Colt48, Black Orchid Empire,
Stand Alone

Friday 15th March

Hope & Anchor, Islington, London

Almost exactly one year ago I was heading out into the heart of London's club land to attend the Borderline to see one of South East London's finest up and coming Rock bands launch their new EP. A creature of habit, tonight, I'm doing the same thing again, yet this time I'm off to the Hope and Anchor in bohemian Islington for Colt 48's latest release ‘Negatives’. Adam Lewis and Matt Savani are the duo that makes up the Nu-Metal/Hard Rock band with their passion driven crunchy riffs.

The new material builds on where they were a year ago as demonstrated by the excellent lead track and recent video from the EP `Disconnected'. All five songs on the CD, given away free with entry to the venue, demonstrate a growing maturity from the two-piece and their rewards are coming. They are embarking on a national tour and have a slot at the famous Camden Rocks this June and are lined up to support ‘Glamour of the Kill’ when they tour later in the year.

Adam and Matt are some of the nicest people I've met on the circuit so it`s no surprise that the gig has a family reunion feel about it. The support acts and audience consist of friends and bands that have supported them previously. Not only does this make for a fun packed evening, but the quality of the musical talent in one room is inspiring.

Unfortunately, I missed the first support act (well it is a very long way to North London from South of the river!) but I'm there in time to see Stand Alone heralding from West Yorkshire. I feel spoilt as from the off it is very clear that they are a class act with some very well crafted songs, crunchy but smooth at the same time. We even get some sound effects taking us back to the Blitz followed up with some nice harmonies and soaring solos.

Next up is Black Orchid Empire - already well known to WRC and firm favourites of many. I'm immediately impressed with the massive five string bass with slanted frets crunching out a pulsing beat and with the energy of the hirsute lead singer. Again, I feel spoilt with the quality of the offering. More Melodic Rock with a heavy twist and a thumping beat coming from a drummer right in the zone.

And then Colt48 take to the stage and the crowd of friends as much as fans pull closer to the stage. They smash straight into the single 'Disconnected' with high energy riffs coming from Adam's semi-hollow guitar and Matt’s powerful drum beat getting the crowd going. It's not long before the expense of energy gives Matt a rather 'wild' look behind the drums and Adam's racing between microphones at either end of the stage creates a similar look for him too! The set comprises of new and old songs before they launch into the final song, the fan favourite 'Hate Hate Relationship'. But the crowd demand 'one more song' and so they oblige with one more track from the new EP. The advantage of such an intimate venue is that the after-show party is a very friendly affair with all the bands and fans intermingling and discussing the show. And what a good value show it was with so many good bands clearly enjoying plying their wares of high-quality Rock music. Just what a Friday night should be about!

Chris Bourlet

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