If you’re anything like me (lord help you!), you will keep your beady eyes open for tour announcements on a weekly basis (ok, I’ll admit I am almost hourly since the advent of social media but you get my point). Watching closely for old favourites, new favourites and those bands for whom the word on the street is screaming great things. In my case you can add those bands that visit your favourite venue but are new to you or bands you find after falling in love with music from bands linked to them. Tonight’s extravaganza was such a case, with Demon and Dendera gracing the fabulous Trillians (seriously folks, no visit to Newcastle by a rock fan can be complete without a visit), both bands being ones that I have seen before but found through another venue (in the case of Demon) and by Ashley’s work with Power Quest.
First up, the mighty power metal of Dendera. Combining all the best bits of the best in the genre (soaring vocals, technical guitar wizardry, galloping bass and drums) I thoroughly enjoyed their set at SOS Festival earlier this year and tonight was even better in my opinion. The small but perfectly formed crowd welcomed the boys with arms wide open and took them to their hearts (well, given Ash’s love of Newcastle United so they should). With a set showcasing all their work to date it was a blistering start to the night – something for all fans of quality rock and roll and a perfect fit with the NWOBM superheroes, Demon. Quality stuff from an awesome band, do yourselves a favour and check them out as soon as you get chance
Demon have been around a little longer than Dendera, forming in the late 1970s and with a storming history of releases. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Hill a couple of years ago when the band released “Cemetery Junction” and had seen them when they played at the might Railway in Bolton a few years ago too. Strangely, that night was the first time I had come across the band – the number of people who said they were surprised that I wasn’t a massive fan before that shocked me. However, it is at this point I have to admit that I did have severe blinkers regarding a number of rock bands in the 1980s – name a bit scary, no; pointy logos, no; heavy metal, no … you get the point. In fact, New Wave of British Heavy Metal was a complete no go (strange considering my love of Def Leppard, but they were never really Metal, were they?). I digress, slightly, but have now realised that NWOBHM was never really New Wave nor Heavy Metal in a lot of cases – just quality rock and roll. Demon was no exception and that is what we got tonight – a blistering set made up of all of their “Unexpected Guest” album in its entirety plus loads of great stuff from Demon history.
Particularly impressive was the show itself – this is not just a band coming on and playing their stuff exceptionally well. You also have Mr Hill giving it large dollops of show with costume changes and face pulling to go along with belting crowd interaction. Opening song, “Night of the Demon” started the ball rolling brilliantly along with full demonic costume and mask from Mr Hill. With a band including friends of Rock-Zone UK, Paul Hume, Neil Ogden (both from Lawless) and David Cotterill the show was all killer and no filler. Running through the album as planned, loads of great tunes (nice to see the costume for The Plague make an appearance) it is quite obvious why these guys are such big draws across Europe and continue to do what they always did best – play live. A thoroughly amazing show and I can’t wait to catch them again (in fact very soon as they are playing Hard Rock Hell in November)