Snakecharmer + Nightblade @ Kidderminster Town Hall – Friday 26th January 2017


It’s been a little over three years since Snakecharmer last played Kidderminster Town Hall – a venue that is sadly under utilised for rock gigs – and in between there has been a number of changes in the band. Founding member Micky Moody has departed the band leaving Irish blues maestro Simon McBride to slot in alongside Laurie Wisefield on guitar. The follow up album, Second Skin has added more quality songs to their cannon and they have reached the point where it’s much more about Snakecharmer than the Whitesnake past.

First though, we have the local Nightblade to open, who themselves have had a number of recent line up changes. Tonight these changes seem to be for the best. Musically they don’t stray too far from their NWOBHM roots, but impress with a tight rhythm section with Gareth Griffiths delivering appropriate levels of confidence and showmanship and flanked by guitarists John Loveridge & Sam Morse. Along with vocalist Mark Crosby they deliver a fast paced, hard edged set with the ghoulish ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and ‘Devil’s Advocate’ standing out.


Snakecharmer kick off with ‘Follow Me Under’ and what is immediately apparent is the sound quality. The balance is perfect and crystal clear and whether it’s Murray’s melodic bass lines, Wakeman’s keyboard flourishes or McBride  and Wisefield’s guitar delights that take your personal fancy, each are well defined without being overpowering, all of which allows Chris Ousey’s wonderful vocals to soar.

A set list follows that mixes songs from the first album with last year’s Second Skin in pretty much equal measure which goes to show that their sophomore album is the equal of their much celebrated debut. The addition of the new songs and dropping a couple of the Whitesnake covers has breathed new life into a setlist that had become somewhat repetitious for anyone having seen the band more than a couple of times since their inception. ‘Fade Away’ with it’s delicate intro and building ballad fills the space left by ‘Falling Leaves’ and sounds magnificent.

‘That Kind Of Love’ and ‘Hell Of A Way To Live’ are both more straight forward rockers which bring to mind a mid period Bad Company. Despite being new songs they have an air of familiarity and slot in nicely alongside the likes of ‘Ready And Willing’ and ‘Accident Prone’.


By the time we hit ‘Guilty As Charged’ and ‘Here I Go Again’  much of the crowd are dancing and singing along with Ousey leading the call and response. The crowd are loving it and so it seems are the band. You can understand why this is now their third visit to the venue. Coming back for a simple one song encore with ‘Dress It Up’ rounds off a terrific evening and makes for a great start to the weekend.

1. Follow Me Under
2. Are You Ready To Fly?
3. Ready & Willing
4. A Little Rock ‘N’ Roll
5. That Kind Of Love
6. I’ll Take You As You Are
7. Fade Away
8. Crying In The Rain
9. Accident Prone
10. Hell Of A Way To Live
11. Guilty As Charged
12. Here I Go Again

13. Dress It Up




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