Stand Up For Rock & Roll!

Airbourne, Skirtbox @ Borderline, Soho, London
18th February 2008

This has to be one, if not the of the most insane gigs I’ve ever been to. There were thrills, blood spilled, substance abuse and rock and roll spirit in abundance.

Arriving at the tiny 200 capacity venue I was shocked to see a substantial queue had formed outside. After pondering why we were in a queue, we investigated the reason for such an oddity. It was in fact for individuals who have turned up on a whim in the faint hope they may gain admission. This is pretty unheard of in my experience, good job we had tickets though! So me and classic rock amigo Matt Wall pootled inside avoiding the glares of the ticketless, only to be greeted by the overwhelming smell of leather and booze, we had the right place then!

Skirtbox kicked off the music this evening with a very tight set of unashamedly camped up 80’s hair metal tunes. Their lyrics and vocals leave a lot to be desired. I vaguely remember one track being about screwing your best mate’s sister, poetic stuff! Given credit Skirtbox have some nice instrumental fills and solo guitar work going on. But they have a long way to go if they are going to make it out of their niche, or even sustain a following without some catchy ass anthemic sounds.

Airbourne are in every way you look listen and feel like a true rock and party band who love AcDc. Looks, Shaggy blonde permed locks. Listen, Huge power chords fuel big riffs and stadium size anthems. Feels, like a fantastic rock party in a damp and dark club in the arse end of nowhere. Now it was immediately clear the lead singer wasn’t 100% within his mind after stumbling on stage with his stare showing iris’ the size of pinheads. His piercing menacing glare was rather freaky and damn scary all which added to the intensity of the performance.

Showing no regards for the audiences hearing, the triple full sized Marshall stacks pumped out enough ampage to make spinal tap shiver in amazement. The Ac Dc homage was complete with the great raw raucous vocals of Joel O’Keeffe and power chords big enough to run the national grid. Top tracks were without doubt Runnin’ Wild, Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women, Too Much Too Young Too Fast.

The gigs defining rock and roll riot moment was not the necking of a bottle Jack Daniels, or being pelted with beer with containers in tow. It was during a high octane performance of Girls In Black where Joel decided he was thirsty. So he took off from the stage and circled the venue through the crowd, all while still playing some fantastic lead guitar. He came to rest behind the bar where he proceeded to pour himself a pint while busting out another solo. Finally after leaping the bar he returned and received a huge roar at the effort put in to get a beer in this place!

Once the dust had settled, most peeps filtered out only to be greeted with 2 guys on the floor with the police in close proximity, apparently they didn’t get on much! Despite the carnage… Airbourne rocked London this evening and they played one hell of a show, I’m rather scared for them though. If this was a Monday night, god only knows what happens on a Friday!

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