Bigfoot + Dead Man's Whiskey + Sinner Sinners
Thursday 26th October
The Underworld, Camden, London
On Thursday a trio of Wrinkly Rockers headed to Camden for another evening of Hard, pulsating Rock in the intimate surroundings of the Underworld. Headliners were Bigfoot, a five-piece band based in Wigan, formed in 2014 by musicians from across the vibrant Northwest Rock scene. Bigfoot combines the powerful vocals of Antony Ellis with the dual lead guitars of Sam Millar and Mick McCullagh and a thunderous rhythm section from bassist Matt Avery and drummer Tom Aspinall. The result is classic Melodic Hard Rock, with a Metal edge for heaviness, underpinned by a strong hint of latent Blues and Southern Rock groove. Bigfoot soon built themselves a loyal grassroots following in their home territory, which they have been gradually extending by regular touring and appearances at several festivals including Hard Rock Hell, Breakout and Bloodstock. Their growing reputation, and the success of two self-released EPs, led to a multi album deal with Frontiers Music earlier this year and the release of their first full-length album, the self-titled ‘Bigfoot’, this month. The current tour is to promote the new album as well as enhancing the band’s reputation for uplifting, in your face live performances.
Bigfoot were supported by Sinner Sinners and Dead Man’s Whiskey. Openers Sinner Sinners are a hardcore Punk band, formed in 2009 around husband and wife team Steve and Sam Thill. Initially based in France, Sinner Sinners relocated to Los Angeles in 2010, where they have been proving that their niche genre is still very much alive and kicking with their wild and blistering live performances and the release of three full-length albums. The latest of these, “Optimism Disorder’, is not afraid to address social issues affecting the band: ‘Last Drop’s’ raw lyrics are about battling alcoholism; other songs explore the notion of aging into adult responsibility, uncertainty and often regret. But, on stage, the band makes no concessions to their songs’ serious subject matter: their live music is simple but aggressive, dark but upbeat and, above all, fast and thunderous - they seem to take the view that the best way to face their issues is to scream about them into an audience of swinging fists. Sinner Sinners’ set was true to their Punk Rock roots with their final song, ‘Imitate’, continuing to echo round the Underworld long after the band had left the stage!
Next up were Dead Man’s Whiskey, a traditional Hard Rock band formed in London in 2016, comprising Nico Rogers (vocals), Billy Kons (lead guitar), Elliott D’Alvarez (rhythm guitar), James Titley (bass guitar) and Charlie Gray (drums). All in their 20’s, Dead Man’s Whiskey use their youthful energy to craft a blend of modern and classic Rock with Blues tones and a paced and exciting sound. Their debut album, ‘Under the Gun’, released earlier this year, is a selection of hard hitting, original songs that make full use of both Nico’s vocal range, from gravely Blues to Soulful longing, and the riff potential provided by a trio of mesmerising guitarists. However, there is only one way to fully experience the full force of Dead Man’s Whiskey and that’s at one of their live shows. The sheer power and excitement of these shows have amassed a strong following of fans, especially in their London base, which was evident as the Underworld filled up in readiness for their appearance. The fans were not disappointed: Thursday’s set was a mixture of covers (of everything from Black Stone Cherry to Seal) and songs from ‘Under the Gun’, all played with an explosive, youthful vigour. My personal favourite was ‘Rooster Crows’, a Bluesy Rock number with a memorable chorus line, and Nico’s strong voice clearly audible over the roaring guitar riffs.
Unfortunately, when Dead Man’s Whiskey’s set finished, some of their local fans left, leaving a slightly smaller audience for the arrival of Bigfoot. It was their loss: the missing fans would surely have appreciated Bigfoot, playing the same musical genre, with a similar five man line-up, to their local heroes, but with the added benefit of greater musical experience, plus the charisma and swagger of Antony Ellis up front. Bigfoot’s set started with the compelling dual guitar riffs of ‘Tell me a Lie’ followed by the stand out vocals in ‘Eat Your Words’ - setting the scene for an evening of full-on, well-honed Hard Rock that would have roused any sluggish mid-afternoon crowd, never mind an audience already pulsating from a couple of excellent support bands. The set continued with commanding vocals, a twin guitar attack that meshed fierce staccato rhythms and lightning lead guitar lines, and a stomping beat. The tempo and volume eased slightly for ‘Free Falling’, a tribute to Tom Petty, but soon accelerated again, particularly in the breathtaking ‘Bitch Killer’, with its enduring vocals and express guitar duets. As is often the case, Bigfoot saved the best till last: their set finished with the first single taken from their album, ‘The Fear’, a dark and frantic song about how the fear in our heads can take over our lives. ‘The Fear’ mixes heavy in your face Rock guitar with searing melodic anthems and big, uplifting vocals – a fitting finale to a compelling set and an awesome evening of complementary Rock music.
Tell Me a Lie
Eat Your Words
Prisoner of War
I Dare You