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Bridgehouse II, London, 9 September 2009
Deep in the
darkest depths and buried in one of London's East End industrial estates
lies the self proclaimed 'biggest little venue' also known as The
Bridgehouse II, gaining its name and reputation from the original
Bridgehouse which hosted a then unsigned Iron Maiden, U2, Thin Lizzy and
the heroes of the era.
As I entered the top floor to the stage area, I was met with an already
bustling crowd, who were hot and sweaty from Night By Night, The Infamous
and Decedenze prior performances and in their boozed up fuelled states,
were hungry for more, which came in the form of Heavens Basement, one of
the most talked about newcomers this year. The last time I had seen the
band was on the Main Stage of Bloodstock (2008), so it intrigued me to see
how they would fare on a smaller stage.
Starting off with one man down (their bassist had an impromptu departure
of his own accord the day before), they were met with total adoration from
not only the scantily clad teenage girls who rammed the front row, but
also from the mature generation.
Their music is very 80's classic rock mixed with snippets of Punk and
Grunge, giving their set list a 'get down and dirty' nitty gritty feel
akin to the likes of L.A Guns, Crue, Quiet Riot, mixed up with a slight
hint of Southern Rock and dragged into the 21st century.
tracks are full of attitude, power, addictive riffs and catchy hooks that
just lock you into a stare, forcing your feet to tap along and your head
to bounce. 'Misunderstood', 'Executioners Day' and 'Reign On My Parade'
were the crowd pleasers and filled the room with the voices of the
animated crowd who almost drowned out the band at certain points.
I guess the previous experience of supporting the likes of Thunder,
Queensryche and Skid Row would have given the band that onstage
confidence, which was evident with the guys jumping around, climbing on
monitors and finding any nook and cranny available to give one energetic
and highly visually entertaining show.
Not only did
this delight the crowd (the ones that could see through the throng) but
when two of the members decided to strip half naked, you could feel the
female pheromones flying around the air.
Welshman Richie's vocals were on top form jarring down through the mic as
if it were sliced by razor blades, while little Sid played his guitar
vigorously and performed to the crowd and lapping up the attention like
was hitting those drums like they were his worst enemy, ironically had a
permanent grin on his face; Out of them all, I give my wholehearted
applaud to Johnny, who had to step in as the role of bassist after a crash
course of learning the songs. He did a fantastic job and gained much
appreciation and respect from the fans.
The band were not only tight in their performance, (and apart from their
remarks about this being the worst gig they will ever play due to the
absence of the bassist), they really seemed to be enjoying themselves on
However, they had to cut the set short as poor Johnny ran out of songs he
knew. The crowd were roaring for more, stamping their feet and hammering
their hands high. This was sadly not to be, but the hunger was sated when
the guys came to mingle at the end.
I can surely say, that the night will not be forgotten for a while and I
can't wait to see them on a stage that is more suited for their musical
and photos by Sonia Waterfield
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