Sons of Liberty w/ Blackwater Redemption
The Patriot – Home of Rock, Crumlin, Newport
Live Review and Photography by Paul Hutchings
Visits to The Patriot are fast becoming routine, such is the calibre of bands that they are managing to pull in. As the saying goes, “A Warm Welcome Awaits All”, and tonight was no exception. The crowd is always friendly, happy to chat and always smiling as the beers flow. As nice as that may be, it’s the music that’s the main pull and the lure of Southern Rock has always been strong in South Wales.
It was 8:10 on a Friday evening and Southampton quartet Blackwater Redemption were intent on getting the rather chilly temperatures a little bit higher. They succeeded with an ease that suggests that, in the near future, they’ll be headlining venues of this size. Rising from the ashes of Western Sand, they were well drilled as they eased into ‘All Guns Blazing’, the first of nine songs that all had that lovely Southern flavour. ‘Tombstones and Deadwood’, one of three featured from the new EP “The Angels Share and the Devils Cut”, got the singing started. Vocalist and guitarist Tyler Hains apologised for the lurgy he was struggling with, and hoped he’d get to the end of the set. He managed to with ease.
The band are a powerful combination of Blues and Hard Rock, all with that touch of Southern arrogance that is necessary to stand apart from the herd. It was the duelling guitar work of Hains and Jimmy Bradshaw that stands out most though, be it during their audacious cover of Mountain’s ‘Mississippi Queen’ which got the venue jumping, or the extended work out in the final song ‘Nothing to Lose’. The latter saw some fantastic double lead work, drawing a huge round of applause.
Pleasingly, they’ve more shows pencilled in this year, including a slot at The Loverocks Beer and Music Festival in Dorest in June: theloverocks
Whilst Blackwater Redemption shook the rafters, it was headliners Sons of Liberty who threatened to completely remove the recently repaired roof. The West Country rockers burst onto the stage with all the confidence of Blackfoot in their heyday, and proceeded to stomp their way through a set that simply flew by. Big chunky riffs, shredding solos from Fred Hale and some of the finest Stetsons you’ll see this side of Texas. ‘It’s My Bad’ segued into ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’, and the fine drawl of recent recruit Midlander Rob Walker led the way. A fair number of the crowd were big fans, as not only did their shirts bear the Sons logo, but they were word for word perfect.
It was compelling stuff. The music flowed, the band locked in tight with Mark Thomas and the white gloved drumming of Steve Byrne keeping the rhythm ticking along. They kept it simple, but it was gloriously solid and, with Andy Muse adding a steel to the engine room, Hale was free to peel out solo after solo. He can gurn with the best, although with Walker and Muse also front and centre, the audience were mere feet away and fully engaged.
‘Up Shit Creek’ was a fan favourite, whilst ‘Texas Hill Country’ sounded magnificent. Singalongs? Oh yes, Sons of Liberty like to get the crowd involved and we had several. ‘Damned if You Do’ appeared to momentarily shock Walker with the crowd response, whilst the clapping along to ‘Beef jerky Boogie’ maintained the high energy vibe. Walker jested with the audience, and if there’s one thing The Patriot crowd can do it’s banter.
It was over all too soon, with a robust ‘Fire & Gasoline’ followed by the stonking ‘Ruby Starr’ to close. The ovation was just reward for a 90 minute show that demonstrated that you don’t need to go to an arena for high quality music. In fact, give me the choice, and I’m here every time. Warmth, friendship, beer, and great music. Another great night with one of the best UK bands at one of the best venues in the UK.
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings and Ever Metal. Photography property of Paul Hutchings. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.