Twelve months on from their last gig here at KK’s Steel Mill, the Kris Barras Band returned for another full-throttle, pyro-injected set that evidenced their continued ability to deliver the goods on stage. There is little doubt that their last studio album, Death Valley Paradise, is their heaviest to date and this shift in direction seems to have really paid dividends. The current 26-date tour is taking them all around the UK and they are definitely living up to their reputation as being one of the hardest working bands around. And with a number of festival slots coming up this summer, including a headline appearance at the excellent Call Of The Wild along with Steelhouse and the inaugural Maid In Stone, there are still plenty of chances to catch KBB in 2023.
Drummer Billy Hammett kicked things off and was soon joined by Josiah Manning (guitar) and new boy Frazer Kerslake (bass) on stage for an instrumental intro before Kris emerged and they launched into ‘Hail Mary’. It was obvious from the start that Frazer is proving to be the perfect fit and he was very animated, really adding something extra to their overall stage presence. Kris, of course, is a hugely dynamic front man and engaged with the audience immediately, leaving no one in any doubt that we were in for one hell of a good time.
The aforementioned Death Valley Paradise made up the majority of the show and rightly so, ‘Dead Horses’ and current single ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ being just a couple of highlights across an eighty minute set that seemed to speed by. And not simply content with performing to us from on stage, Kris was right in amongst the crowd for a raucous ‘Devil You Know’. Going back to his earlier blues rock material, Kris’ tribute to his father ‘Watching Over Me’ was a chance to drop the pace and, as always, was performed with real emotion and passion.
The obligatory classic rock cover song was a revved up version of Led Zep’s ‘Rock and Roll’, extended to include some back and forth soloing between the band members, and then it was time for the two huge sounding anthems from DVP in the shape of ‘Who Needs Enemies’ and ‘My Parade’. ‘Ignite (Light It Up)’ rounded off what was a simply stunning show from start to finish from a band that are only going in one direction.
Heart on Your Sleeve
Wake Me When It’s Over
Devil You Know
Watching Over Me
Rock and Roll
Who Needs Enemies
Ignite (Light it up)