The Blueskins

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The Blueskins - Support from Voicecoil & The Black Dogs - Live Review

The Blueskins with support from Voicecoil & The Black Dogs (30/07/04 WA1 Venue Warrington)

The stirring and well oiled Voicecoil incorporating a prominent keyboard element and producing an ethereal touch that was borne out in the highlight of the set ‘Shiver’, provided a soothing start to the evening. The local quintet who made use of Gary Briggs crossed with Fran Healy vocals and crisp guitars that slid along nicely with the aforementioned keyboard, kept the crowd captivated throughout. Things got more frenetic towards the end of the set, perhaps in humble homage to tonight’s headliners? The rasping ‘On The Line’ brought the set to a pleasing conclusion.

Warrington’s hybrid of Led Zeppelin and New York Dolls; The Black Dogs followed and from the very first tune; ‘Country Picnic Blues’ threw themselves passionately into their music. Variety was provided when they reeled off a bold track featuring Led Zeppelin vocals, to an instrumental that had a striking resemblance to ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The nimble Robert Harvey styled

The Blueskins - Support from Voicecoil & The Black Dogs - Live Review
The Blueskins - Support from Voicecoil & The Black Dogs - Live Review

gyrating demonstrated by the front man, provided a neat stage presence that helped to make The Black Dogs an intriguing spectacle.

Wakefield’s ripping blues rockers The Blueskins, who occupy a pitch between the screaming madness of The Datsuns and the in-your-face sound and nature of Guns Roses, sauntered onto stage and without further ado ripped into the powerfully entertaining opener ‘Seconds To None’. This was followed by ‘User Friendly’ incorporating a fun bag of power riffs, utilization of a howling harmonica and some timely “Woo Hoo” type backing, akin to that recently made famous by the Carling Advert and in Kill Bill 2 sung by The 5678’s. Things soon returned to an even keel as front man Ryan Spendlove put in a commanding performance in the provocative ‘My Love Is Law’, extracted from their much lauded debut album ‘Word Of Mouth’.

Spendlove’s enthusiasm is infectious and it certainly gives an edge to the quartet’s music, his attempts to cajole the crowd further forward were by and large in vain, but that could be down to the fact that Warrington has not witnessed anything quite like this for some time. Besides, you could tell that the minds of the crowd were rocking to this compelling brand of music; even if the rest of their anatomy was relatively still. ‘Inspire Me’ and album opener ‘Bad Day’ featured towards then end and helped to keep the set at a consistently high level of noise and entertainment. The last words should go to the amiable front man who told the crowd that they were;

“Witnessing something special tonight!”

David Adair