24th February 2012
Tonight was a night to savour. A Free show @ Camden Underworld hosted by the cracking Classic Rock magazine associated record label Powerage. Not only is it free entry, but the lineup is packed with 4 top quality bands who Powerage have signed the finest rock and roll the UK has to offer, bringing it all together on one stage tonight.
The first band up was the Northern Irish Hard Rock Quintet Million Dollar Reload.
Million Dollar Reload
Their pumped up rock anthems were just the ticket to get the night kicked off as they ran though a swift but impact making set. They had a slightly punkier edge to them which invigorated the already quite sozzled crowd. Vocals were tough to make out at first but slowly the balance settled and we were treated to huge chorus’s and sleazy rhymes from Phil Conalane’s extremeley talented and versatile vocal chords. The man’s pipes are wondrous and he flipped back and forth from incredibly fluent high speed lyrics to semi-falsetto’d throaty roars. Highlights of their set included the chorus busting Give It Up, all out rocker Superslave and the punky American sing-along riot of Goodnight New York.
It’s a rare band who can capture my rock and roll heart with such ease and style, it’s safe to say The Treatment managed it in just half an hour of youthful exuberance. Their bluesy hard rock was more glam pop in orientated, with a much more radio friendly lead singer armed with an outstanding high note and enough growl in him to still cut it with the rock crowds. In fact this was the biggest and most energetic crowd of the night as they played the highlights from their self titled debut album.
Baby brother Rox
Songs such as the tight Ac/Dc riffing on The Doctor, huge chant-a-long I Want Love, the super infectious melodies of Shake The Mountain and the turbo-charged adrenaline shot guitar assault of Departed. These guys didn’t let up for one minute as their unrelenting onslaught of stunningly catchy Hard Rock tunes had me totally addicted. So confident in their melodies, they are able to slow down the tempo and try some emotive high-note bending balladry on Nothing To Lose. With such strong vocals and non-soppy lyrics…it works! Above all else this performance has showcased their extreme talent at producing brilliantly catchy rock and roll, a band not to be missed.
Matt ‘Tyler’ Jones
It’s true they are not so original, put if the idea of putting Steve Tyler in a room with Malcom Young takes your fancy? Its clear all you need is The Treatment. The fact their drummer’s father is the former manager of ‘gone but not forgotten’ UK rockers Roadstar only makes me love them even more. (Btw. I have overlooked the fact that their bassist is an incredibly annoying short-short-short-arse! You can’t have it all I guess!)
Sadly as The Treatment exited, so did 50% of the crowd. It seemed as if all this free music wasn’t as attractive a prospect as having a good nights kip! The DoesItRock crew didn’t need persuading to stick about, although we didn’t really get on with the next band Lethargy.
They were more focused in the heavy spectrum and the low notes of the guitar, thundering out some cracking bass and fuzz soaked booming riffs. Yet the dreadlocked vocalist/bassist wasn’t quite up to scratch given what had just blitzed the stage. Plus they were a slight anomaly amongst the line-up, the flagging enthusiasm from the crowd reflecting this! No surprises then that this set fell by the wayside for us.
Last but not least came a band who have impressed us here in the Underworld before, New Device. It was slightly disappointing to see that the thriving crowd had not returned post-lethargy, but not to be outdone New Device took up the hard rock baton, pasted it with melody and vigor before streaking towards a triumphant finish.
While they lacked the attitude of Million $ Reload and the chaotic energy of The Treatment, their hard rock was Bon Jovi-esque melody focused that was truly stadium worthy. Highly strung verses were backed with stratospheric choruses sung with utter conviction and a fiery intent! With only one guitarist, New Device make up for their lack of kerranging walls of power chords with cutting licks and catchy ass solo’s. Confined in this small underground space songs like the big thumping rhythms of Make My Day and mega ballad In The Fading Light feel caged as they bustle and wriggle to be released from these walls.
Despite their pop orientation, they show they can still kick it in the hard rock arena with stonking metal opening of On Fire, down tuned riffing Never Say Never and album title track Takin’ Over! Returning for a swift acoustic encore underlined their accessibility as the most mainstream of the tonight’s line-up. With performances like this it may not be too long before it’s their turn to break through!
An astonishingly superb lineup drove this free night of live rock destined for big things.
Power to Powerage Records!!!!