Review by Lulu Davenport, photos by Sean Larkin
Tonight saw Swedish rockers Europe take to the stage at Nottingham’s Rock City with Black Star Riders as the main support it was bound to be a well attended event. Completing the line up are Scottish feisty females, The Amorettes. Despite only catching the tail end of their set, I liked what I heard, especially final track ‘Hot And Heavy’. This made me regret not being able to get there earlier to catch the whole of their set. Their sound borders between the Runaways and the Donnas; old skool rock with a side of kick ass. Next time these ladies are in town I’ll make a point of catching up.
Warming up the stage prior were Europe were Black Star Riders. The Thin Lizzy incarnate boasts three ex Lizzy members led by lead vocalist Ricky Warwick and is more of a re-imagining or second adventure, with the band showcasing their new material. It’s no surprise that the crowds’ biggest reaction was towards the classics; ‘Jailbreak’, ‘Emerald’, ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ are all wheeled out along with the finale of ‘Whiskey In The Jar’. Long standing Lizzy member and B.S.R founder Scott Gorham appears completely at ease with the crowd as guitars, and mic stands are thrashed about for full theatrical effect .The remainder of their set is a mix of the majority of the tracks from the brand spanking new album The Killer Instinct and their debut offering from 2013, All Hell Breaks Loose. Fine stuff indeed.
After initially being a little sceptical that the band may not hold my attention, Europe‘s set list, which was heavily derived from their new album, quickly won me over. Their sound now seems more influenced by old school grimy rock, with pioneers such as Led Zeppelin being a major source of inspiration.
The band’s look has radically transformed since their heyday. Long gone are the perms and eighties get up, with them now opting for far edgier attire. After forming over thirty years ago lead vocal Joey Tempest has learned that a little local knowledge goes a long way in relating to the crowd as he quotes Notts phrases and facts such as the outnumbering of ‘birds’ to ‘blokes’ being seven to one and jokingly mentioned the band moving here.
My main concern was that the night would be pivoted on waiting for ‘that song’ to announce itself. Instead the set list was tight in its execution, filled with anthems and great new songs which nicely led up to their greatest hit ‘The Final Countdown ‘ as the musical cherry on top. The guitar heavy tracks nicely gathered momentum starting with new album title track ‘War Of Kings’ and bombarding through tracks the ‘Second Day’, ‘Days Of Rock And Roll’, and ‘Scream Of Anger’ before a change of pace for slower ballad ‘Praise You’. Despite the quality of the music on offer tonight, the triple bill meant only an hour set for Europe, and with the strict eleven o’clock curfew it all seemed to be over just a little too soon.
1. War Of Kings
2. Hole In My Pocket
3. Last Look At Eden
4. Girl From Lebanon
6. The Second Day
7. Scream Of Anger
8. Praise You
9. Sign The Times
10. Riches To Rags
12. Days Of Rock N Roll
13. The Final Countdown