Thursday, 21 December 2017

21/12/2017 Wolfsbane & Last Great Dreamers @ Islington Academy 2

On paper it seemed like an odd bill, but as I really like both bands I'm not going to complain! Both bands might have been playing in the same era when they first appeared, but putting a Glammy old school rock 'n roll band on with an out and our heavy metal band might not seem a natural choice? In spite of this strange pairing the venue is packed out - with fans from both bands.

I've been wanting to see Last Great Dreamers again since being very impressed by their live set at Camden Rocks festival last year.
Tonight they are again very good., and they also have some new songs to play from their latest album '13th Floor Renegades'. If you like The Quireboys (who they have supported on tour) and The Faces then you'll probably like this lot too, although they have their own character and can't be accused of ripping those bands off. Although they have a very gritty rock 'n' roll vibe they have a more pop and commercial feel in their songwriting - and they really know how to nail a catchy chorus!
Last Great Dreamers are seasoned and polished live performers too, and you can't help wondering why they've never managed to crack the big time when so many lesser bands have got lucky.

Wolfsbane got a lot closer to cracking the big time - signing to Rick Rubin's label and having him produce their debut album - rather badly in my opinion as it's the least good sounding record they ever made with it's horrible lightweight tinny sound. They made by far their heaviest and meatiest sounding record after escaping Def American for Bronze Records with Simon Efemey producing - they released their self titled album and promptly split up after Iron Maiden poached their singer. And that appeared to be that. And for a few years it was - until some time after Blaze Bailey was ousted from Maiden to made way for the return of the 'Air raid siren' and the totally unexpected happened - the classic (and only if you don't count early drummers before the band were signed) lineup of Wolfsbane reformed! There were some live dates playing old material, an EP 'Did It For The Money, and then a brand new album Wolfsbane Save The World appeared - and it was actually very good! Odd live dates and tours have followed since, and also some newly discovered old recordings have been released - along with a new EP Rock! - which does exactly what it says on the tin and also contains some interesting topical and autobiographical songwriting. Guess what? Wolfsbane are still really good live!
A current Wolfsbane live show contains songs from across their career right up to date. Blaze Bailey is still one of the best frontmen out there and retains a terrific voice and very powerful stage presence! Also a self deprecating sense of humour along with his larger-than-life stage personality. Come to a Wolfsabane show and you will be entertained - whether you like it or not! The band's songs are great too - many that are heavy and intense, but also great really catchy tunes you can sing along to - there is always a terrific atmosphere at their gigs! The band may not look like they used to back in the day (apart from bassist Jeff Hately who still looks exactly the same) but they still play as well as ever.
A Wolfsbane show is enormous fun, and you can be pretty sure you will hear most of, if not all your favourite Wolfsbane songs. There are very few metal bands who can be so downright entertaining - even if you are new to the band and not familiar with their songs you will be entertained - as well as being a great singer Blaze is also very funny! He takes the music deadly seriously without taking himself seriously - which is very refreshing as well as being fun!
Wolfsbane gigs aren't that common these days, but they do seem to have got into the habit of getting out to play around once a year - usually shortly before Christmas. I recommend you catch them if you get the chance.

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