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BLACK #5 & The Chair Revisited
Stripes Bar, Brentford FC Friday 18 June

The support band brought along a healthy crowd (100 plus) but sadly not one over 18, so not much bar business! Very young band (16-17?) who played typical indie styled rock - lots of distorted guitar and bass, although a quiet drummer which id fairly unusual. Classy cover of the Police’s ‘Message In A Bottle’ which had the young males in the audience moshing but is it me or do the youth of today have no stamina? They all seemed knackered after a song whereas I remember being caught in a mosh at Megadeth at Nottingham’s Rock City back in 1988 & it lasted the whole set! Not a bad band who will only get better with a few more gigs under their belt.

Sadly many of the youngsters in the audience had left by Black #5 (doubtless after a bar that would serve them beer!), but those that did stay were mightily impressed and then some. Of the many ‘next best thing’ bands I’ve heard in the past two years since GRTR! started Black #5 are on the few that have that ‘it’ factor.

You can’t describe it but you know the band are a bit special (thought the same when I saw the Darkness supporting Def Leppard last year and seeing Power Quest & Intense together last summer). A four piece with the unfeasibly talented Phil Collingwood on guitar (he noodles Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ in soundcheck!), Dale Jeffrey on bass, drummer Dave Roff and vocalist Neil Muralee.

Kicking off the set with ‘Armies’ - a riff heavy number that sets out their stall nicely - guitar laden rock with a modern edge. Plnty of new numbers aired tonight from the forthcoming debut album including ‘Down’, a live favourate of the future methinks. Only one cover, the excellent run through Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ - better than the original in my book! ‘Billy Pilgrim’s Progress’ is a certified classic - catchy chorus with a big guitar melody throughout and some serious drumming by Dave Roff who fairly beats his kit into submission a la John Bonham. For an encore we get ‘Armies again! Well with a tune this good you can’t get enough of it!

Another excellent set by the end and they’ve doubtless won some more new fans. Black #5 are certainly a band going places and come alive in the live arena.

Good to meet a ‘Backstage Hero’ from GRTR!, Gerry Kelly, one of the leading lights behind the Soundhouse Reunions (this was a legendary club that helped spread the word about the New Wave of British heavy Metal).

Review: Jason Ritchie

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