Now here’s a strange one! I normally ruminate on my gig visits prior to putting finger tip to keyboard and do them a couple of days fter the event – yet here I am, typing away 30 minutes after leaving The Railway (yeah, I know there are other venues but, really, when they’re this good why bother?). So, you might ask, what makes me feel the need to do this? Well, to be completely honest, I want to make sure that if you can you NEED to see these two bands …. IMMEDIATELY!
You will realise that my review of Vega’s latest opus (“Stereo Messiah”) appeared only three days ago (http://www.rock-zone.co.uk/2014/11/04/vega-stereo-messiah/), but here I had the chance to catch up with the Vega boys in the flesh and right on my doorstep. A quick visit on my way home to check stage times saw me greeted by drummer Daniel Chantry like an old friend – a good omen I felt!
For certain I was not going to be disappointed! Support on this short tour comes from Newman, whose 2013 album “Siren” we reviewed last year http://www.rock-zone.co.uk/2013/08/19/newman-siren/ . Within minutes of Steve and the band (including Pete Newdeck of Tainted Nation, In Faith and previously Eden’s Curse on drums) hitting the stage the consensus in the crowd was that we actually had two HEADLINERS. Newman clearly have the knack of workig a crowd and that wasn’t lost on the passionate crowd. The set flew by in what seemed like but a few minutes (but was nigh on an hour) and left us all well and truly fired up and you could feel the expectation in the atmosphere.
I reckon it says something about a band when you see their peers in the audience ad Vega seem to have friends in all the right places. Current AOR favourites In Faith, Angels or Kings, Issa, Nigel Bailey and more were in attendance but none of this fazed Nick, Tom, James, Marcus, and Mikey who decided to wind up drummer Daniel by not joining him stage immediately! Their intro filled the room and then “Stereo Messiah” hit us in full force. In a stroke of genius that arguably bigger bands could learn from, Vega followed this up with “What the Hell” from last year’s second album and that set the precedent for the show – a set comprised of tracks from right across all three of their albums.
Plenty of opportunities arose for the crowd to join in with the “whoa, whoa” choruses meant for smiles galore in the crowd. Even more significantly, the smiles from the boys on stage proved that they too were having a ball on a freezing cold night in Bolton – the warmth of The Railway crowd and staff proving more than a match for the horrors of a North West autumn.
Mention must also be made of the sterling work from the Railway mainman, Jon. Balancing five vocalists was always going to be a challenge, not to mention all the other bits of musical trickery. He told me afterwards that it was the hardest he’d worked – but boy was it worth it. Just goes to show that the right venue, with the right sound guy will outperform a hired hand … when they know their stuff – which Jon certainly does. The fine effort from the Railway staff meant that, once again, more people are aware of the best venue in the North.
You can catch Vega and Newman over the next few days and then supporting Joe Elliott’s Down ‘N’ Outz in December.
In the meantime, check out the lead song from the new album