Now then, here’s me being all Davey four bodies – an interview, two reviews and photographer for this piece. At least it keeps me occupied, eh? So what’s the fuss all about with Nubian Rose? I spotted them in Classic Rock (main publication and the AOR special) and quickly followed up by finding some more and tracked down a copy of the debut album “Mountain”.
The press were singing the parises of another Swedish group, fronted by the stunning Sophia Lilja and her amazing voice and accompanied by a fine band which includes her husband and songwriter the musicc of Nubian Rose is clearly influenced by the makers of great hard rock riff in the 80’s; Whitesnake, Dio, Scorpions, Michael Schenker to name a few. With a powerful, up to date sound and mixed by swedish star producer Tobias Lindell (Europe, H.e.a.t. Hardcore Superstar), ”Mountain” is a very impressive first record. Opening single, “Reckless” was such an instant impactful track we started talks about trying to tie in a live show in addition to the debut UK performance at HRH AOR. Unfortunately, this time it proved impossible but it enabled Rock-Zone UK to get to know the band a little better. Other great tracks fill the album – opener “Ever See Your Face” starts with a pounding drum beat then the kind of guitar riff I love sets the scene for the crystal clear vocals. The aforementioned 80s influences abound (including a cover of the Lita Ford/Ozzy classic “Close My Eyes Forever”) and the record steers from upbeat to more soulful power balladry.
Live, Nubian Rose is almost more powerful then on the album. Sofia Lilja is a true rock icon that knows how to be in charge of a stage and of an audience. Backed up by her companion, guitarist Christer Åkerlund and the rest of the band, they had the HRH AOR crowd spell bound. With an amazingly powerful voice, Sofia blew our socks off (at times I thought the sound crew were trying to back the vocal volume off – and each time there was more power from Sofia. The afternoon set certainly drew the crowd in and kept them until the end of the set. Allowing the band time to showcase a good number of the tracks from “Mountain” allowed the band to earn a lot of new fans. I hope that we get to see Nubian Rose in the UK, in their own right, very soon – hopefully when they release their forthcoming EP.
After the show, Sofia and Christer very kindly took some time to talk to Rock-Zone UK about their influences, Sofia’s work on Swedish Pop Idol(!), the fun they had at this great festival in Rotherham and their future plans. Just click on the link to listen to our conversation.
For more information: www.nubianrose.com
The album, “Mountain” is available from Amazon and all good suppliers of CDs
Review, Interview and Photographs by David Wilson