra & The Lotus / Santa Cruz / The More I See - The Borderline, London (UK) - 30th October 2013

The Borderline was pretty empty when TMIS bounced onto stage. They opened with 'Rise Up And Start' and immediately reminded me of Metallica. Despite being loud and raucous every member was pretty audible. They continued to thunder through the likes of 'Still' and 'Reversible'; the riffs were thicker than a monastery door and the rhythm was pounding so hard I expected to end up with bruised lungs. There was a good solo to open 'Unholy Feast' and they attempted to get the crowd involved but received a fairly muted response. James Cluer continued to belt out the vocals during '7 Deadly Sins' and 'Spirit Of Freedom' which had more of a punk feel to it. They closed out with the more Metallica sounding 'Eye That Offends' and were given a reasonable cheer from the limited audience.

There was only about fifteen minutes between bands but The Borderline filled up pretty quickly proving that Santa Cruz had quite a following. They came out to big cheers then fired off into 'Screaming For Adrenaline' before singer Archie introduced the band and declared it was "time to get the party started"...which they did with 'Let's Get The Party Started'! I have to say they really brought to mind the likes of Poison and Reckless Love. Like TMIS their sound was dense and pretty loud but again the mixing was pretty good. 'Anthem For The Young N Restless' had a bit more of Skid Row about it and received a good response. Archie then got the "heys" going before 'Nothing Compares To You' which saw them return to that Poison-like vibe. They had time to squeeze in a couple more with 'Relentless Renegades' and 'Aiming High'. At the end everyone across the front was head banging and I'm sure I could suddenly smell a lot of hairspray. They were rightly awarded with a well deserved big cheer at the close.

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I was actually rather shocked to see the floor thin out in the interval. K&TL were riotous from the start choosing 'Nayana' as their opener. They sounded great with everything crisp and clear and Kobra Paige belted out the lyrics with conviction. They didn't muck about and kicked straight into two of my favourites 'No Rest For The Wicked' and 'Forever One' during which Kobra spent lots of time with her foot up on the amps leaning right out. The guitarists cooked up a bit of a storm during 'Heaven's Veins' as Kobra really rocked out and moshed mid stage. KATL continued to tear through their set with another of my favourites 'Sanctuary' up next, it's a little less hostile and Kobra's voice happily filled the vacated space. It was back to a more furious sound as KATL slipped in a brand new track 'War Horse'. There was another moshing session from the band's leading lady during 'My Life' before the bouncing rhythms and riffs of 'Lover Of The Beloved'. There was the now familiar drum solo before 'Dark Passenger' which thankfully didn't last too long. KATL closed out their main set with the belter that is '50 Shades Of Evil' which got their best audience reaction of the night. They left the stage briefly but returned, with Kobra sporting a rather fetching hat, for 'Welcome To My Funeral'. It was a cracker of a song live as always with Paige pumping up the crowd and performing with real venom. It was a fitting end and the crowd, albeit thinned out, responded with plenty of clapping and cheers.

Although this was a bit of a strange night crowd wise, it seemed everyone enjoyed it and you can certainly count me amongst them. TMIS were solid openers but being a Poison fan, I really enjoyed Santa Cruz who were a bit of a revelation. But as good as they were the combination of cracking songs, awesome vocal power and presence from Kobra and the frenzied guitar work from her two axe men meant KATL were a step above. The sound was excellent, especially with the power and volume being pumped out, but it comes with one caveat; it was good as long as you weren't at the very front. Down there the singers were somewhat lost but take a couple of steps back and it was a world of difference; sadly it's one of the draw backs to The Borderline. But that small niggle aside this was a brilliant evening with a band that just seems to go keep getting better.

Dave Scott

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