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STONE AXE, Unicorn, Camden 9 April 2011

Photos by Noel Buckley

Stone Axe, photo by Noel Buckley

Tonight I was on a mission, in fact I was on a couple of missions, no make that three. GRTR's chief editor Sir David Randall had turned my ears on to a 'lil rock band from Seattle by the name of Stone Axe.

A band who have been thrown into the stoner rock movement;  stoner rock, classic rock, call them what you will but on first listen to their self titled debut  - which was actually originally released in the States in 2009 - had me travelling back in a time machine to the glory days of early seventies rock.

My second mission was to get to the venue which is stuck in the middle of Camden and Holloway in North London.  Normally this is easy peasy, but with London Transport deciding to do their usual party trick of closing half the tube lines at the weekend, due to engineering works, including the Northern Line that runs right through Central London this was going to be a tricky affair, especially as the London Overground was playing the same game. 

A plan was needed, then bingo! My photographer Buckers and I live on opposite ends of the Central Line, ''Bucker's, meet me in the Crobar and from there we can get the bus.'', ''OK captain.'' came the assuring reply.

Now, I've mentioned this before in a few reviews but starting the evening off in London's coolest rock 'n roll hangout the Crobar is not always a good idea as you can check in anytime you want, but you can never leave.

Next door at the Borderline the reformed Wolfsbane are playing and I have many friends here doing their best to make me stay put especially when I tell them I'm off to see Stone Axe.  ''Who?'' they ask, but I pity the poor fools who don't know quality when it smacks them on the nose.

Classic Rock's Malcolm 'Hand of Doom' Dome and Jerry 'Spewing' Ewing are also here in the Cro tonight for an apertif and like all great minds, know where the great music lies tonight, before we all get the No.29 bus into the darkest depths of Camden.

Stone Axe, photo by Noel Buckley

Two down, one to go, my next mission is to hunt down founder Stone Axe member Tony Reed for an interview.  I walk straight to the bar and bang! There is my man, but there's a problem.There's nowhere quiet to go for an interview as this pub venue dosn't have a dressing room  and the place is packed with talkative punters. With a beep beep and a honk honk, we decided on the roadside.

Stone Axe, photo by Noel Buckley

Once the interview was done we carried on our conversation inside the venue and were name checking all our favourite bands, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, The Sweet - you can hear all these bands inside the music of Stone Axe - we even try to outwit each other by talking about lesser known bands such as Widowmaker and Leaf Hound...Wait a minute, did you say Leaf Hound?

It just so happens that the drummer from Leaf Hound is here tonight and I introduce the pair and the chat carries on for another hour only disrupted by the fact the band have got a gig to play.

Tony Reed plays all the instruments on their two albums Stone Axe I & II. In the live setting he opts for the guitar and what a cracking live band he has assembled himself.

Stone Axe, photo by Noel Buckley

On drums is Mykey Haslip who is hotter than a docker's armpit and the Free-style bass of Mike DuPont. Vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff is a real gem sounding like early Coverdale, Bon Scott and even Black Crowes Chris Robinson all rolled into one.  It doesn't get better than that.

Every song has a different edge and you can name check those aforementioned bands in all of their tracks as well as Humble Pie, Faces, even a dash of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

For those of you who remember them, Cry Of Love dabbled in seventies rock back in the mid-nineties but were around at the wrong time as the world was listening to grunge, and ironically it is a band that has come out of Seattle who have truly mastered the art of seventies rock.

Unfortunately, the set was cut short due to time restraints, but this was all we needed tonight as this was a scrumptious taster of the shape of things to come.

Hallelujah! I've found the rebirth of rock 'n roll!

Set list: Riders Of The Night / Black Widow / Chasing Dragons / On With The Show / Old Soul / There'd Be Days / The Skylah Rae / Taking Me Home

Stone Axe, photo by Noel Buckley

Review and interview by Mark Taylor

Photos by Noel Buckley

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