Live (Without Clive)
A near capacity Wednesday night at The Green Room, saw the band Without Clive take the stage. Unfortunately, not being able to arrive on time meant I lamentably missed the first half of their set. What I did see left a big smile on my face; and it wasn’t just me as the rest of the crowd seemed to be enjoying the ethnically tinged tunes.
Ending up with the sort of bongo display that left all of us feeling a bit breathless, Without Clive certainly impressed with their originality. However, despite their success it was the headlining band Blacksmith that really stole the show.
With no nervousness to show, only complete confidence, Blacksmith played a talented 45 minute set. From the first song it was apparent how well the four-piece worked together; the gifted bass giving the lead guitarist the perfect framework to add a driving rhythm and excellent riffs. Belting out menacing rock with catchy choruses, zealous frontman, Lance, displayed an immense energy for such a small stage. He was, without a doubt, enjoying the atmosphere and with the impressive guitar riffing and thunderous drumming, it’s was clear they are a band who would certainly enjoy a bigger stage. However, such a small venue made the gig a much more personal affair, which clearly pleased their audience, allowing the lead singer to share the stage with eager fans who obviously enjoyed the music. But with such potential, it was a shame that at times it was difficult to hear the front man with even the bassist needing his microphone turned up at one point.
A legion of fans already appeared to be supporting the band, singing along to the songs and adding to the atmosphere, but the frontman still managed to move amongst the crowd getting various members to sing lines. One of the highlights was Lance jumping onto a table during a song, and being joined on the opposite side by the bassist – one of those true rock images.
With a set list mastered from a mix of rock classics and their own songs, Blacksmith were sure to go down well. They covered classics such as Black Sabbaths ‘Paranoid’ and T-Rex’s ’20th Century Boy’, but Guns ;n’ Roses’ ‘Its so Easy’ was probably the stand out cover, adding their own touch with a change of lyrics. This unusual talent for covers paved the opportunity to, not only show how good musicians they are, but also to build up to their own songs, which were unique and well received by the crowd.
‘Beyond the Void’ was certainly the best received with its overwhelming guitar riff and astounding drumming while even the slow song showed all the hooks of a potential rock classic. My only criticism being that they could have easily entertained with a full set of their own material, giving them a better chance of being taken seriously in the music industry.
Ending on the famous ‘Ace of Spades’, Blacksmith left the crowd chanting for more, which brought them back to play another of their own, with a legendary guitar riff, called ‘Secondskin’. I’m sure that on this form the more gigs they do, the more fans they’ll get.
Much of the crowd took the time to praise the band afterwards who are obviously serious about their music and know what they want. Future bands in the Green Room will have trouble competing with Blacksmith, a rock band with the potential to get bigger.