I Am Giant + Captain Horizon + Twisted Species + Third Angle Projection @ The Road House Birmingham 12th September 2012

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Review by Andy Boden

Fresh from their tour of Australia and New Zealand with Slash (featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators) and Rose Tattoo, I Am Giant launched their UK tour right here in Birmingham. Cleverly selecting only local bands to flesh out the bill, the room had a healthy number of punters supporting the bands well before the headliners.

Openers Third Angle Projection doff the cap stoutly in the direction of Nirvana, in both musical style, vocal presentation and in songwriting content. The set could perhaps have benefited from a little more depth and variety, that said, TAP were a creditable opening act.

Next up, Shropshire hard rock outfit Twisted Species. Their sound combines metal-edged, grunge infused guitar with pounding drum infills and deft lead guitar riffs, atop singer Dave Gandons gritty, earthy vocal. Featuring several of the tracks likely to appear on the new album, plus a stirring rendition of Black Stone Cherry’s White Trash Millionaire, they turned in a solid 30 minute set of high tempo tracks that gave a tantalising glimpse of their potential.

Sometimes you see a band (sometimes several times!) and you just have to wonder how they are not so much more successful than they are. captainHorizon are one such band. Steve ‘Whitty’ Whittington – as well as having a fine voice – is a born entertainer. Whether he’s leaping and dancing about the stage, on the floor amongst the punters, or hanging from the gantry by his fingertips, he pours every ounce of his soul into every song. Bassist Alex Thompson shares Whittys wanderlust, making regular forays around the room leaving guitarist Josh Watson to hold the fort. captainHorizon defy pigeon-holing; all you need to know is that if you like it hard, heavy, melodic, and delivered with passion and genuine belief, look no further.

I Am Giantare a band on a roll. From note one, it’s evident that these guys are polished, professional and above all, downright entertaining. Another band who are pushing boundaries and defying categorisation (nu-metal? nu-prog? nu-prog-metal? I have no idea!) I Am Giant combine a powerhouse percussion with jingle-jangle rhythm guitar. Devoid of significant riffs or hooks, the key focus of the band is vocalist Ed Martin, whose vocal gymnastics and dynamic delivery hold the attention right through until the last note has been wrung.

Although The Road House was far from full – somewhat surprising given the profile and following of the headliners – every last person had fantastic value for money with four quality acts for only four English pounds. Catch I Am Giant at any of their dates throughout September and October, it’s money well spent.