Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts / Vice Squad / KilliT Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 07, 2016    
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Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts / Vice Squad / KilliT - O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) - 22 November 2016

KilliT do a short, but energetic set of five or so songs. Their Guitarist Niro is talented with a good study of Slash and their singer can definitely sing. However, the singer sounds like he should be in Alter Bridge while the rest of the boys seem straining at the bit to play heavier material and, as such, I wondered if the singer was the right one for this band, not taking away from anyone's potential if they were in the right place.

Vice Squad as main support certainly keep things interesting. Beki Bondage still looks amazing and they deliver a rocket of about fifteen, three minute charges of pure Punk Rock. She teases her band that they are playing all the right notes... in the wrong order, but they do well enough and are pretty entertaining, with ad-libbing from the "Welsh Twat" on bass and the "Yorkshire Twat" on guitar shooting the audience with his ray gun (complete with lasers sound effects) and claiming that 'Bright Eyes' is the last song on his set-list. Further, they are definitely channeling Motörhead several times in their set and do 'Ace Of Spades' for an encore, which goes down well with this head-banging crowd. Undoubtedly still doing this with passion, Bondage says if she was starving she's more likely to eat than sell her guitar and we believe her. She gets the crowd to take the roof off with "hey hey hey" by baiting them with how loud the Chester crowd had been and telling them "they are fuckin' lovely" and she is undoubtedly a hit.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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But the main course is definitely Ricky Warwick And The Fighting Hearts and the crowd is his. Kicking off with highly commercial 'Damascus Street' and 'Johnny Ringo', the crowd hit the ground running. Garage style guitars are strong in the attack style and testosterone is high for 'Eyeball Kicks' from the Sick days with original drummer Gary Sullivan on drums. By the time of 'Celebrating Sinking' (before which Warwick jokes that the Titanic was okay when it left Belfast) we are treated to three guitar synchronization and harmonization present in so much of Warwick's work and he bangs his heart in appreciation of the crowd reaction. Certainly there's a lot of calls like "fuckin' brilliant" and "go on Ricky my son" and there is no doubt this man is loved deeply by his fans. For 'Jonestown Mind', we get excellent Rock 'n' Roll guitar riffs and the crowd start clapping along. Warwick dedicates 'Schwaben' to all veterans, stressing the underlying humanity of war much to audience approval. He raises his fist at the crescendo of 'Tattoos' and in a deliberately heavier set we get a Rocked up version of 'Patsy Cline'. Following 'Toffee Town', the crowd are shouting "love you Ricky" as he goes into one of the most enjoyable songs of the set – 'If You're Not Gonna leave Me'.

In a blink of an eye we are onto the epic 'Finest Hour', 'Free 'N' Easy' and 'Jailbreak' in tribute to the fine bands on Warwick's resume and these being crowd favourites, it gets pretty wet at the front as the well-known sport of dancing with full pints ensues. Warwick thanks the crowd and tells them what an honor it is to play for them, informing them he will see them at the merch stand, before doing a Punk style Beastie Boys version of 'Wrench' with special guest Nathan Connolly from Snow Patrol. Warwick is as good as his word and patiently works his way through delighted fans who want photos and autographs.

With Ricky Warwick what you see is what you get, let's hope we see a lot more of him in the future.

Dawn Osborne

Ricky Warwick Live Review Photo by Dawn Osborne

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