Review by Rob Billingham, photos by Lisa Billingham
Heartbreak Remedy provided superb support tonight with a 9 song set of solid, honest to goodness rock with occasional bluesy overtones. Despite Matty Penn appearing to be a little under the weather, it was to his credit that his not very well voice lasted until the penultimate song before a few croaked high notes started to creep in. Steve Jackson’s stick work drove the beat around which Callum Glynn and Luke Blaire interwove their fine guitar sounds.
Stand out track for me was the rock and rollsy ‘Tell Me Why’, but ‘Cocked & Loaded’ and ‘Hair of the Dog’ also merit a mention. A relatively new band, Heartbreak Remedy have a work hard, play hard attitude and why not? An excellent opener for tonight and one to keep at least half an eye open for.
Chicago band The Last Vegas arrived at Moochers on the fifth leg of their short, first ever UK tour. I wondered whether the gathering storm clouds were an indication of the bolt of electrifying, in ya face US hard rock about to hit this popular venue. The Last Vegas have a reputation back home as being one of the best live acts around, so I was anticipating adding my endorsement too.
Sadly the turnout wasn’t brilliant, which is a shame, as what we were treated to was a performance oozing sleaze, attitude, dirty guitars, vocal dexterity and above all a whole lot of breathtaking hard rock, guaranteed to ease any pains, woes or the bad day at work!
You could quite easily talk about obvious influences such as Motley Crue, AC/DC, Aerosmith and Buckcherry and I would include a bit of Dr Feelgood – check out my fave song of the set ‘I’m Bad’ for that thought. However, it would be unfair to say that The Last Vegas regurgitate sounds or copy anyone as they certainly stamp their own mark on all they play and express who and what they are ….. totally bad-ass!
The guys have a new album Sweet Salvation (also the name of the tour) just released which gave us the opening number “Come With Me”, a song that beckons the crowd on to enjoy the journey and have a good time, although Chad did have to check from time to time to make sure the small crowd were still with the band. Glad to say they were. After being taken to ‘The Other Side’ and viewed through ‘Evil Eyes’, these guys gave us their take on a Bowie track. Taken from the Ziggy Stardust album, ‘It Ain’t Easy’, penned by US songwriter Ray Davies, may have had a few people stumped as to its origin, but thanks to Diamond Head’s Brian Tatler for his musical anorakness in pointing that out to me!. Thanks Ray for a great song and The Last Vegas for a stunning version.
The band’s association with Nikki Sixx became more apparent with the ballad ‘Apologise’ which Nikki co-wrote and comes from the Whatever Gets You Off album. A great song which shows their versatility. When reviewing a band, it does help to have a decent sized crowd to judge what sort of atmosphere is generated by, and then responded to, by the band. Chad, Nate, Adam, Johnny and Danny, however, are true to their ethos of always taking their audience to “that place” and tonight’s show has only proved that the UK has missed out on something special for ten years.
Any negatives? For sure! Why ain’t The Last Vegas been here before now?!