A night of rock and roll, headlined by one quarter of one of the first bands I ever saw live back when they were touring on their debut album. Ah, how time flies… What didn’t fly was the traffic, so we were a little late arriving. Many “thanks” to Edinburgh City Council for closing a road for planned roadworks without actually telling anyone, putting up signs warning it was closed or providing any form of diversion signage. Dicks.
Openers The King Lot are as close to a local band as we had on the bill, being from West Lothian, and they certainly brought some friends with them tonight. The venue was easily half full when they were on stage (thankfully we only missed the very start) and most of those there knew the songs, and probably drink with the band regularly!
Their short and sweet set was, frankly, superb. Incredibly catchy hard rock anthems with some great harmonies and stage presence. We were impressed with their album when we reviewed it and I can state for a fact that they transfer the songs from recording to the live setting with perfection.
The King Lot are a band that you listen to, then see and are genuinely surprised is made up of only three members. Especially on stage, they just sound… bigger. I made a similar comment on the album, but there are tricks in the studio where you can layer tracks to beef up the number of members, but there’s no really easy way to do that on stage. So The King Lot use this thing called “talent” – and they have bags of it.
They obviously enjoyed their time up there as well. I don’t think they stopped smiling for the twenty or so minutes we watched them. And they know how to leave the stage after a gig as well! Definitely a band you have to catch live if plain old hard rock music is your preference.
Next up for a longer set were Cumbria’s Heartbreak Remedy. Definitely dressed for the occasion they played their way through a forty minute set of pretty decent rock, some of the songs with a nice country twang to them.
They weren’t bad, but in all honesty I’d rather have seen more of The King Lot. Heartbreak Remedy have some great riffs and rhythms, but just weren’t as much fun. I just can’t put my finger on it, but as far as tonight went I definitely preferred the openers. I would be open to giving them another chance, so I’ll keep an eye open for them touring again. Certainly their EP has had some favourable reviews online.
As the headline set approached, The King Lot took to the stage again. Earning their money as roadies, I assumed… but, no. It seems that tonight, Matthew, they were going to be Love/Hate! As Jizzy said early into his set, this is the first time he’s arrived “sans band, sans plane tickets… sans bullshit”.
Jizzy himself is a great frontman and wasted on a venue this small. It’s a crying shame that Love/Hate didn’t quite grab the public the way some of their peers did back in the day, especially after two superb debut albums. He obviously and genuinely cares about the audience and his performance, going so far as to gently rib guitarist Michael Fairbairn for a missed note. It’s well meant and you can tell that the three Scots up there are having a great time backing him.
Vince Neil is currently asking £40 upwards for fans to watch Motley Crue on their farewell tour, and looks like he’s already eaten all the pies he’s bought with the advance. Video footage I’ve seen doesn’t sound too great either. Jizzy, on the other hand, sounds like he did 25 years ago when Black Out first came out, his throaty/raspy vocals as dirty as they ever were. He’s in far better shape as well. Jizzy looks ready to rock. Neil looks more like he’d ready to roll.
He barely stood still the entire show, either spitting out the lyrics or a snide, humorous comment. The crowd absolutely lapping it up, and leaving nary a dull moment from the beginning to the end of the set. As promised we got the entire first album in full, though not in order but that’s not a complaint, as well as a handful of other classics.
A couple of personal favourites made the list (as they usually do) – “Wasted in America” and “Don’t Fuck With Me”, the latter a fairly repetitive song but one I could play on loop all day. Hell, it’s a song to live by.
Despite a couple of issues with the guitars, which Jizzy dealt with by continuing to take the piss out of Fairbairn, the evening was perfect. A superb setlist, a damn impressive “Love/Hate” performance from The King Lot and Jizzy proving that old rockers never die. Even if you try to kill them by strapping them to major landmarks.
Black Out In The Red Room is still one of my favourite albums, and I was 16 when I saw the band touring on it back in 1992 (at Newcastle Riverside). Sure, the crowd was more active back then with crowdsurfing aplenty, but the fact that the music still sounds so good twenty five years later proves what a damn fine album it was. Here’s to the thirtieth anniversary tour!