My Great Affliction + Bullitstorm + Valous + Diamond Lil + Piston @ Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham – Sunday, 20th October 2013


Review & Photos by Lisa Billingham

It’s a dark, damp Sunday night in the intimate basement at the Flapper, and those who came looking for a rocking finale to the weekend were not disappointed.

Piston were up first with frontman Steve Nunn’s vocals as solid as ever. Combined with the turbo charged delivery of their brand of heavy rock, tunes such as ‘Playin’ with Fire’ and ‘Misery’ were a joy.  Jack’s facial expressions and headbanging hair flicks show just how much he feels for the music.  His guitar riffs and boundless energy are always in abundance.   The set finale was an up tempo version of John Fogerty’s ‘Proud Mary’ which went down a storm.  I have seen Piston a few times now and always leave a venue hyped up.  They know what to give and how to give it.  I chatted to Steve Nunn later in the evening, he couldn’t wait to tell me about Piston playing at Planet Rockstock in December.  In true Piston style, things are just getting better and better.


Diamond Lil appeared and vocalist, Ellis Wilde gave his apologies for the fact that this was to be an acoustic set and not their usual hard hitting, in your face rock due to the fact that their bassist Jamie had a prior engagement.  You have to give them a Brownie point or two for not pulling out!

A difficult task you may think but in reality one which was attacked and achieved in true Lil style.  Their set list has an acoustic part in any event.  It was challenging but having said that Harry Colley (guitar) and Austin Miller (drums) held it all together with Ellis’ superb vocals.  This short set included a couple of tracks from their superb “Misfits of Society” EP, released earlier in the year.


Valous took to the stage and by far was the heaviest set so far.  Matt Shutt’s stage presence is awesome and when you see and hear them, you can understand why their reputation got them to festivals such as Basementfest in 2012.  Judging by the reaction received from the Flapper crowd, these guys could easily incite the metal equivalent of a “feeding frenzy” at a larger venue, so infectious is their music!  Indeed, the band ended up with two additional vocalists from the crowd at one stage.


Bulllitstorm chose this night to release their CD “Bullitstorm” and bring their music to the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Their hard rocking sound and the raw power of Graham Benton-Cox’s vocals bring home just how strong this Walsall band is. They have played a few other venues recently and the crowd always warm to these guys quickly.  Steve and Rob traded riffs throughout the set and I love the way they have so much fun on stage.  Bullitstorm know what goals they want to achieve and they are heading in the right direction to do this.

My Great Affliction
My Great Affliction

Last but by no means least My Great Affliction, or MGA to their mates, hit the stage.  It was just a shame that they only played to a handful of people as public transport issues seemed to have caused an early exodus.  This Black Country 3 piece hit the ground running.  Their first EP as a 3 piece came out in May and received plenty of airplay, and the band have since gone from strength to strength.  In fact Ste, Daz and Craig really stepped up to the plate when they dropped to a trio last year, and it’s done them good.  We heard thumping great bass riffs accompanied by drumming of the highest order, both wrapping around Ste’s sound guitar work.

1. Good Times To Come
2. Call Of The Vulture
3. Mountain (Out Of A Mole Hill)
4. Another Man
5. Sick and Tired
6. Narcissus
7. There To Be Shot At
8. Give It To Me

And so ends yet another brilliant night of powerful music.  Five amazing rock bands giving their all ..… and bearing in mind the recent weather, let’s call it the perfect storm !

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