I only heard about this gig about 10 days ago and I came mainly for Lawless the support act, but once I checked out headliners 4WD I realised they were a cool band in their own right. As it turns out this gig is a bit of a watershed for the band as the lead singer explained. For reasons unexplained they have to reboot the band in it's current format and return with a new name. I guess it's some kind of copyright issue with the band name. Any how tonight was a pre-xmas goodbye party for the band a final chance to give it all they've got as Four Wheel Drive before the enforced name change.
First up were Lawless who I've seen on this very stage supporting another band. I forget what gig it was now but I like their previous album and the new one is better still. These guys have a knack for writing cool melodic metal tunes with soaring vocals from the bald headed front man. They only had a 30 minute set and I would have liked to hear more new tunes from them but the awesome title track was at least played. This band remains pretty much unknown and that's a shame as they have talent and song writing skills in abundance to please and fan of melodic heavy metal.
At 8.30 or so the stage was finally ready for 4WD to lay waste and boy did they do that. Their AC/DC on a revved up acid trip had the fairly large Friday night crowd fully rocking out. The audience was quite a diverse bunch indeed from older rockers to some rather young girls. In general though they appeal to the older crowd but their good time heavy riffed boogie tunes went down a storm pretty much. Not being massively familiar with the tunes meant I couldn't get into the songs as much as some who were belting out every lyric but hell the energy coming off from the stage was electric. The hirsute guitarist was a ball of headbanging hair and ripped out riff after riff of molten heavy rock like his life depended on it. One of the most energetic live sets I've seen this year and well worth the £10 or so to get in. I'm glad I made it to the last ever 4WD gig and I look forward to the new version of the band in the coming months.