First up tonight from Urbino in Italy are Echotime, The intro “In-Side” starts up to herald in “Mr Valentine” from their new album Side. The band have a great sound and singer in Alex. They are mentioned a lot as a prog style band and I can hear elements in their sound to that effect. There are also a few hints towards Avengend Sevenfold particularly with “The Lighthouse” from the same album, one of my favourite tracks from the set.
“Sickness” finishes off the new album part of the set. We move into their slightly harder first album Genuine from 2014 with “Show Your Faces on TV”, then we have “The March” next before heading into set closer “Breaking the Prayers” which shows off Federico’s nice playing on the keyboards.
Giacomo was a great bass player tonight alongside Nicolas, with another Federico filling up the sounds nicely at the rear on the drums. The crowd was a bit quiet to begin with but the band won them over with the quality of the songs and singer Alex has a great stage presence. My only suggestion would be to lose all the small talking intro sections that are on the albums from the live set because the rhythm of the set was interrupted by these as they stopped the music flow. I think if they concentrated on the songs alone, the music of the live set would flow better and be less stop start.
I do love the music, though, and the band can play and have a great singer!
Up next, London band Neuronspoiler who are getting some great press from the likes of Classic Rock Magazine etc. They kick in with “Take the Stage” from the excellent 2013 Emergence album and my initial thought is that JR reminds me of Blaze Bayley as he opens up those screaming vocals.
Neuronspoiler have a great stage presence, in particular David del Cid on guitar was a joy to watch with his co-guitarist Pierre doing a stunning job on the other side of the stage. As the six-strings kick in we have “Through Hell We March”, again from Emergence. You can see why the press are liking them with their pure classic metal sound and they own that stage.
We meet “The Brave One” before the “Invincible Man”, my favourite of theirs as it shows of JR’s voice as he screams “Rescue me I am the Invincible Man”. There is some great guitar work on this track as well. The rhythm section of Matthew on drums and Erick on bass kick us into gear as the band “Never Back Down” and we then head into the last track “Words, Words, Words” from the 2010 EP No One’s Safe, a great set closer.
This is a band I will be following now and hopefully catch live again soon. Great music, great stage presence. Catch this band live and you will leave with a contented smile.
The main attraction now with workaholic Tim “Ripper” Owens who has performed with, amongst others, Beyond Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Charred Walls of the Damned, Iced Earth and of course Judas Priest. He took the nickname “Ripper” from the Judas Priest song “The Ripper” during his time in the tribute band “British Steel”.
So tonight he graces the stage at Bannermans. I’m glad he is here this time as I missed him last year at Wildfire Festival in Scotland when he did not get into the country due to visa issues. I have to confess that the Priest albums Jugulator and Demolition are not two I listen to very often, but I may have to reconsider that after tonight’s performance.
We start off with “Jugulator” quickly followed by “Blood Stained” from the aforementioned Jugulator album, both tracks stunning live and the packed Bannermans responds to these very loudly. The guitars herald one of my all time favourite Priest songs, “Metal Gods”, and it is with this track that you can tell why he was picked to replace Rob Halford, as his voice carries the song very well indeed.
The first of two from Demolition follows with a tremendous version of “Hell is Home”, then a stunning rendition of “The Sentinel” next before we are “Lost and Found”. We get all “Hell Bent for Leather” before boarding the “Bullet Train” and the evening just does not slow down with the band taking it all in their stride, whether it’s the newer stuff or the classics.
One of those classics up next, one which never gets enough of an airing, Priest’s “United”… and a fantastic job Tim and the band do with it, too. A couple more from Jugulator as we “Burn in Hell” and swallow a bit of “Dead Meat”. The classics keep coming with “Running Wild” before we enter “Death Row” which ends the main part of the set perfectly.
We are treated to a triple classic bill for the encore with a perfect “Electric Eye”, a crowd rousing “Living after Midnight” and the set-ending “Painkiller” – the first time on the tour they have played it, according to Ripper, but you would not think so as it was so well played and sung.
I would definitely recommend going to see this man live as he can sing alright – what a voice! The newer songs on the studio albums he played on were tremendous live as were the classics from the earlier Priest albums. The band played a blinder behind and alongside him, and you can see why they are with him.
I was not sure what we were going to get tonight with his back catalogue of bands but it was a fantastic night of Priest and the crowd sang, headbanged, bounced about and we all had a fantastic time. The vocal range he has, carried all the songs perfectly and if you are thinking about going to see him, do it!
Photos by Gary Cooper.
- Blood Stained
- Metal Gods
- Hell Is Home
- The Sentinel
- Lost and Found
- Hell Bent for Leather
- Bullet Train
- Burn in Hell
- Dead Meat
- Running Wild
- Death Row
- Electric Eye
- Living After Midnight