Shooter + Southbound
Thursday 3rd March 2016
Half Moon, Putney, London
The last time we saw Shooter was at their ‘Recyled Teenagers’ album launch – also at The Half Moon in September last year. What a cracking night that was as we witnessed the band for the first time - recycled from the ashes of 70’s rock legends Straightshooter: slightly older, slightly greyer, but still Recycled Teenagers! So it was with a heavy heart that we made our way to one of the longest running and most respected music venue's in London to see their farewell gig.
Supporting Shooter that night back in September were Southbound – a young exciting 5 piece band playing their own British Blues and Blues Style Rock. So much so that the guys walked away with our 2015 WRC ‘One’s To Watch’ award and they also played at our 2015 WRC Xmas bash supporting Albany Down. Thanks to Shooter frontman Dom O’Riley, we were able to present Southbound with their award before their set – with a canvas print of a photo taken by ‘Rock On The Ridge’ radio show host Bob Wilson at that very same gig last September.
The band from Cheshunt immediately validated their award with their unquestionable dynamic on a new groovy song with a slice of slide guitar from Elliot Stout on ‘Do You Wanna Know’. Similar to their set at our Xmas bash it tonight was more or less made up entirely of their own original material and Aaron Virciglio’s drum intro and outro nicely bookended the funkier Blues of 'Whats A Man Gotta Do'. 'Come Judgement Day' saw Stout not only excel on a guitar solo but also on vocals taking over from Tom Ford. 'Live On' and ‘Lost In The Blues’ preceded 'You Got A Hold On Me' with bass guitarist Dan Collins’ intro stepping up to the plate, complemented by the dueling guitar solos of both Stout and rythym guitarist Jordan Carter. Tom Ford’s vocals on ‘First Time Love’ proved what a charismatic frontman he is – again ably backed up with solos from Carter plus what could only be described as an ‘All Along The Watchtower’ moment from Stout. Very cool. The guys rounded off their set – as they did at The Horn in December with 'Lonely Blues', 'Rock Bottom' and the rockin' 'The Desert' - with Tom kindly thanking the WRC for their deserved award. No ‘Lover Boy Blues', no 'Book On A Shelf' nor 'Georgia Peach' but just thankful that this was not their farewell gig!
The Half Moon filled up a lot more for Shooter’s set including their good buddy and ex-Bad Company guitarist Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell - just a pity that most of them missed out on the excellent Southbound. Despite the sad circumstances, but similar to six months ago, there was a definite party mood in the room as the assembled fans and followers waited for the band to take the stage. Shooter literally opened with a ‘Hotline’ to the hearts of all those assembled - their July 2015 single from their ‘Recycled Teenagers’ album and followed it up with ‘Too Much’ also from ‘RT’ with Dr. Feelgood's 'Riot in Cell Block No. 9' sandwiched in between! In addition to vocalist/guitarist Dom O’Riley, Shooter line up with Ian 'Mutt Lang/Farmer Giles' Turner on rythym guitar, Tony 'Fru Fru' Ecclestone on bass and Mike 'Where's My Earplugs' O'Riley on drums. The guys let their hair down covering Free’s ‘Wishing Well’ before delving back to ‘RT’ with ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’ and the title track - which we should really adopt at the WRC! Suppose it was no coincidence that after ‘Recyled Teenagers’ we had a Stones’ Honky Tonk Women’ cover and then back to ‘RT’ and 'Bad Experience' with it's uncomplicated foot tapping rhythm – the HM was rockin’ or was it simply that last pint of Lager I had just finished off? Who cared as ‘RT’s’ ‘Time' was mightily sandwiched in between Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ On Heavens Door’ and Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ - the latter naturally bringing a tear to the eye for the right reasons. Shooter finished off with the two big hitters from ‘RT’ the excellent single ‘Turn It Up' plus 'Straight Shooter' that was originally written in 1978. Dom’s “We'll See You Never Again - Good Night!" hit home before they launched into their covers encore of the Small Faces 'All or Nothing' and The Stones 'Brown Sugar'. There was also talk of a snow machine for their Xmas finale ‘Christmas Times A Time To Rock?’ but unfortunately another lager clouds my memory – all I know is what a swell farewell party that was! All the best guys!