Tuesday 27th September 2022
The Beaverwood, Chislehurst, Kent
Just like buses, you stand around waiting and two end up coming at once… so it was at the Twinkly Wonderland (aka The Beaverwood) this week, when as well as the Voodoo Room on Thursday, we have tonight’s guests, Black Sabbitch.
Due to multiple various outings and awaydays recently, I was forced (for reasons of time, work, money, liver health etc.) to pick just one. Having seen the thoroughly excellent Voodoo Room previously, I decided that my curiosity about Sabbitch needed to be assuaged, so I didn’t even resort to a coin flip. Sorry boys; next time… I promise.
As the name implies, Black Sabbitch are an all girl Black Sabbath cover band. Tonight sees the start of a Covid-delayed tour taking in 13 UK dates before they continue on to the Kiss Kruise at the end of October.
Originally formed by drummer Angie Scarpa (for whom Sabbath “are the best f***ing thing in the Universe”… I think was the quote) and bassist Melanie Makaiwi, they’ve been going about 10 years, and amongst their credits are being picked by Ozzy & Sharon for Ozzfiesta and by Dave Grohl for CalJam with the Foo Fighters and Iggy Pop. High praise from Grohl, who was apparently “spellbound”. No pressure then.
If I’m totally honest, even with a couple of YouTube check-outs, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this. Not necessarily particular to tonight, but cover/tribute bands… instrumentation can be made to sound spot on but the singer’s voice is the singer’s voice and can completely change how you feel about hearing stuff you are very familiar with (unless of course you’re listening to Nad Sylvan and can oscillate somewhere between Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins with no jarring whatsoever). Whilst I could hear that vocalist Alice Austin could certainly sing she’s… well, not Ozzy.
That thought was 100% kicked into touch with a massive ‘so what ?‘ within about two lines of opener ‘War Pigs’, which was the start of a 2 set, 17 track mega-treat almost exclusively drawn from the 5 albums of the 1970-1973 Sabbath wellspring, the single outlier being ‘Never Say Die’ from the 1978 album of the same name.
So true to the originals, from Alice whipping out a harmonica for ‘The Wizard’ and doubling up on keyboards for (eg) ‘Sabbra Cadabra’ to Melanie grooving her way through the wah-y solo intro to ‘NIB’. Add in Angie’s faithful representation of Bill Ward’s Jazz-flecked pounding and guitarist Emily Burton’s trademark Iommi deep sound (not to mention every incidental inter-riff lick), for me this totally counted as a Sabbath show.. albeit presented by Sabbitch.
The fact they love - live for - this music is so evident not just from their superb playing but from their movements, looks, interactions… an absolute joy. If you have the slightest affinity or love for the music of Sabbath, I’d thoroughly recommend doing your best to catch them somewhere along the remainder of this tour.
The old guard may be progressively disappearing or withdrawing, but one thing the evening did reaffirm for me is that if you are rueful about no longer being able seeing the music you love played live any more you should… well… Never Say Die.
Sorry. Best I could come up with in the time I had ☺
2022 UK Fall (that will be ‘Autumn’ to us ☺ ) Tour
Sept 27 - The Beaverwood, Chislehurst
Sept 29 - Yardbirds, Grimsby
Sept 30 - Trading Boundaries, Fletching
Oct 2 - Camden Assembly, London
Oct 6 - SUB 89, Reading
Oct 7 - The Harlington, Fleet
Oct 9 - The Mill, Birmingham
Oct 10 - The Warehouse, Leeds
Oct 11 - The Caves, Edinburgh
Oct 12 - Base Camp, Middlesbrough
Oct 14 - The Corn Exchange, Devizes
Oct 15 - Go Live, Wrexham
Oct 16 - The Globe, Cardiff
Fairies Wear Boots
Never Say Die
Wheels of Confusion
Lord of this World
Into the Void
Children of the Grave
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Photos by Kry10 and Mark C