The first night of Twisted Illusion’s first headline tour saw me visit a new venue foe me, The Railway in Gateshead. Rather foolishly I hadn’t done my usual route planning and managed to miss the first of the five bands on the bill tonight. Many apologies to Midnight Prophecy for this as I have heard great things and I will make an effort to see them as soon as I can based on the great comments from tonight;s crowd. Still, it was always going to be a great night when on arrival I was told by one of the crowd that he “loved my hair” – very flattering for an old geezer to hear that.
Fear Me December were first up for me. Hailing from Manchester their accents didn’t hide the fact that they were originally not local to Manchester – they came to the Uk from Argentina to ply their musical wares. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to spot this as the accent was clearly less Gallagher Manc and much more Spanish sounding. Some great energy from the four piece with elements of nu-metal being cited as influences I just heard some great rock and roll. I’m a sucker for energy and passion and that came in abundance from Fear Me December.
Next up were Vice a band I know well from previous appearances at SOS Festival and venues from my days in the North West. Straight from the off, Tom Atkinson and the boys hit the ground running and played a strong set which really should see them moving to bigger stages on the Uk metal scene and beyond. Vice are amongst the band that are amongst the reasons for this writer’s musical taste veering more and more away from the light and fluffy to the harder and heavier stuff that had passed me by for too long.
I had the pleasure of seeing Tomorrow is Lost supporting Kobra and the Lotus only a few weeks previously. They were incredibly good that night and meant that I was really looking forward to seeing them again tonight. For sure, I was not disappointed – for a band that has been together for only about a year the stage craft and songs the band display really give no hints of this. Without doubt amongst the “Ones to Watch” for this year I really hope that big things await the band. In Cass King they have a front woman with style, charisma and a voice and a half. All bands need something to give them their own edge and she is it for Tomorrow is Lost. Check them out whenever you get a chance as they are a definitely on the rise.
Main event time (bugger these curfews) and Twisted Illusion hit the stage. Matt , Mark and Matt now have the addition of Steve on guitar and this has seen their live sound develop to something of immense proportions. Clearly to the proggy end of rock, Twisted Illusion do their thing without ever getting too overblown and posturing like the 70s era prog bands that give the genre a bad name. Blasting through a set from their first two “proper” albums, this first show of their very first headline tour gave them a chance to showcase all that is great about modern prog. something to think about lyrically and musically whilst playing with a passion and technique that goes beyond the typical wizards and science fiction often associated with prog. A very prolific band (two albums in less than a year and another on the way), Twisted Illusion are another of the latest generation of bands that truly deserve the big time that sadly eludes so many in this era of TV talent shows driving the music industry.
What is certain from tonight’s line up is that the UK still has an amazing crop of talent across the rock genres and they work really hard – so support them, go and see them and keep frequenting those venues that still put on great nights like this … otherwise Cowell wins