Having previously seen Hollowstar opening for Graham Bonnet last year I knew I was in for a great time tonight along with two top notch support bands opening up.
The first band up tonight are local boys The King Lot who open with a rocking new track “Stand” before setting the stage on fire with “As They Burn” the only track tonight off their excellent self-titled debut. The remaining tracks tonight are from last year’s fabulous album A World Without Evil starting with “All I Want” quickly followed by “Damaged Girls”, last year’s album is a large jump up from the debut in terms of production and the mature growth of the band particularly since Jay came on board on guitar. The title track next “A World Without Evil” followed by “Maybe They’re Watching Us” before the boys end a short but blistering set with the killer “Hearts On Fire”. The band are always a joy to watch live, should bands always be that happy on stage? Jason always bouncing about grinning on bass in between singing. Jay always moving while playing guitar is a joy to watch and listen to and then there is that grinning nutter CK up the back playing those drums for all he is worth along with backing vocals. A fantastic band live, never a bad gig that I have seen, definitely a band that should be bigger.
Up next those full on boys from Wales Florence Black and from the word go they never stopped with tracks like ”The One” with its slightly distorted guitar intro from Tristan, thumping drums from Perry and pounding bass lines from Jordan before Tristan lays waste with that strong voice of his. The bounce of “Fiesta” with hints of The Foo Fighters in full flight is always a winner, the boys cruise through “Ghost” & “The Ride” before the killer guitar heralds the “Same Again”. Another couple including “Smoke” from EP ll before the familiar strain of Budgie’s “Breadfan” kicks in to end their full on rock n roll set, they do Burke and the boys proud with their version. I thought this was a much more mature performance from the boys and it was full on from start to finish, always a great band to watch and listen to live.
The main event now as Hollowstar take to the stage, I was blown away by the boys last year when they opened for Graham Bonnet here at Bannermans and as the powerhouse opening notes to “Take It All” started I knew tonight was going to be good. Then Joe opened up those classic rock vocals and the grin crept across my face. What a storming start to their set.
We are taken “Down By The Water” next, again from their newly released debut album, the band have that Free/Bad Company sound but with that heavier modern twist. We head back to the slightly heavier Some Things Matter EP now for a couple of tracks including the rocking “Lay Down” with its riffs galore and sing along chorus. Phil is a joy to watch in full flow on the guitar, that is a man enjoying himself for sure along with Tom on the other guitar laying waste to the venue tonight and mad Jack in the back on the drums keeping that classic pace going.
We then have a trio from the album starting with the crushing “Invincible”, the smoother “Think of Me” and the awesome “Money” with its pounding drums, bass & guitar and here Joe’s vocals just shine and drip classic blues rock as he moves about playing the bass, a stunning track. A few older ones next with “Let You Down”, “New Age Lullaby” and the fantastic “Feel The Burn” with vocals that give you goosebumps and make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, a simply classic song. A cover follows and what else but the Free classic “Wishing Well” given a modern twist while keeping true to the original at the same time. The guitars kick in as we get “Overrated” and I can’t rate this band highly enough tonight, as we rock out to the “Sinner” next, so good.
The band dedicate songs to a few people who have helped them get to where they are now and Joe dedicates the track “Good Man Gone” to a friend who sadly found the pressure of this world too much to go on with, sadly all too common these days and you could see he was truly affected by this loss. The band end a tremendous set with the fabulous singalong “All I Gotta Say”, time seems to have flown by tonight with three fantastic bands and a packed out hot, sweaty venue. The band Hollowstar have it all, with their sound, attitude on stage and the album full of classic hits in the making, they really deserve to be huge but the music industry is a fickle master, but you never know. All I do know is this reviewer is going home a very happy man after a fantastic night of music, the future is bright, the future is Hollowstar.
Photos by Coops Gig Photography
- Take It All
- Down By The Water
- Lay Down
- Think Of Me
- Let You Down
- New Age Lullaby
- Feel The Burn
- Wishing Well
- Good Man Gone
- All I Gotta Say