On a cold late February evening, I headed to the Black Heart in Camden to see Molly Karloff’s EP launch. I turned up with just enough time to chat with a few others waiting for the doors to open, all very much looking forward to seeing the headliners.
Just about on time, the evening started with Essex’s Spidervayne who dragged us all in with the excellent “Skinwalker” and “Living in the Past” before taking us all back to the very beginning of the 1990s with a resplendent cover of Alice in Chains’ “Sea of Sorrow”. The set was bought to a close by “Spiderbrain” and the anthemic “Live to Rock”.
Next up we had south coast hard rockers Black Tree Vultures… and wow, what a set. If a certain lager did support acts primed to get the audience whipped up it would be these guys. Starting off with “Downfall” we were treated to an amazing and truly heartwarming experience with more well-known tracks like “No More Empathy” and “Bitter” thrown in.
When a band connects with its audience like this, showing the honed stagecraft and performance with and honesty and likeability, it makes you want to check out their back catalogue the moment you get home. For a finalé Celyn Beynon, the charismatic vocalist went and hugged everyone in the audience. Definitely a band I would see again.
Then we had the main event, Molly Karloff. Unfortunately, there were a few technical issues during the first couple of tracks but Simon, Jowie and Dan still belted out the old favourites “Dancing for Money” and “Cocaine” from the first EP and the odd yet-to-be-recorded number. Then we got the first track off the new EP.
With drums now being looked after by Jowie Adkins, the band is looking stronger than ever. First up we had the title track “Supernaturalation” with its heavy guitar riffs, a longer than normal solo for Simon, and complete with a hook laden chorus to keep the whole crowd on their toes. Next up it’s the first single to be released of the EP which has had some phenomenal reviews so far.
“She Said” is one of those tracks you just can’t help but sing along to and you find yourself randomly blurting out in the office. Hearing it live made it all the more special. Watching the connection between the band members was at times as mesmerising as hearing the music. Dan Podbury had some time out of the band but was back tonight and it only seemed fitting as it was his skills used on the album. He is simply one of the best bassists around and having not yet seen his replacement I was personally pleased to see him.
The rest of the tracks flew thick and fast with the band getting better and better with each one. “Do You Wanna” is a massive crowd pleaser and will have the crowd singing the chorus back to them up and down the country. “Do It Again” has us all asking them to, well, do it again – with another small teaser of a guitar solo from Simon leaving us old schoolers salivating for more. Then it was the gloriously sleazy feeling “The Other Side”, the floor filler that will have people showing their moves up and down the land, as well as being my personal favourite.
The band finished on “Breaking Out”. This is another unrecorded track and an absolute treat for anyone catching them on their tour.
Photos by Shellstar Media