Review by Woody, photos by Rob Stanley
I’ve been following Brummies Daylight Robbery for some time now and have become a firm fan of these melodic rockers. They released their second album late last year Falling Back To Earth saw them progress and develop their sound and for me it’s an album all melodic rockers should have in their collection. This is my first time seeing the band with their new revamped line-up which sees keyboardist David Billingham and drummer Chris Miller joining mainstays vocalist Tony Nicholl, guitarist Mark Carleton and bassist Colin Murdoch.
They were given a long support slot set length which was great as a fan but even more so given how well they sounded and performed. Everything was spot on, and they came across really slick and smooth and ultra melodic. I know the band has always had a desire to write music that comes across well live, but given the slicker, cleaner production on their latest opus I wasn’t expecting these songs to have such a dramatically increased impact live, but I was swept away in these wonderful melodious landscapes and was taken aback by just how well these songs translate to the live stage. The set was made up of mainly songs from their new album; bombastic set opener ‘Scream Out Loud’, ‘Red Lights’, catchy as hell ‘Samarah Never Sleeps’, ‘Fallen Star’, ‘Between The Lines’ and ‘Hungry Years’. I was really struck with the overall sound and performance of ‘Paradise Is Lost’ which I thought highlighted the whole bands’ strength and talents; Carleton laid down some wonderful melodious guitar work on this one. They finished with, in my opinion, their strongest cuts from their debut album ‘Cross Your Heart’ and ‘While You Were Sleeping’ and judging by the crowd reaction I was not the only one who was enjoying every moment, the Daylight Robbery guys definitely won some new fans this evening.
They are super tight live. Nicholl is usually very consistent live but I thought he was particularly good tonight as they performed to the large crowd gathered here tonight, powerful and impressive. Carleton performs with cool confidence and unleashes riff after riff and hooks aplenty which get right under your skin and gets your body rockin’. It ought to be a crime just how perfect these guys can be in their live performances, Murdoch was his usual solid self dropping the back beat, new boy drummer Miller fitting in impressively as his rhythm section partner in crime. New keyboardist Billingham brings a more powerful keyboard sound to the band, something which is right up my street and is prominent on their new album and he puts in an energetic and intriguing performance which makes him a great addition to the band.
An awesome performance from a quality melodic rock act and they are Midlanders too, so BONUS! Do yourself a favour and check these guys out!
Having two former members of Whitesnake and Thunder’s infamous drummer in your band will guarantee a great turn out live and tonight sees a very healthy crowd ready to rock with Snakecharmer. I really enjoyed their performance here at the Robin roughly a year ago so much so I was never going to miss their return! Now most people are here cause of ex-Whitesnake members Moody and Murray, or even Harry James of Thunder, me? No, I’m here for the AOR legend that is Chris ‘Heartland’ Ousey! I know we’ll never hear a Heartland tune in a Snakecharmer set, but as a vocalist I’ve been a massive fan of since discovering Heartland in the mid ‘90’s and never had the opportunity to see perform live I’m not going to miss these shows with Snakecharmer. So I go from no hope of ever seeing him, to seeing him perform twice within the space of twelve months! This is pretty damn awesome.
Some may make the assumption that Snakecharmer are a glorified Whitesnake tribute band featuring former members but they are far from that and a set list that concentrates heavily on their original material with a few Snake tunes thrown into the mix highlights there is more to these guys than history. Last year I was impressed by the band as a whole, but this year I felt the star of the show was Chris Ousey, vocally stronger and he came across near faultless and it’s after a performance like this people can’t knock my justification of him being one of Britain’s strongest vocalists. Passion and soul he has the lot and delivered a powerhouse performance. Not that the rest of the band didn’t deliver the goods; the wealth of live experience all these guys have is apparent and I loved how energetic and wildly keyboardist Adam Wakeman threw himself into his performance, even finishing tonight’s show stomping on his piano! Rock ‘N’ Roll!
It was a great show and again I really enjoyed it, the awesome sound you get at the Robin always helps accentuate the beauty of melodic rock bands. The only fault you could state is they play the same set list, obviously with only one original album it’s hard to mix it up so I reckon it’s time for the ‘charmer’s to get album number two written! Also they stick to the famous Whitesnake standards which most fans expect and wait for, but maybe mixing up their choices there could spice things up or even, I know I’m been a bit daring here but maybe bung in a Heartland tune or something from Ousey’s hefty back catalogue career may be an exciting idea, a bold and daring one! Don’t get me wrong these guys have some wonderful blues driven melodic rock tunes and who doesn’t love the Whitesnake standards, but knowing the set list makes the live experience a little less exciting. Amongst my favourite tunes and performances were ‘Cover Me In You’, energetic rocker ‘Accident Prone’ and the delightful ‘My Angel’.
Same time same place next year? I’m in! I may even start a chant of ‘Heartland, Heartland’ to finally secure an Ousey track of some description! If you like Blues rock or Melodic Rock, I’m sure these guys will tickle your fancy so make a beeline to your nearest Snakecharmer show!