Doomsday Outlaw + Daxx & Roxane
Saturday 5th October 2019
The Black Heart, Camden, London
Taking a break from putting the finishing touches to their new album, 2018 WRC Best Support Band award winners Doomsday Outlaw have been hitting the road lately to give a deafening farewell to some old tunes and break in some new bangers, including a penultimate tour gig at London's The Black Heart in Camden last Saturday night. The band were co-headlining with Daxx & Roxane, a ticking time bomb of raw Rock 'n’ Roll power and crushing heavy riffs, who have also been on our WRC radar for some time. A stone's throw away from where we saw Doomsday Outlaw support The Graham Bonnet Band on a beautiful Summer's evening in August last year, the Autumnal weather we were experiencing tonight, as we made our way to the venue, was in stark contrast. Yes, it was pissing down!
Doomsday Outlaw won the toss to go on first, a bit later than originally scheduled, but with a reasonable turn out to welcome the five piece full-bore Heavy Blues-tinged Rock band, featuring Phil Poole (lead vocals), Stephen Broughton (guitar), Indy (bass and backing vocals), John Ironfoot Willis (drums) and guitarist Alez D'Elia, who joined the band after we last saw them, replacing Gavin Mills. Based on both last year's Underworld gig and their well received 'Hard Times' album, we were expecting heavy groove and neck-snapping hooks, and that's exactly what we got. Indeed they are a tight, well-honed band that deliver monumental chunky riffs and groove-laden tunes, with a nod towards Zeppelin, Trapeze and Black Stone Cherry.
As expected, the majority of the ten song setlist was similar to when they supported Graham Bonnet, but by no means was that a bad thing! Indeed, they actually opened with three new tracks. 'Little Things' not only reconnected us with the exceptional vocals of flowery shirted Poole, but also introduced new guitar powerhouse D'Elia with a solo and his AC/DCish outro. "We doing alright?" Poole enquired before they launched into 'On My Way', and we were already lovin' it, just as much as this smiling Derbyshire quintet were. Rock ballad 'The End' was given the fitting guitar solo it deserved, before we were back on familiar Outlaw territory with 'Bring It On Home' from the aforementioned 'Hard Times', which not only saw the possessed Poole chucking his mic around but also saw our WRC photographer throwing a few shapes down the front. Praise indeed. Poole introduced the next "little ditty" - 'Tale Of A Broken Man' from their 2016 debut album 'Suffer More' - jokingly touching upon his previous marital status - before opening with an a cappella - its awesome riff complemented by some neat pedal work from D'Elia and great bass guitar from Indy.
"Camden how are you doing?" asked Poole, as they went straight into 'Fallback', another from 'Suffer More', with some excellent wah-wah guitar thrown in for good measure by the waistcoated D'Elia. Another new track 'Walk The Line' was poignantly dedicated by Poole to his son, and no doubt his son would have been proud if had he'd been there! It was then back to the title track from their last album, which brought back great memories of last year's Underworld gig, with its Zep like riff, which again had everyone's hands in the air clapping. Their penultimate song of the set, 'All That I Have', was also their first ever track, which saw Poole climb up on to a speaker stack, as D'Elia's whale like guitar tones ended with another outstanding riff backed up by their blistering engine room including the outstanding Willis. 'Suffer More's 'Bring You Pain' did exactly the opposite with its The Who vibe and the synchronised Status Quo choreography of both the excellent baseball capped Broughton and D'Elia, bringing the set to a memorable end. Once again, the band's performance was flawless, engaging and it connected with the audience at every opportunity. "Come and see us again" Poole shouted as they left the stage. We most certainly will!
Daxx & Roxane are a kick-ass four-piece Rock ’n’ Roll band originating from Switzerland, now based in London. With Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and AC/DC as their key influences, they line up with Simon Golaz - rhythm guitar, Cédric Pfister - vocals/bass, Luca Senaldi - drums and Cal Wymann - lead guitar. Indeed, their new single 'Interstellar' features a keyboard solo from Deep Purple's Don Airey no less, but unfortunately there was no Don, no keyboards and no 'Interstellar' in their set - although by the end it was Daxx & Roxane who had blown us away like a super nova! Anyway, anyone who has visited to The Black Heart will know that the venue is upstairs and that the bar is downstairs!
As we made our way back upstairs after replenishing our glasses, we could hear that they had begun their set. Upon opening the door, the joint was already rockin' to the aptly named title track from their 2017 debut album 'Ticket To Rock' followed by 'Girl Next Door' from the same album, with Pfister already demonstrating his powerful vocal range, think Monster Truck frontman Jon Harvey. From the old and another example of Zep's influence, to the new, and 'Strange Women', with its Stones vibe chorus, proof, if you needed it, that there was nothing neutral about these guys. "Make some noise!" Pfister insisted on another new track 'Get To It', its great riff not only deserving the animated handclapping accompaniment from a generous audience but also accentuating the venue's quality sound. There was also nothing cheesy about their slower melodic 'Lust & Love', again from their debut album, which showcased Wymann's Gilmour sounding guitar work, complemented by some neat harmonica from Golaz.
The band were on a roll, as they played their first single from their upcoming second album, the kick ass Rush sounding 'Someone I Love', followed by the more Indie sounding 'Leaving For Tomorrow', another from their debut album. And talking of Rush, the mellow Rock n' Roll Quo sounding 'Sugar Rush' saw the jazz loving and bandana wearing Senaldi joyously thumping his tubs, but interestingly enough, not a cowbell to be seen! "You all know this one" Pfister teased, very reminiscent of Jack Black, as it was School Of Rock time with a cool cover of Stevie's 'Superstition', before Holy Communion during 'What Was' from 'Ticket To Rock', Pfister asking "Do you like free drinks" as his flock lined up to sample the bottle on offer from Golaz at the front of the stage. Brilliant.
Duly lubricated, another cover, the Stones 'Jumpin Jack Flash' was another slam dunk for those present, Pfister subsequently enquiring "Are we having a good time?" as he counted in eins,zwai, drei, into 'Good Vibes', the penultimate track of the set and from the debut album, his question duly answered by those boppin' away down the front, with Golaz joining in the fun playing his guitar behind his back. Pfister's offer of "One more song?" was immediately snatched from his grasp as the inevitable mosh pit formed for 'Wrong Side' - the boys from Montreaux finishing off their outstanding set sounding more like Montrose! Make sure you don't miss both these bands as they play the final leg of their tour at Bannermans Bar in Edinburgh, this Friday 18th October. As for Daxx & Roxane, you can catch them again at The Unicorn Camden Live on Thursday 5th December - the rumour of a cover of 'Space Station No. 5' is just too good to miss!