It’s a mild November Friday night and given the excellent line up of hard-hitting heavy rock/blues and nu-metal for tonight’s show at the Sanctuary Rock Bar in Burnley, I’d hoped for a bigger turn out, but as with a lot of local gigs and venues I’ve attended recently it’s only hardcore fans who appear to be showing up. Nevertheless the bands have come to put on a show and that’s just what they did.
Opening tonight are Fear Me December. This UK-based melodic nu-metal band, originally formed in South America, open with pummelling drums and heavy riffs – they certainly know how to open a show. With plenty of solos from lead guitarist Valentin Macagno, combined with Victoria Cabanella’s fantastic vocal range with the odd snarl thrown in for good measure, this emerging metal band prove that moving continents isn’t a bad thing – in fact quite the opposite. It seems Manchester is good for them as they’ve just released a new EP Crystallized.
After a short break and change around on stage, Savage Outlaw are up next. A 5-piece hard rock band from Liverpool, who immediately start with “Devils Seduction”. Some of the best hard-hitting rock and blues I’ve heard in a long time, the Outlaws definitely threw down the challenge to Fahran. With two great guitarists and a towering bassist all held together by hard-hitting drums they sounded very tight behind Stu Stephenson’s strong rock vocals. Screaming guitars and hard hitting heavy blues rhythms from start to finish, they’re very reminiscent of Black Stone Cherry. They play to the sadly small crowd with fire and passion, still giving it 100%. One to watch for the future, these guys should be headlining soon.
- Devils Seduction
- Bad Woman
- Dirty Blonde
- White Trash Millionaire (Black Stone Cherry cover)
- Twisted Romeo
- Heartbreakers & Hellraisers
Next up, headliners Fahran, who played to a packed tent on the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock this year. If Savage Outlaw threw down the gauntlet then Fahran certainly picked it up and ran with it, as despite the low numbers they throw everything into their performance. From the moment they opened with “Home” it was quite obvious these boys were a very tight group. Despite their apparent young age they started the show hard and carried the momentum right through.
Lead singer Matt Black has a very powerful and soulful voice with a unique timbre that surprised me at first, but which fits perfectly to the music. The accompaniment of the twin guitar work by Jake Graham and Chris Byrne is pretty much flawless, and it’s obvious there is a definite Maiden and old metal influence here (with some touches of Shinedown thrown in for good measure) and it sounds good.
JR Fahran on the drums keeps it flowing with a flawless beat, rolling drums and cymbals aplenty while the thumping bass is kept pumping by Josh Ballantyne. Despite the low numbers in the crowd, these boys gave it their all and were all over the stage – hair flying, solos aplenty and thoroughly enjoying themselves while delivering a killer set which, in all honesty, blew me away.
It saddens me that more people don’t come out to watch these very talented bands pour heart and soul into their performances every time they play, be it to several hundred at Bloodstock or a couple of dozen at local venues. If you hear of Fahran playing near you anytime soon I’d highly recommend going along.
- Stand Alone
- Silent Nightmare
- Cased In Steel
- Wake up
- Take this City Alive
- State Of Mind
- A Thousand Nights
Photos by Drew Scott Photographic