Gig Review: The Wee Four – La Belle Angele, Edinburgh (16th February 2019)

What else you are gonna do on a Saturday night but join a packed out La Belle Angele in Edinburgh to see the “Wee Four”: Arranthrax, Live Undead, Megadeth UK & Mactallica – the tribute answer to the Big Four of Anthrax, Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. These kinds of bands fill a void when the major bands don’t tour often or are not even around anymore. Love them or loathe them, the tribute scene is thriving which is a good thing for venues as they are as often as not packed out with punters after a good night of rock and metal with songs that they all know and love. The local economy benefits in keeping venues going and the fans have a great night out, as was evident tonight.

Megadeth UK (c) Gary Cooper

We have Arranthrax up first who breeze through a fun-packed set including “Piss N Vinegar” from Volume 8 and a nice double outing from Sound of White Noise with “Only” & “Room for One More” getting an airing. The highlights are “Madhouse”, “I am the Law” and “Indians”, and Allan and the boys put on a lively and well played set which the packed venue soaked up with much enthusiasm. The boys have set the bar and tone for the evening and it does not let up.

Megadeth UK are up next and I swear if you shut your eyes it could be Big Dave up there on vocals as Darryl is spot on with his delivery – those who know me know I don’t say that lightly. The boys rip through a killer set with new drummer boy Ben doing a killer job on the skins. We get the classics “Wake Up Dead”, “Peace Sells” and “Symphony Of Destruction” with “Kill The King” definitely being my favourite from their setlist tonight. We have some “Five Magics” and the boys are literally “Sweating Bullets”, but my only regret was no “A Tout Le Monde” which is my favourite. I would have been interested to hear them play it. A classic set played to the max and again the crowd lap it up big style.

Live Undead (c) Gary Cooper

The boys from Live Undead (Slayer Tribute) next and one I was most intrigued about as Slayer are not an easy band to imitate with their ferocious playing and vocals. I’ll give the boys their due, they did their best which was pretty good and the crowd obviously loved it, looking at the reactions. We have the classics “Seasons In The Abyss”, “Angel of Death” and “South of Heaven” along with a bit of “Chemical Warfare”, “Darkness of Christ” and “World Painted Blood”. The boys did Slayer proud but my favourite (“Exile”) was not played. I’ll let them off, though! Another fun-packed set from Michael and the boys, the crowd seem to be trying to drink the bar dry here at La Belle as the temperature is increasing with each band.

Mactallica (c) Gary Cooper

The Mactallica boys round up the evening and go straight in for the kill with “Battery” before “Seek & Destroy” sets things up a notch. We again get the classics with “Master Of Puppets”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” along with “Enter Sandman” plus a bit of “Halo on Fire” and a nice version of “No Leaf Clover” from S&M. I have to say Ryan and the boys played a blinder tonight and a packed out venue had a fun, cheap night with four bands playing all they wanted to hear.

I, as most people know, am not a tribute band fan as such [Understatement of 2019 – Mosh] but having been invited along tonight to catch all the acts i was pleasantly surprised, I am not converted but i can see the appeal and the joy on the peoples faces tonight as they laughed, sang and jumped about to all the bands was very apparent. A big thanks to Allan from Arranthrax for the invite tonight and for possibly opening up my eyes just a touch, the skill with which all the bands tonight played was very apparent and they should all be very proud of the way they are keeping the music and local venues alive with what they are doing.

Photos by Coops Gig Photography

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