Sunday 3rd November 2019
O2 Academy Brixton, London
From Long Beach, California, USA, this is now the Rival Sons tenth year, and they are busy constantly crossing the Atlantic, touring their home country or over here in Europe. Those that are maybe unfamiliar with this act should imagine taking Led Zeppelin and Free in a collaboration, then producing for these times, where you can find the big riffs blended within a soulful (even Gospel at times) underbelly. To introduce anyone to this act, play ‘Open My Eyes’ as a taster, which indeed was duly dropped into the latter half of tonight’s show.
They arrived in Liverpool the previous night to warm up for a short UK Tour before crossing the channel for more dates on the back of this year’s ‘Feral Roots’ Album. The opener ‘End of Forever’ kicks off proceedings much to the pleasure of this enthusiastic and dare I say it “youthful” crowd (who said “Rock was dead?”). All six albums are featured in their eighteen song set from 2009’s ‘Before the Fire’, 2011’s ‘Pressure & Time’, 2012’s ‘Head Down’, 2014’s ‘Great Western Valkyrie’ and 2016’s ‘Hollow Bones’.
There is not a lot of chat from lead frontman Jay Buchanan, but without doubt he’s becoming one of the big vocalists of our time, along with guitarist Scott Holiday’s big sound who found Jay via Myspace back in 2006, who had played in a band with Bonham style drummer Michael Miley, and then hooked up with original bassist Robin Everhart to form the band. Dave Beste replaced Everhart in 2013 and keyboardist Todd Ogren joined the act in 2014.
An evenly balanced collection of songs, which included the ‘Feral Roots’ number ‘Shooting Stars’, a definitive moment in the evening. Drum solos are too many a time an excuse to exit for the bar, but on this occasion it was kept short and sweet, and was consequently well received. The bigger venues are beckoning for this band!