Just over week since they were last here at KK’s Steel Mill, Bastette were back on the main stage as a late, but most definitely welcome, replacement to the line-up. They had no problem in winning over the larger crowd with their catchy melodic rockers that are built around Caroline’s impressive vocal range. The singer / songwriter possesses the winning combination of charisma and talent and it is surely only a matter of time before they are headlining venues such as this. 2022 looks destined to be a big year for Bastette and they are certainly a band to look out for.
Next up were South Wales three-piece Florence Black and they offered up a thunderous forty odd minutes of upbeat, riff heavy chuggers. This was the first opportunity Midlands Rocks have had to check out Merthyr Tydfil’s finest and it’s fair to say it won’t be the last. Tristan Thomas and Jordan Evans were all over the stage, a whirlwind of hair and guitars, backed up by the juggernaut drumming of Perry Davies. They bring to mind another Welsh trio that packed a punch, the seminal Budgie, and it was no surprise when they tore into a shredding cover of ‘Breadfan’ that took their performance to another level. The set closed with the anthemic ‘Sun & Moon’, from 2021’s thumping Weight of the World, and they left the stage to roars of approval.
The pyro fueled intro was an immediate statement of intent from the Kris Barras Band as they are currently riding the wave of enjoying a Top 30 album in Death Valley Paradise, which has been receiving considerable praise over the past few weeks. The album marks a definite move up to heavyweight territory for KBB, something which Kris acknowledged to the crowd, and for the most part this was a full-throttle headline set that served as an aural onslaught on the senses. After an on stage jam between Kelpie, Josiah and Billy, Kris ran on to join them and they launched into ‘Hail Mary’, followed by ‘Dead Horses’ and ‘Rock n Roll Running Through My Veins’ which made for a strong opening trio.
The relentless pace rarely let up until Kris and Josiah took to their stools and wheeled out the acoustic guitars for ‘Propane’ and ‘Simple Man’, which was followed by a full band ‘Watching Over Me’ that proved both stirring and heartfelt. All too soon KBB were winding up the main set with the muscular ‘Who Needs Enemies’ and the we-are-all-in-this-together refrain of ‘My Parade’, arguably the pick from the new album and a song that captures all that is great about this band; full of power, guts and glory. This was a high quality evening from three British rock bands that all offer something a little different and was yet more evidence that there are some terrific artists that are keeping the flag flying high.
Rock ’n’ Roll Running Through My Veins
Ignite (Light it up)
Devil You Know
Wake Me When It’s Over
Watching Over Me
Who Needs Enemies
Lovers or Losers