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The Fallen State, Twister, Temples On Mars, Crude Virtue, Eazy Queen

Artists: The Fallen State, Twister, Temples On Mars, Crude Virtue, Eazy Queen

Venue: Manchester, Rebellion

Date: 20 July 2023


A show that contained something for everyone and at around £15 certainly value for money. The expensive taxi ride home didn’t seem quite as bad after such a great night.

 
Concert

When it was announced that two more bands would joining the bill for The Fallen State’s return to Manchester, it brought the number to five, in the process creating something of a mini indoor festival. Just a few days before the show was due to take place the rail companies announced another day of industrial action, meaning transport arrangements had to be re-arranged at the last minute (quite expensively I may add) and I am sure that this also affected the eventual attendance figures. Not that any of the bands seem to be influenced though.

Despite a very early door time, London-based quartet Eazy Queen made the most of their thirty-minute slot and entertained the sparse crowd. The Killers meets Queens Of The Stone Age vibe isn’t something that would normally appeal, but having a cool frontman and a good sound it was difficult not to get drawn in.


Crude Virtue were up next and had a strong Punk/Indie attitude and style. At times coming across like and edgier version of The Buzzcocks, it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but the classic two guitars/bass/drums set-up lent itself well to the material and the inclusion of Velvet Revolver’s ‘Slither’ certainly made many take notice.


Temples On Mars took to the stage just after 8pm and were again comprised of two guitarists, bass and drums, though taped keyboards added an extra dimension to the overall sound. They were heavy and a number of the songs had a Progressive structure. Musically the band were tight, but unfortunately (for me anyway) the songs lacked identity and the hooks made very little impact. Closing song, ‘Smile’, was easily the strongest of the set and I would have liked more material in this style.


The main support for the night came from perennial road dogs Twister, who I have seen a couple of times before. Their brand of Classic Rock comes with a big dose of Sleaze and for those new to the band, imagine a seventies version of Faster Pussycat. The songs had an anthemic quality and they were certainly crowd pleasers. Many down the front were singing along, with front-man Stevie Stoker encouraging everyone to get involved. Twister were a step up from the three bands that had gone before, in terms of both performance and material.


Though I have seen The Fallen State five times previously, this Manchester show was the first time seeing them run through a headline set. The North Devon based five-piece have supported some big name acts in recent years, but the prospect of seeing a full show was something I was not going to miss (even though the rail companies didn’t share my enthusiasm). Rich Walker had announced just a few months before the tour that he was taking a break from the band, so Greg Butler (bass), Jon Price (guitar), Dan Oke (guitar) and Adam Methven (vocals) were joined on this run of dates by Liberty Lies drummer Adam Stevens. The perfect sound was a feature of the night and the addition of two screens to the rear of the stage, showing related images, enhanced the spectacle. The set was a nice balance of material from 2019’s ‘A Deadset Endeavour’ and 2022’s ‘Between Hope & Disillusion’, alongside songs from the older EPs. Every song resonated. They were a lot heavier in the live environment, with melody to burn. The band as a whole had great energy and the performances were spot on. As usual Greg had to be the centre of attention and taking a tumble towards the end of the set was handled very professionally, despite the obvious amusement of those in the band and many in the crowd. Highlight of the night had to be the mighty ‘Mirror’. It was one of the songs of 2022 for me, but omitted from the tour supporting the album release that year, due to rehearsal time constraints. Fan favourites such as ‘Sinner’, ‘For My Sorrow’, ‘American Made’ and ‘Burn It To The Ground’ sat comfortably alongside the more recent ‘Standing Tall’, ‘Knives’ and ‘River’ making the set seem more complete than a shorter one performed in support of another act. It was no surprise when ‘Nova’ brought things to a close and all the extra backing singers in the audience made it all the more special.


A show that contained something for everyone and at around £15 certainly value for money. The expensive taxi ride home didn’t seem quite as bad after such a great night.

 

Review: Dave Bott

 

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