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BLACK STONE CHERRY/Duff McKagan
Hammersmith Apollo, London 15 October 2009
Cherry have grown from strength to strength these last few years, with
some great support slots under their belts including a tour with Def
Leppard and Whitesnake whilst also playing bigger headlining shows with
every visit to the capital going from the ULU, Astoria, Brixton Academy
and now the famous Hammersmith Apollo (Or the Hammy O, as us old timers
affectionately call it.).
Parlor Mob opened up tonight with a short set that won over this young
crowd. Sounding like a cross between Black Crowes and Wolfmother,
promoting their new CD 'And You Were A Crow', you couldn't keep these no
good boys down. A name for the future. They will soon be
following the same path as Black Stone Cherry.
McKagan's Loaded was a fine addition to this bill. The former
Guns 'N Roses bassist and his band played punky songs from 'Sick' as well
as tried out numbers as 'Attitude' and from GNR's 'Use Your Illusion' the
self penned 'So Fine' kept the set finely balanced.
The biggest surprise came at the end when he invited a guest on stage - none
other than Manic Street Preacher James Dean Bradfield to perform 'It's So Easy',
a track that the Manics regularly performed as an encore themselves in the early
Duff dedicated the song to those in the audience under the age of 30 who
wouldn't have seen the original Guns 'N Roses perform that track. It was at this
point i realised the first time I saw Duff perform here was way back in 1987
when the original Guns 'N Roses played a classic gig to a not sold out crowd.
Was it really 22 years ago? I'm sure Duff was thinking the same thing.
When I saw
Black Stone Cherry last year at Brixton Academy I felt the
performance was a little subdued, but tonight the band were firing on all
cylinders. With a great sound the Kentucky boys sounded a lot
heavier and gritty tonight.
best tracks from their two CD's most of which were from the debut,the
young audience took the band to their hearts. Having said that the
biggest cheers were for two tracks from the latest CD 'Folklore &
Supersititon' 'Blind Man' sounds corking live and 'Things My Father Said'
seemed to be enjoying every minute on the stage. Drummer John Fred Young
never pausing for breath doing his best 'Animal' impersonation with hair
and sticks flying everywhere. Chris Robertson and Ben Wells can't
get a word in edgeways sometimes as they both want to talk to the crowd.
Robertson said their greatest feeling was at this year's Download Festival
when the crowd was shouting out the bands name over and over again.
Giving us a
historical lesson in their influences too was great with a snippet of
Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama' and a fantastic grungy dirgy version
of the Muddy Waters number 'Hoochie Coochie Man' was sublime.
The greatest sight tonight was at the end of the Jimi Hendrix cover of 'Voodoo
Chile' when all three guitarists held thier axes aloft behind their head in a
circle and played the final notes. A moment I wish I could've captured on
night. The Black Stone boys popped their cherry tonight.
and photos by Mark Taylor
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