Review by Jo Lloyd, photos by Mark Lloyd
After their reformation back in 2009 after the split of Hanoi Rocks, Swedish Kings of funk metal, Electric Boys have enjoyed some small time success playing across the world. Tonight saw them land at the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton to a slightly remodelled smaller room.
Kicking off proceedings were a group of scarily young but incredibly talented lads from Burton. They were a cracking opener and introducing the band as “We are Theia and we play rock ‘n roll, that’s all you need to know” really hit the nail on the head as they launched into a fully loaded, high octane set driven by incredible riffs and an energy that commanded the attention of the entire room. Unfortunately as usually happens at the Slade rooms, too many people opted to hang out in the bar rather than witness these youngsters smash it. Kicking off with ‘We’re Alive’, Theia’s aptitude for writing catchy songs is clear throughout their unfortunately short set as the momentum builds until they unleash ‘Whoop-De-Fucking-Do’ which I defy anyone not to sing along to! Definitely a band I can’t wait to hear more from!
Next on stage, came a group of local Black Country lads who have had somewhat of a testing few months resulting in two brand new members. Unfortunately, for me I feel that perhaps The Remedy need a little longer to get their new lineup up to scratch. They clearly have a good following and I can see that they really do have a lot of potential there, but there were a few pitchy vocal issues from new front man Tommy Strix and I just didn’t feel overly excited after witnessing Theia. They do have some cracking material though especially in ‘Dog House Blues’ and I really hope they can get their act together and put on the show that I know they are capable of.
Norfolk boys Bad Touch have had a busy 2014 with countless festival performances up and down the country including an impressive set at Download! Tonight they landed with a superb set that had everyone in awe. Stevie is an incredible front man (and I do have to admit to a little hair envy here!) His voice is phenomenal and his enthusiasm is completely infectious. With a solid, classic rock sound somewhat reminiscent of last years touring buddies The Quireboys, especially on ‘Waste my Time’, the growing crowd are lapping it up. They even threw in a cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock and Roll’ before leaving the crowd desperate for more. A passionate, energetic performance from a band with a whole lot more to give!
So we come to our headliners for the evening and singer Conny Bloom doesn’t look a day older than when Electric Boys split in the mid ‘90s. Kicking off with two new tracks from forthcoming album Starflight United, was a risky but ultimately great decision. The crowd clearly enjoyed the new material and the catchy hooks made the songs easy to pick up and dance along to. The band ooze effortless cool and their funk rock sound makes for a great atmosphere especially in the more intimate space created. Bloom’s magical versions of ‘Mary in the Mystery World’ and ‘Rags to Riches’ had the modest yet loyal fans lapping up every note. The on stage chemistry of the band is mesmerising and a truly special experience. Electric Boys really should have been so much bigger but this reformation means that the true fans can experience the magic of these up close intimate gigs. There is no dip in their 75 minute set and closing the evening with their hit ‘All Lips ‘n’ Hips’ to rapturous applause just goes to prove that they still are truly the kings of funk metal and long may their reign continue.