Along with all the gigs we review and photograph here at Midlands Rocks towers, it’s always nice to have a night off when we can catch a gig just to enjoy without having to think about reviews or worry about photographs. This evening was intended as such a night – just an opportunity to pop along to a local gig and catch up with Fireroad. It turned out to be such a good night I couldn’t help but scrawl a few ramblings.
Arriving early enough to catch the main support, Everyday Heroes, turned out to be a wise move. Another band making the journey from South Wales, they turned in a sterling performance. Mixing elements of ’70s Southern Rock with ’90s American hard rock their songs have an underlying hard groove to them and they’ve hit upon a formula that seems to be popular at the moment. Songs like ‘The Ballad Of Robert Johnson’ and ‘The River’ prove that there are younger bands out there with more substance to them capable of writing great songs. If you’re a fan of Black Stone Cherry, then an Everyday Heroes cd will sit more than comfortably alongside them in your collection.
They are due to head into the studio soon to record their debut album. If their EP (which didn’t require any persuasion to purchase after their set) is anything to go by, it’s going to be a corker. Check their progress on their engaging facebook site.
So on to the headliners… Fireroad are a superb band that first came to my attention five years ago at the Steelhouse Festival and one that I’ve felt compelled to follow faithfully since. It may have taken 5 years for Planet Rock to cotton on and start adding them to their playlist, but it’s a start that will hopefully get this hard hitting rock ‘n’ roll band the attention they deserve.
All killer and no filler is on often overused phrase, but genuinely there isn’t one of their finely crafted songs played tonight that would be out of place at a stadium sized gig. Individually they are all excellent musicians but together they coalesce into something magnificent and you’d be hard pressed to find a better band at this level. Whether it’s the insistent driving rhythm of Matt Whitney & Anthony Evans or the tasteful guitar of Gav Davies, they all play to the song, allowing personable frontman Rich Jones to round things off creating expansive and eclectic songs. As a song writer, Rich Jones reminds me of Stuart Adamson – capable of producing uplifting songs with big sing-a-long choruses that transport the listener to faraway places, but with a lyrical depth which are often are personal or deal with gritty subjects such as homeless war veterans in ‘Second Hand Soldier’. Elsewhere, straight forward rockers like ‘Knock It Away’ with its sublime slide guitar and ‘I Got Sound’ delight in equal measure.
They have now played high profile gigs supporting The Stereophonics and Lynyrd Skynyrd the truth is that they could easily hold their own supporting any similar arena sized big hitters. If this current spell of fine weather continues and it continues to recieve plenty of airplay then ‘My Summer Sun’ could just become the song of the season, especially if it connects with the masses at some of their outdoor and festival appearances.
Fireroad’s second album, Flesh, Blood & Bone, which had a limited self financed release last year will get an updated release this year. Meanwhile, the band are back in the area on 16th June at The Musician in Leicester, but can also be seen at Caldicott Castle on 26th May or supporting The Stereophonics at Wrexham Racecourse Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium on 2nd and 9th June respectively.