Ever since their inception, RavenEye have had an incredible run in their almost three year history. With a mighty debut EP followed up by the leviathan which is Nova and in between all this, they’ve found time to constantly tour the US, Europe and of course, home soil of the UK. Dubbed the “It’s Not Over ‘Til it’s Nova” tour and featuring some of the country’s finest local acts to open up proceedings on a nightly basis, the entirety of Nova, deep cuts from Breaking Out and brand new material, this was a tour not to be missed.
To make matters even better, Glasgow was the (almost) final date as the band built on the momentum to bring the tour to its thrilling one-step-from-conclusion with only Edinburgh left to go. Our local opening band? Anchor Lane. The band who supported them in Glasgow last time and have since featured on these pages many times. I love it when things come full circle. Having gone from strength to strength in the time since they last supported the power trio, they capitalise on their short set, bringing out every gem in their arsenal and are intent on thrilling the crowd.
Many shirts with their logo are around the venue and halfway into their set, one of my friends who had travelled up from Kent yells in my ear: “Fuckin’ ‘ell, they’re special!” With staples like “Runaway” and “Twenty Sixteen” given an early airing, the modern hard rock quartet are at the top of their game, tighter than ever and visibly happy to be supporting RavenEye once more. Meanwhile, “Eclipse” builds to its stunning finale before the latest addition (and gloriously heavy) “Rising Up” leads into their last song of the night “Finished For Twelve”. As the hairs on the back of my neck are standing to attention and my friend who had come specially from Aberdeen for the night is beside herself with the quality on show, it proves how spoiled Glasgow is that rock fans get Anchor Lane on a regular basis.
SKAM quickly scurry around the stage to follow up with their own brand of hard rock. Less melodic and less pristine than the openers, their chunky interpretation of rock is a welcome one. Promoting their new album The Amazing Memoirs of Geoffrey Goddard: “A concept album about a time-travelling Spitfire pilot… no really” as singer and guitarist Steve Hill introduces it with its lead single. Hard, filthy riffs keep the crowd enthralled and continue to show they’re an excellently reliable band.
The highlight of the set is roughly at the halfway mark as my friend remarks that Hill with his Second World War regalia is rather like Lemmy, minus the warts and facial hair. As soon as she’s said it, a massive Phil Campbell-esque riff fills the room with “No Lies” and, as they did at Wildfire 2017, they dabble into Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” which has the crowd singing word-perfect.
Taking to the stage earlier than advertised, RavenEye show they’re taking no prisoners, opening with the unbridled fury of “Hate” and following it up with “Come With Me”. It’s hard rock full to the brim with energy and the band are out to prove why they’re one of the best live acts in the country right now. By throwing “Hey Hey Yeah” into the mix early, complete with guitarist and vocalist Oli Brown clambering onto bassist Aaron Spiers (as is the norm), they’re intent on pulling a couple of wildcards.
Meanwhile, drummer Adam Breeze provides as much energy as the two men wielding the six strings and four strings. With the shallow stage of King Tut’s, he more or less sits parallel with them, ensuring he’s interacting with the crowd as much as his cohorts. With more than a year with the band under his belt, he’s moulded the songs into his own, an absolute powerhouse of a drummer and with the chemistry shared between the three of them, it’s like he’s been there since day one.
Aaron’s massive basslines are chunky and in-your-face and one of his best moments comes with new song “You’re a Lie” as Oli drops his guitar and bass leads the way. Oli’s riffs are equally massive, varied and on a technical level which belies his age. He dabbles with a brief solo to lead into “Oh My Love” and he deserves to be in that top echelon of guitarists. Mixing bits of grunge with blues and making it as heavy as possible, RavenEye have made a signature sound to set them apart from every other hard rock band of their generation. Couple it with their frantic and engaging performances and album two on the horizon, Messrs Brown, Spiers and Breeze should be playing to much larger rooms.
However, the best moment of the night is introduced with Oli informing the crowd they’re forgoing the idea of an encore and Aaron and Adam strap on the acoustic guitars. Ironically, Nova’s final song was the first to be written. And on top of that, it’s a monolithic ballad. For a band so used to delivering highly-charged rock numbers, the stripped back “Eternity” is a wonderful, spine-tingling moment shared with the audience.
Naturally, the band want to end the affair on a high and “You Got It” is dug from the archives. Gratitudes are offered to both Anchor Lane and SKAM alongside the enthusiastic crowd. When Breaking Out first appeared in my inbox three years ago, I knew immediately there was something other-worldly about this band. RavenEye crafted a performance backed by two supports to make an incredible night which, if you were there, will be talked about for months, if not years to come.