Voodoo Six Craufurd Arms Milton Keynes 22-03-14
First up was 5 piece The Raven Age who in their 4 song set showed a maturity beyond their years.
A mix of Metallica and Iron Maiden with some more modern twists and always melodic choruses and some twin guitar solos showed some real promise.
Some huge riffs had heads nodding and songs like " Winds Of Change " and " Angel In Disgrace " should make their debut ep , that is due shortly should be one to look out for .
Here is " Winds Of Change ".
Next up were Finnish 4 piece Santa Cruz who were a cross between Guns N'Roses and Poison or another Reckless Love for the younger viewer.
They used every last square inch of the stage and must have spent many hours in front of the mirror as they threw every rock pose none to man.
Frontman Archie had a nasal twang to his voice but due to a poor sound we were unable to hear his guitar histrionics which was a shame. Guitarist Johnny we could hear loud and clear and it was great when he jumped into the crowd to play a solo. He again threw numerous shapes although their was a slight disinterest from some of the crowd even though he was mere inches from them.
Songs like "Lets Get The Party Started " and " We Are The Ones To Fall " are good time party anthems and their 30 minute set went down well although for me it was a little bit style over substance.
I was seeing Voodoo Six for the third time in 8 months in support of the quite fabulous " Songs To Invade Counties To " and they just get better and better.
In August they were support to Iron Maiden at the cavernous O2 in London yet in front of maybe 200 people in the back room of a pub in Milton Keynes they put on a show of world class rock music.
Seeing the way they threw everything at us was awe inspiring and with a super sound where you could hear both guitarists clearly it was a joy to watch.
At times throwing at us was about right because at times from our position stage front we had to duck to avoid being hit by either Newton or Jones's guitar heads.
Over the course of 90 minutes with a little bit longer set than their headline show in Camden in October they showed why they are one of the leading lights in the UK rock scene.
Here is what they played
All That Glitters
Sink Or Swim
Take The Blame
Something For You
Lead Me On
Feed My Soul
Waiting In Line
Long Way From Home
Like The Others Did
We were treated to 8 songs from the latest cd everyone hitting home with their mix of huge stomping riffs , great choruses , thunderous drums from Joe Lazurus and bass with a permanent foot on the monitor from Tony Newton and Luke Purdie's vocal power and passionate delivery . It also helps he is a very engaging frontman begging the crowd to join in at every opportunity.
" Falling Knives " sets the tone with it's hard hitting riff and enough hooks to land even the biggest catch.
Guitarists Matt Pearce and Chris Jones are a quite superb team. Every riff a monster and they way they trade solos is a joy to watch. They compliment each other so well with both of them lead guitarists that most bands would kill for.
For this tour the band had added my favourite song from the new cd to the setlist.
" Brick Wall " was as good as I could have hoped .
A slightly different style with a slower bluesy feel for which you could hear Tony Newton's superb bass work with some sublime melodic guitar from Matt Pearce before the tour de force ending with Pearce and Jones trading solos.
By the power of youtube and with thanks to punkrocksal who was stood next to me here it is in all it's glory. Thank you .
I really could go on and on about how good they were and after a couple off second cd " Fluke " numbers and also " Feed My Soul " from the debut cd they were gone promising to return.
Voodoo Six are the for me right at the front of the queue to replace one of the huge names that will soon be gone . Lets hope that all the groundwork done on nights like this pays the dividends their class deserves.
Here are a couple more numbers from the night showing them at their finest.