Gig Review: Smith / Kotzen + The Dust Coda and Buckets Rebel Heart – KK’s Steelmill, Wolverhampton (3rd March 2022)

What a gig this was!

Buckets Rebel Heart (c) Shaun Hulme

Tonight I am once again at  one of the best venues that the UK has to offer, KK’s Steelmill in Wolverhampton. KK’s has recently played host to the Iron Maiden legend that is Steve Harris and former Maiden members Blaze Bayley and Doug Sampson, and tonight they play host to Adrian Smith, who knows, maybe Bruce may make an appearance one day.

But first there is the small matter of the support bands, first up is Buckets Rebel Heart, featuring ex-Bad Company guitarist Dave “Bucket” Colwell. They give a good account of themselves with a solid performance. Vocalist Paul Manzi showing  great vocals while Bucket steps up to show he hasn’t lost his touch on the fret board.

I have been really looking forward to seeing The Dust Coda, one of the leading bands to emerge from the NWOCR charge. They do not disappoint, putting on a great energetic  show and showing the crowd why there is such a buzz around them from the rock community. They head out on the road again in a few months and I can’t recommend them enough, if you can catch a show then go see them.

So with the the capacity crowd fully warmed up it is time for the headliners. Smith / Kotzen, who don’t disappoint the eager crowd. Now I have to confess I had no idea how good a voice Adrian Smith has and I hear a few people around me saying the same.

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The Dust Coda (c) Shaun Hulme

These guys are just outstanding live, Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen compliment each other really well bouncing off each other taking it in turns to shred while being backed up by Richie’s wife on bass.

Smith / Kotzen are not just some sort of Iron Maiden “B” side project, they are a seriously good outfit playing great rock tunes and deserve all the praise that they are receiving

They play through their cracking set with “Taking My Chances” , “Running” and “Some People” before an encore of Richie’s “You Can’t Save Me” and Iron Maidens epic “Wasted Years” to a raptures applause.

Tonight is without doubt the best gig of the last 12 months!

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Photos by Shaun Hulme

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