Review & photos by Rich Ward
On a bitterly cold November night in Nottingham, a class triple bill of hard rock bands turn up the heat to warm the cockles of a capacity Rescue Rooms.
First band on tonight’s bill is London’s Wild Lies. With their brand of hard edged rock veering into new metal territory they come across well. They sound so much better live than on their studio output which suffers from the same over-production that all bands of this ilk seem to currently favour, making it difficult to set them apart from competition. Live, tracks such as ‘The Animal’ and ‘Your Last Mistake’ come into their own and they prove to be a good choice of opening act, receiving a good reception from the crowd.
While the tour was a co-headline, tonight Inglorious are up next with Last In Line closing the show. Inglorious have come a long way quickly in the last year, releasing their debut at the start of it and cementing their reputation with lots of live dates and feeding off the support given from the likes of Planet Rock. Consequently, there are lot of people here tonight to see them, and right from the start with ‘Until I Die’ they go down a storm. Musically and visually they hark back very much to ’80s bombast and flamboyance with riff driven songs with big choruses and . Along with the traditional powerful rock stylings of Nathan James’ vocals, there’s an underlying bluesiness which makes it easy to draw comparisons to latter day Whitesnake or Bad Company, no more so on tracks like ‘Holy Water’ and ‘High Flying Gypsy’.
If there is a criticism it is that the inclusion of two covers (Rainbow’s ‘I Surrender’ and Whitesnake’s ‘Fool For Your Loving’) seems unnecessary in an hour long set. With album number two under their belts and awaiting release, I’d have much rather have heard more of their own material and some of the newer songs. A minor niggle on an otherwise excellent set, and hopefully 2017 will prove to be just as fruitful for the band.
A limited amount of material is no such problem for Last In Line; a band formed by Vivian Campbell, Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice, all ex members of Ronnie James Dio’s finest solo albums, with the addition of Andrew Freeman on vocals. Sadly, tragedy struck just as the debut album, Heavy Crown, was released with the untimely death of Jimmy Bain. Uncertainty around whether the band would tour was put aside when Phil Soussan stepped in to the bassist’s shoes with Erik Norlander rounding off the band on keyboards.
The opening notes of ‘Stand Up And Shout’ immediately takes the listener back in time to 1983 in a set that mixes nostalgia with a healthy dose of new material from the aforementioned Heavy Crown. It’s easy to forget just how many great songs were on the first three Dio albums with ‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’, ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘The Last In Line’ all sounding magnificent and turning up early in the set rather than closing it as one might expect.
Andrew Freeman has an unenviable job of singing the Dio material, but it’s a job he performs with aplomb and suitably impresses. So much so that the new material, particularly ‘Devil In Me’ and ‘Starmaker’, sits more than comfortably with the classics, successfully making Last In Line a contemporary proposition rather than what could easily have been just a tribute band. Of course, with the history of all the other band members, the musicianship is impeccable and tight. Furthermore, they all seem to be having a great time on stage so hopefully this won’t be the last time we see them, so whether you want to relive the classic Dio years or just see a damn fine rock band playing with passion and vigour, you’d not go wrong in catching a show on their next visit.