Liberty Lies + Stone Broken + The Mercy House + In Denial @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Friday 29th August 2014

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Review by Peter Keevil

Liberty Lies returned to their home town of Wolverhampton as part of their short-run UK tour.

Fate, or shall I say the M6, appeared to be against me hooking up with openers, In Denial. As I walked in they were completing their set. Alas not enough for me to pass any form of opinion on but Ashley Leatherland, drummer of Martyr De Mona did say, “That’s the best I’ve seen them!”. So Ashley receives ‘guest reviewer’ status for that one.

The Mercy House are a band I’ve wanted to see for some time since hearing their debut album, A Broken State of Bliss, and their addition to this line-up was an ideal opportunity to remedy this gap in my life. Unfortunately, for me at least, being in love with a 2 year old debut album didn’t help as the guys were using their current run of dates to road-test songs for their new album, with only My Disease being included off that excellent debut.

However, it was an ideal opportunity to see where they are heading and now I can’t wait to hear their next studio output. Live TMH are a rawer, leaner beast than their eloquently constructed Pro-Tools  sibling. Gone are the intricacies and replaced with bombast, vitriol, and naked energy (quite literally in fact as their drummer was playing in just his pants!).

They were always going to be challenged being the only ‘out-of-towners’ – sharing this bill with 3 local bands, but slowly and surely they won over a reticent crowd, especially when they leapt the barrier during the final song and laid out their rock-credentials at my very toes.

It was their first visit to Wolverhampton, hopefully it won’t be too long before they return.

Conflict
My disease
All my life
Sign
Redemption
With a kiss

https://www.facebook.com/themercyhouse

Stone Broken are at the beginning of their rock n’roll journey but they are quickly garnering a strong reputation on the Midlands scene that will hold them in good stead as they surely seek to spread their wings further afield.

They peddle well-crafted hard rock in the mould of Black Stone Cherry and much-maligned but still huge, Nickelback. You can see SB are learning their stage-craft and if they were to play back any concert footage of those two aforementioned bands they will see where they can grow on the performance front. Other ingredients are already in place. Songs like Fall Back Down, Better and This Life WILL gain them some serious attention but what truly sets them apart is the voice of singer and main man, Rich Moss. That there be gold, my friends. Add some backing vocals to lift the choruses a little and they could have a one-way ticket to stardom.

It’s all about fine margins in this game and plenty have fallen by the wayside before them, but with a decent satnav Stone Broken’s journey could just be starting. All aboard!

Fall back down
Better
Another day
Medley – kravitz, ac/dc, etc. Drum solo.
This life
Let me go

http://www.stonebroken.com/

Now, here comes the difficult review to write… I’ve always loved Liberty Lies. Down to earth, ego-less Black Country boys that have worked their socks off over the last few years. They have recently signed to a management and booking agency and have been in the studio crafting a soon to be released EP as a follow-up to their well received debut album, Reflections.

This night they played to a reasonably well attended hometown Slade Rooms off the back of a series of headline dates around the UK – so what’s not to like?

Perhaps its because I’ve seen them too often. Perhaps its because I want them to do so well. Perhaps its because I’m a fussy bugger with short attention span.

Perhaps… its because they were bringing nothing new to the party!

Damn! There I’ve said it but please bear with me… its born out of love.

I wanted to see them pushing on, showing signs that the early potential we could all see 1-2 years ago, was starting to be honed, caressed and released into the world for EVERYONE to enjoy and bear witness to.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that potential is STILL there. Shaun was over his throat infection and SANG like a beast, though he does need to watch the breathing on the new songs. Guitarist, Josh still thrashes around like a hipster on speed. Wolfie charms the ladies on the front row while Liam ably supports while letting the others take front and centre. Meanwhile drummer, Adam was up and off his stool early in the set working the crowd.

But these boys could shit this stuff ages ago.

What I wanted from a hometown headline show was MORE.

Something to show for the hundreds of hours in the rehearsal room; for the countless gigs on the toilet circuit; for that spark that we saw in them in the beginning to be ignited and to start a freaking forest fire!

I considered scrapping this review and writing a typical ‘they tore onto the stage and ripped the roof off’ review because Liberty Lies are working hard enough and paying hard cash to do what they do, so they don’t need some 2-bit journalist passing judgement on the love of their life.

But, to coin a phrase from a friend’s recent book… If it were my band?  I’d be looking each other in the eye and saying, ok, we have come this far now, we love what we are doing and want to do it more often and to larger crowds. What do we need to do to improve? We just need another 10% this year but then another 20% next, and another 30% the year after.

That path, my friends, leads to all that potential… fulfilled.

Russian Dolls
Vultures
Circles
Confessions Of An Effigy
Phobia
Crow Road
The Undivided
Beggars Belief
Born And Raised (Alexisonfire Cover)
Someone Else

https://www.facebook.com/LibertyLies

 

Liberty Lies 29th Aug