So what do you do when you find out that you’ve finally got the all-clear after a bout of testicular cancer and the treatment that follows? In the case of Bison, singer with Reign of Fury, you go out and organise umpteen dates up and down the country, each with a different line-up, all playing for free, charge a low entry fee, shift merch, demos, prizes, etc. and raise a shit-ton of cash for a cancer awareness charity.
I wish I could have made it to more of the dates, especially with the strength of the acts on display, but I had to settle for just the one – in Glasgow. Not that I can complain about the acts on display though. Far from it.
Opening were Cnoc An Tursa, a local band I’ve caught before. Their music certainly impresses – a kind of celtic death metal – and they’re tighter than a clansman’s nipsy when he’s tip-toeing kilt-clad through the thistles.
The highlight of their set for me was the second-last track, a new one, which really belted out. I need to find out what it’s called.
Next up were the “hosts” Reign of Fury, the only band playing every date on the tour. They’re a classic thrash band and they were, simply, excellent. Fast, hard, heavy and with Bison’s piercing vocals clear as a bell over the music.
Recognising that the stage was a little limited in size, Bison took to singing two of the tracks while standing / kneeling on the dance floor. Hey, why not, eh?
States of Panic, the second Scottish band of the night, came on shortly afterwards. They look a little like Black Veil Brides without the make-up (it’s the hair, definitely the hair) but their attitude is a little more punk than goth. Still shades of – dare I say it – emo about them, but the important thing is that they put on a good show and brought some fans with them.
Definitely a polished act from the way they handled the crowd, got a bit of interaction going and finished their set in grand style. Due to the impressive sound for such a small venue it was easy to appreciate singer Johnny Gunns vocals as well as the sounds created by the rest of the bands.
Finally, and dragging quite a few bodies down the the front, were I Am I. Fronted by ex-DragonForce singer ZP Theart (I wonder how long it’ll be before he loses that label?) they throw out a more traditional style of heavy metal. Twin guitars wailing, bass and guitar keeping the beat and Theart’s vocals soaring over it all. Shit, this man can sing.
Somehow condensing an arena attitude into something containable within the low-ceilinged confines of the Classic Grand, Theart and co. let rip though a very energetic set. Professionalism was also shown in dealing with the one thing worse than a heckler – a drunk fan who adores your band.
Hands were raised and clapped, “wo-oh-ah-oh”‘s were “wo-oh-ah-oh”‘d, the microphone was passed around the crowd. Poses were posed, fans blew hair in the air dramatically. That’s electric fans, not strange people at the front of the crowd doing Big Bad Wolf impressions.
The band’s standard cover version of John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice” went down incredibly well, as it should. If you want to hear it, I featured it a few days back. It’s even better live as a sing-a-long.
This is a band fronted by a man who’s been there and done it. It’s great to see him perform with a band of equally talented musicians and look every bit as good in front of 100 people as he did the last time I saw him – in front of maybe 20,000 at Graspop a few years back.
A cracking end to a very well put together evening, for which praise has to go to the lads in Reign of Fury. I really hope they raise a metric shit-ton of cash for their cause.