Heaven’s Basement + Buffalo Summer + Skarlett Riot @ The Craufurd Arms, Wolverton – Wednesday 3rd July

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Review by Brady Deeprose

Being one of the UK’s hottest young bands must be a chore. The lads in Heaven’s Basement would know more than most, after an exciting festival season playing across the world back to the hallowed Donnington park for Download, and now out on their own headline UK tour. A Wednesday night in Wolverton is a daunting prospect for most bands but Heaven’s Basement effortlessly draw a sizable crowd.

6484_512458032142171_1788981646_nOpening are the young upstarts Skarlett Riot, a female-fronted hard rock outfit with a lot to say. Playing songs from their debut album Tear Me Down, the band commanded the stage impressively for such young musicians. Both ‘Villian’ and the stupidly catchy ‘Rock N Roll Queen’ had the crowd singing along with Skarlett, despite her slightly dubious stage voice, showing us that the modern rock scene isn’t just a man’s world.

Following next were Buffalo Summer, looking like Zeppelin meets Cream, their stage presence was interesting to say the least. The band have a classic, timeless sound that the crowd took to with enthusiasm . After a storming set at Download, Buffalo Summer seemed intent to prove their worth in a smaller environment too with ‘Down By The River’ getting the entire crowd involved.

If you’re looking for a band with it all, look no further. English hard-rockers Heaven’s Basement are doing things the old fashioned way, exploding onto the stage with opener ‘Welcome Home’. All the live tracks from Filthy Empire, the bands 2013 debut album, translate exceptionally well live, clearly showcasing the importance of writing with live performance in mind. Aaron Buchanan and co. deliver a smorgasbord of driving rock anthems wasting no time in deploying ‘Fire Fire’, their latest single.

In true classic rock fashion, a ballad, ‘Lights Go Out In London’, is followed by a balls-out, brash, nasty belter, ‘Heartbreaking Son Of A Bitch’, giving a powerful contrast and showcasing the raw talent of the guys on stage. Lead single ‘I Am Electric’ was the most intense performance of the night with rockers front to back off their feet, heating up the furnace we were trapped inside. At one point, the band’s frontman even stated that this was the hottest gig he could remember.

‘The Price We Pay’ made its live debut, the most intimate moment of the night bar a few lyrical mishaps,  but all notion of intimacy was washed away with ‘Jump Back’, a self-confessed song about ‘shagging in the back of a taxi’. From the personal to the tongue-in-cheek, Heaven’s Basement are a class act bringing the raw power and simplicity of a classic rock show and fusing it with modern music and that modern rock edge that makes the headlines at the moment.

After stagediving and crowd surfing to the back of the room, Aaron returns for the standard set closer ‘Executioners Day’, the climactic ending of a sweaty night. If HB aren’t playing arena shows on their next release, something has gone wildly wrong with the rock scene.

Setlist:
1. Welcome Home
2. Can’t Let Go
3. Fire, Fire
4. Lights Go Out In London
5. Heartbreaking Son of A Bitch
6. The Long Goodbye
7. Nothing Left To Lose
8. I Am Electric
9. Paranoia
10. The Price We Pay
11. Jump Back
12. Reign On My Parade
13. Unbreakable
14. Executioners Day