I have to admit I never thought I would see Doug Aldrich playing Bannermans but here he is with Keith St John for a Burning Rain acoustic tour of the UK.
Before we get to the main event we have Annakii who are also playing acoustic tonight. They class themselves as The Foo Fighters playing Killers songs fronted by P!nk, an interesting mix. The band kick off with “In the Pines” and I am stunned by the voice that comes out of this shy-looking girl Anna. With Mark on guitar and David on the beat box for tonight this makes for an amazing opening track.
The band follow on in the same vain with “Sunshine” and “King Love” before hitting us with a Dead Daisies cover, “Miles in Front of Me” which was fabulous. There are a few more fantastic songs including a wonderful version of The Cranberries’ “Zombie”. Anna has a voice that impresses with its clarity and strength, not unlike that of the sadly deceased Dolores crossed with a female version of early Bryan Adams (if you get what I mean!).
Annakii end their set with the new single “Beautiful Lie” and I have discovered a fantastic new band and a truly amazing singer. I will definitely be seeing them again live, either acoustic or electric.
That main event now – a stripped down and acoustic Burning Rain featuring Keith St John, and the guitar god himself Doug Aldrich. I am a bit late discovering this band given they were formed in 1998. They play a fantastic mixed bag of originals from the electric Burning Rain albums which were a bit sporadic due to other commitments with Dio, Whitesnake, Montrose to name just a few. Amongst them there were also a fine blend of covers.
We have “Revolution”, “Midnight Train” and “Face the Music” from the new album which work so well acoustically given how different they sound with the full electric band. There are hints of Black Stone Cherry and Skinny Molly on the full album. The obvious chemistry with Keith & Doug is so obvious, with the interaction and laughter between them and the audience was a joy to watch.
We get treated to a bit of “Rock Candy” from Montrose, which is apt given Keith’s involvement with the band. The Rolling Stones get a wee outing, too. The version of “You Can’t always Get What You Want” was fabulous and a good crowd sing along. A nod to another guitar god, Jimi Hendrix, with “Purple Haze” and “All Along The Watchtower”, a cheeky wee sing along for the crowd from Doug with “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” from Whitesnake plus another in the form of “Forevermore”.
Burning Rain touch on more than a few bands tonight including Led Zeppelin. Their own tracks are up there in terms of quality, though. For example, we get a stunning version of “Heaven Gets Me By” from the Epic Obsession album.
The set ends all too soon but the boys promise to come back with the full electric band next time, and bring drummer Blas and bassist Brad with them – a night not to be missed! The gig tonight was incredible. It was a joy to watch Doug play the acoustic all night and Keith has an amazing voice. You could see they both really enjoyed the up close and personal venue, with the crowd right in front of them and no barrier in the way.
If you missed any of the acoustic gigs then you missed something special. Don’t miss the electric gigs when they come back with the full band… I know I won’t.
Photos by Gary Cooper Photography