First off I must make a small apology for this short but sweet review to Lara and Martin for the lateness – there have been some happenings crossed with an admittance of procrastination leading to me almost forgetting about this review, and now it’s over a week late. Sorry guys!
Anyhow, this gig was great fun for me as it kickstarted a much needed extended break from work and I couldn’t wait for it. Good friends, good tunes, good beer and good times – “Long Live Rock and Roll”! This gig marked my second trip through to Edinburgh to see Moshville’s latest recruit Martin’s Dio tribute band, supported by an AC/DC tribute band – sounded like a pretty great start to a holiday to me!
I met the guys at the venue, Studio 24, and I was quite surprised at what I’d come across. The venue is a great wee place hidden amongst the student flats around the extended campus of Edinburgh university. It has a nice high stage, a sizeable floor space for the audience, a cool bar up at the back of the venue, and a pretty awesome sound quality. It also operates as a late night bar after any gigs that they have on due to the venue’s 3am license. If you’ve never been before, seriously check it out if you’re around the area!
When I arrived, the gig started pretty quicksharp with AC/DC tribute Forever Young taking to the stage. What a show they put on! The sound and the energy was beyond perfect – Hell, I’d go as far to say that if you closed your eyes, the band are just like the real thing sonically. The singer seriously has pipes to match the late, great Bon Scott, and the guitar tone captured live sounds just like that of the Young bros themselves. Forever Young’s niche is to primarily stick to playing a lot of the 70s AC/DC tunes – the kind of set that the band would have been playing when they were performing in venues the size of Studio 24. Forever Young mostly avoided the hits, which I’m sure a lot of fans might be a little disappointed at, though they sneaked a few in there and they did it well. Their performance I’d say is on par with the legends themselves, for certain. Their lead guitar player, naturally dressed up in Angus Young’s famous schoolboy outfit, lead the rock ‘n’ roll foursome. He commanded the centre stage with such ease and all eyes were focused on him. He even did what most bands would never do (in my experience) and broke through the apparent boundaries of the stage and spent most of his time rocking out with the audience on the floor! I’ve never seen a sight like it at a rock ‘n’ roll show! Brilliant entertainment that’s for sure. He ran around the floor, duck-walked like a man possessed, and thrashed his guitar through classic riff after riff, and nailed every blues-y solo note for note. Through songs like “Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation”, “Girls Got Rhythm”, “Shot Down in Flames”, “Whole Lotta Rosie” and my all-time favourite “Let There Be Rock”, Forever Young tore up studio 24 in hard rock ecstasy. There were girls dancing, drunken blokes air-guitaring, and others singing along to their rock ‘n’ roll party.
Ending on a high with a rousing rendition of “Thunderstruck”, Forever Young left the crowd on a high. I’d seriously recommend that everyone should go and see Forever Young for an awesome soundtrack to a great night out. Brilliant entertainment, great live – rock ‘n’ roll at it’s finest.
Next up was headliners Dio Apostles. They wasted no time in getting fired into some classics from the great man himself. Opening with “We Rock”, Dio Apsotles certainly got the pre-pumped up crowd going with the energetic anthem. The band, like Forever Young, mostly stuck to some of Dio’s classic tracks playing number’s primarily from the first two albums Holy Diver and The Last in Line. Unlike Forever Young, Dio Apostles weren’t quite as true to the legends they were paying tribute to – I think it could be unanimously agreed that there’s no-one on this earth who can sing like the late, great Ronnie James Dio. That man was truly one of a kind, a unique voice in hard rock and heavy metal. However that’s no discredit to Dio Apostles. They rocked the great man’s tunes and did every one justice. Through classics like the epic “Holy Diver” and “Egypt (The Chains Were On) to more upbeat numbers like “Stand Up and Shout” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, and more mid-paced catchy rockers “Caught in the Middle”, “One Night in the City” and “Rainbow in the Dark”, Dio Apostles played an awesome set. They got the crowd moving, headbanging and singing along. Sticking with a lot of RJD’s earlier classics, the band also paid a little visit to his time with Black Sabbath and Rainbow, ending on highs with the epic and moody “Heaven and Hell” through to “man on the Silver Mountain” and another personal favourite of mine in “Long Live Rock and Roll”.
It was a great night of rock ‘n’ roll partying from two brilliant, quality tribute bands. I was certainly screaming for more that’s for sure. I’d definitely go and see both bands again I’d thoroughly recommend people to go and see them.
Like I said at the beginning – good friends, good tunes, good beer and good times. With Dio Apostles and Forever Young, that’s guaranteed.