Review By Woody, photos by Alexx Peace
So the summer is finally here and the temperatures have soared promising that my trip to The Slade Rooms to see Vega was going to be a hot one! First up tonight are recently formed Black Country rockers Silent Empire. No offence to the very young lads in this band, but I can’t say that their style of music really appeals to me so, I wasn’t exactly excited by their set. If you’re into other local bands like The Whiskey Syndicate and the revamped Liberty Lies these guys will be more your sort of thing, blues based heavy rock with gritty angst fuelled vocals. To be fair, for a recently formed band, songs like ‘Last In Line’, ‘End Of The Story’ and ‘Empathy’ showed a tight, well practiced unit.
Female fronted glam rock LA strip inspired rockers Witness are next up. I love female singers so was really intrigued to hear these guys and it has to be said, frontwoman Abi has the coolest hair of everyone we see on stage tonight! The biggest problem with their set was too many covers. When you have a short set you don’t take advantage of it by been a covers band! I know these guys are really new so I presume they don’t have enough songs yet to fill out a solid support set. That said though I found the original songs really uninspiring so these guys have some serious song writing ahead of them if they wish to make an impact.
Daniel Trigger has been around a long time in the music biz and his last album Infinite Persistence was originally planned as his swan song but following an exceptional response from critics and fans alike it has inspired a new chapter in Trigger’s music life. Dan dropped a lot of the stadium rock influences showed on his previous releases and his latest opus sees him going in a much heavier and alternative music vein – think Alterbridge and Shinedown.
Opening with a very metallic new number ‘Rise From The Ashes’, Trigger came across well and got some really good responses from the audience bringing their songs to life in great style on stage. I really enjoyed their set, with my highlight being the overtly melodic track ‘Alone Tonight’, and it’s good to see a band improve so dramatically in a very short amount of time!
It’s hard for me to approach a Vega review from a critical and removed point of view such is my love for this band. I’ve seen the band a few times now and have always enjoyed their live performances and come away buzzing! It’s a rare thing to discover an album that you enjoy every song on, but Vega have given me two.
The sound was bang on tonight and it’s an amazing feeling that sweeps over me as James Martin brings the set to life with the killer keyboard riff to set opener ‘Kiss Of Life’. The band storm the stage like they’re playing the Civic Hall, full of confidence and excitement. Nick Workman seems confident and at ease with a constant smile never far from his face, trading banter to get the local audience excited and involved and even an early mic malfunction is dealt with ease..
New addition of Daniel Johansson on guitar is a perfect fit for the band. Daniel’s playing style complements fellow guitarist Marcus Thurston and suits the Vega sound perfectly.
Nick, Tom, James & Dan interact well and look like their having a great time. Dan’s drumming was mesmerising to watch, especially on the heart pounding beat on the chorus of ‘You Can’t Run’. The Twins are also gaining confidence when interacting with their audience Tom takes full advantage of his centre stage space to get people involved and even though James is at the back of the stage he always takes time to get the crowd worked up and their hands in the air!
The set was performed with great energy and excitement, full of sing-along moments, and fast paced throughout including ‘Not There For You’, ‘She Walks Alone’, ‘Into The Wild’, ‘Saviour’, ‘What The Hell’, ‘Hearts of Glass’, ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘White Knuckle Ride’. The keyboard lead intro and outro on ‘Headlights’ gave James the opportunity to show off his ivory tinkling skills.
For me the highlight was the debut live performance of my favourite song from What The Hell, ‘Cry’. I always thought of it about being about finding it hard to let go and that’s how I relate to it and with its huge sing-along chorus which, whilst lyrically dark, the sing along actually makes the chorus really cathartic. They close with the crowd pleasing ‘Hands In The Air’ with all the band getting the audience involved and Nick even coming into the middle of us for the final chorus sing along! As they leave the stage Nick thanks the crowd and with a wry smile states ‘this is what it’s all about’! I couldn’t have said it better myself as I leave the venue buzzing feeling great, you just can’t beat that feeling after seeing a great live show!
See more of Alex’s photos here;