Review by Woody
Tonight’s local openers Hightale are a new name to me but they seem to have a loyal local following. The lead singer proudly wearing his Wolves FC shirt has a commanding stage presence and frequently bigs up his hometown and fires the crowd up to get on the pop, his mic stand is made up of empty beer cans so it’s a little bit obvious these guys like a little shandy every now and again.
Everything about these guys is soaked in beer from their lairy lads on stage presence to their raw rock sound. However, their songs seemed to lack definition and I found it hard to distinguish one song from the next, so whilst these guys obviously enjoy performing they just don’t have a strong enough song arsenal to make an impression on me.
I’ve been aware of Dudley based Soley Mourning for some time but never seen them live. As the backdrop for the previous band is replaced by the flag of the greatest country on earth, The Black Country, I’m quickly thinking that no matter what’s to come, these guys are pretty damn awesome!
When you go to see a local band you tend to expect a certain standard of performance so for the next couple of hours I’m totally jaw droopingly blown away by one of the slickest, professional and entertaining bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Why these guys are not playing bigger stages is an absolute mystery to me and while the band have garnered lots of rave reviews from magazines such as Classic Rock they just keep missing that bit of luck which will boost them up into the mainstream.
Someone needs to get these guys playing up and down the country, and with bands like UFO, Uriah Heep and Black Star Riders, ’cause there is a multitude of Soley Mourning fans out there who just don’t yet know it. They have a truly energetic sound paired with a visually electric performance which energizes their loyal following. Definitely one the best live acts I’ve ever seen and I suppose this is only accentuated by the fact that I wasn’t expecting it to be just as good as this. They pair their groove driven classic rock sound with massive dollops of smooth melodies which makes the band stand out that little bit more for me; they have the rawness you’d expect from a blues influenced rock band but that smooth melodic edge makes them more commercial and far more appealing to my own personal tastes.
Most of the songs I heard tonight were new to me and it’s testament to how strong the song writing is within this band that the set as a whole invigorated and excited me without me being familiar with them beforehand. The only time I felt a little let down was during a couple of low key, laid back ballads which punctuated the energy levels and had me craving the next song. But this is a very minor grumble as on the whole the band was mightily impressive on every level.
The fans made their voices heard and frequently showed their love which added to an already enjoyable atmosphere. Soley Mourning make the most of their headline show and even treat their fans to a three track encore, amongst the set list we got ‘Easy Life’, ‘Accidental Enemies’, ‘Make It Shine’, ‘Going Down To Rio’ and ‘Dead Man’s Town’. For me one of my highlights was the highly melodic ‘Where You Are’ and if I caught lead vocalist Mat Partridge right this is taken from their debut album – which I now need to get a copy.
Soley Mourning are a band poised at the edge of greatness, one little nudge, one little break, and these guys will become household names! They are way too good to only ever be a Black Country band; we need to share them with the world!
Brilliant review. Sorry i couldnt make it. Next time for sure boys. Andy
What a great review! Both bands were amazing. I am not sure what gig Gemma was at or who in hightale she is related too but I thought both front men were amazing! This is my second gig where hightale and soley have played together and both times both bands were amazing! It’s a shame in a dying industry where there are fewer and fewer bands out there who are writing and playing their own music that someone somewhere has to bring one of them down but as you say woody, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I really hope both bands carry on playing together as we the true music fans would love it! I have always loved soley’s albums and it was brilliant to hear some old favourites! Can’t wait for the next gig! Thankyou soley and hightale!
Thanks Stacey! Glad you had a great night and thanks for your comment!
Stacey I really think you should grow up! As you have expressed your opinion, I have also. As a matter of fact I am not related to anyone in hightale, so I suggest you get your facts right before you throw accusations around! If you were a true fan you would speak the truth as I have, rather than just comment to have a go with someone!! Small minded people ay! If you have a different opinion that’s fine but if you though both bands were equal I’m not quite sure what gig you were at??
I was at this gig! It was amazing! Solely mourning were good, but for me and quite a few others hightale stole the show! The band were fantastic and by far one of the best I’ve ever seen live! The front man of hightale was electric and really got everyone geered up, unlike the front the front man of soley. I can’t wait to see hightale again! Woody, or should I call you biased?? As a reviewer I feel your totally unfair and more to the point completely inaccurate!
Hey Gemma, If we all liked the same thing and had shared the same opinion we would live in a very boring world! I should have mentioned in my review that Hightale got a great crowd reaction and went down well with others. It was my first time seeing Soley Mourning so not totally biased, i was just more into their performance and songs. I’m sorry you feel my review was unfair but please remember that this is just the opinion of one person and as you state your opinion is different and i respect that – but i can only write a review as i see and hear it, without consulting everyone else in attendence i can’t gather the opinion of the crowd as a whole. Thanks for your comment!
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