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MRX Ruskin Arms, London 4 December 2005

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After a mere 35 Tube stops and feeling like Michael Palin on a Great Railway Journey, I finally arrived the Ruskin Arms, where Iron Maiden amongst others strut their early years.

Due to Tube delays I missed most of Sacred Heart's set but did catch 'Rock 'n' Roll All Nite', the superb 'Lost' and 'The Last Goodbye'. This band get better with each live show and are a must for any lover of well played hard rock.

Next up was Paul Hodson (Ten/Bob Catley/Hard Rain) in acoustic mode which was okay but I really would have preferred a full electric set as the songs on his debut album really rock and it's hard to recreate this acoustically.

Well worth catching live though as he peppers the set with humourous asides such as saying Zippy from the children's TV programme 'Rainbow' was his own personal hero!

Lost Weekend delivered a solid set covering all their albums including the rifftastic 'New Religion' and 'Dead In The Water'. A couple of new tunes of their forthcoming album got an airing and they sounded promising.

The only downside was the vocals which struggled to be heard over the pounding drums and guitar. The band were certainly giving it their all and enjoyed a positive response from the crowd.

Sadly I only got to hear two songs from Pride's set as I had to leave to get the Tube back. I am sure they went down well as they were the only band to get the crowd down to the front of the stage.

Top marks to Sacred Heart's Paul Stead for putting on this gig, in what is always a thankless task and at least he had the guts to do something about the lack of live gigs for UK melodic rock bands rather that sit on his bum and moan like others do.

I was thinking that if all these bands were around in the late 80's they would have done very well indeed a la FM and Shy but sadly as most started in the mid-90's the UK melodic rock scene was small to put it mildly. Will there be another? Only time will tell…

Review: Jason Ritchie

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