Gig Review: Vigil of War / She Burns Red / Wild Thorn – Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh (8th February 2019)

So we are here to see L.A. band Vigil of War playing their first ever Scottish date on their first UK tour, but first we have two support bands of suitably high quality.

Wild Thorn (c) Gary Cooper

Opening tonight are Newcastle lads Wild Thorn who I last saw here in 2014 as a five-piece, here tonight as a group of four. The band kick off with “Too Hot for Hollywood” with Ash in fine voice, creating a sound not unlike early Mötley Crüe meets early W.A.S.P. They play three from their 2014 Full Throttle EP in the form of “Stand Up and Shout”, “Lonely Again” and the full-on “Full Throttle” with a tasty cover of Guns N’ Roses “Nightrain” added in for good measure. A right bouncy and rocking start to tonight’s proceedings, the band have come on a long way since last time.

She Burns Red (c) Gary Cooper

Up next are those local nutters She Burns Red who just get better all the time and tonight is no exception. Andy and James are in fine form vocal-wise, even with James suffering a wee bit. The band kick off with “Gone” and roll on like early Foo Fighters with killer tracks like the excellent “Stronger”, “Tell Me” and “Copernicus Falls”. They have a great sound and stage presence with James always bouncing about with his red striped face and kilt.

The star for me tonight though is Adam on drums, just a joy to watch and very reminiscent of Dave and Taylor from the Foo’s, definitely one of the best drummers out there. The band end a most enjoyable set with the killer “Interstellar” single from last year with its killer intro and crunching grooves, another band on the up, and the best I’ve seen them so far.

Vigil of War (c) Gary Cooper

The main event now with Vigil of War hitting the stage. No London Stacey on guitar tonight as he could not get time off work, the joys of having to juggle work and band life. We do get the fabulous Kiki Wongo in his place though, who was in a previous band with Alicia called She Demons and totally rocked tonight.

The band play the whole of their excellent Bite the Bullet EP from 2017 as they kick off with “Live Wire” and you can hear Brody Dalle meets Lzzy Hale in Alicia’s killer voice. The band are on fire with both Kiki and Shane bouncing all over the place. Kiki is having a lot of fun, I don’t think she stopped smiling all night. A lot of great interaction between the band and the crowd as they tear through “Shallow Grave”, “Stitch Me Up” and “Bite the Bullet” with the multi-talented Kiki even taking over bass duties at points from Alicia.

We get a nice version of “White Wedding” before last year’s excellent single “Choke” gets an airing, a fantastic live track, before the band ends the show with the EP title track “Bite the Bullet” with its pounding bass line intro before it takes off and kicks you in the head. A fantastic end to a short but very entertaining set.

If you get the chance, go see the band as I don’t think they will be playing small venues for very long. A great band, with great songs and great to watch.

Photos by Gary Cooper


  • Live Wire
  • War Inside My Mind
  • Shallow Grave
  • Strength To Endure
  • Stitch Me Up
  • White Wedding
  • Choke
  • Bite the Bullet

Vigil of War: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube

She Burns Red: facebook | twitter | soundcloud | spotify | bandcamp

Wild Thron: facebook | twitterbigcartel

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