Albany Down 100 Club London 31-05-16

First up we had  2 support acts Split Whiskers and Ryk Mead And The London Blues Machine who both produced excellent sets showing off so many blues facets with some bluesy guitar soloing of the highest quality.

I had come to see Albany Down who I am sad to say I hadn't heard of till a month ago.Believe me now that is my loss.

I have had the fortune to have their new album (their third) which is to be released on the 10th of June by AD Recordings Ltd and from the minute first track Feeding The Flame hit the cd player I was hooked.Big riffs and fantastic soloing,impassioned vocals and most importantly top quality songs that deserve to be heard by millions worldwide.

So with a cd release show in London just before the cd hits the streets the perfect opportunity to see them in the flesh for the first time and see if they can pull it off live.

Over the course of an hour and showcasing 8 new songs and a couple of other earlier songs the answer was a resounding yes.

Led by Paul Muir on vocals who has a powerful but always melodic tone and quality and has a genuine swagger as a front man and he tried his selling his skills explaining to the older generation all the ways possible to buy the new album when the guy just wanted a cd!!!

The rhythm team of Donna Peters on drums and Billy Dedman on bass laid down a rock steady groove and their work under the extended guitar soloing during the outro to Sing Me To Sleep was superb.

Guitarist Paul Turley was again superb.Equally adept at riffing or soloing and his slide work on Mr Hangman with it's extended outro was sensational with the rhythm team underpinning it.

For a band playing new material you would expect some nerves but no with the sheer quality they have and the confidence in it this was special.

First single Feeding The Flame started the set with it's big riff and also for me their sense of dynamics with some light and shade as the verse leads to the chorus.With the big riff crashing in it makes it even heavier but still melodic with some great backing vocals from Turley on the chorus and he also impresses with his wah wah infused guitar solo.

Like A Bullet is even better live than on cd and that is saying something.Starting with it's guitar melody and then beginning the quiet verse with Turley's guitar melodies and Muir really showing of his classic rock vocal tone.Turley's lengthy guitar solo showed it isn't always how many notes in a solo but how it is played.The outro with it's extended band work out with Turley soloing over it built to a crescendo and the huge applause that rang out as it ended was amazing as most people hadn't even heard the song before.

South Of The City from their debut album again showed off Turley's slide guitar work and Muir's vocal capabilities and another band work out on the second half with Turley's slide work again exemplary.

The Drop from the new cd was fantastic with Turley's guitar riff prominent and love the way at the chorus the pace picks up a gear off Peters's drum track and a real kick ass tune showing off the bands power.

Home starts on an acoustic guitar intro and Muir's passioned vocal and as you think ballad a huge guitar riff kicks in with Peters and Dedman laying down a fearsome groove.More big backing vocals add to the mix.An acoustic interlude after the second verse leads into a superb lengthy guitar solo from Turley that had the hairs on the back of my neck standing to attention.

Sing Me To Sleep is the album closer and has an acoustic first half to the song with Muir again showing his class in his vocal prowess.The second half is a musical tour de force with Turley's soloing hard before some na na na vocal crowd participation before a full band rock out to the end.

Revolution and it's huge riff and powerhouse driving drum rhythm from Peters are the set closer.Muir's harder edge vocal shows he can sing all parts of the rock spectrum and a real statement of intent from the whole band with Turley soloing in the outro as they take it ever higher.

You'd Better Run from second album Not Over Yet was a hastily added encore and they were gone.

As I said earlier I hadn't heard of Albany Down a month ago but with an album of stunning quality and they can back it up live they deserve to be household names.

Do yourself a favour and buy The Outer Reach and the band will be playing all over the UK so get to a gig and support a UK act who could blow the doors off they are that good.

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