This gig was originally billed as a joint headline between WW and NxN but unfortunately NxN had a sudden line up change with their singer leaving their ranks. Of course this could have been a disaster but it seems they quickly hired the services of the New Device singer for this gig. God knows how he learnt the songs so quickly but he did an amazing job but more on that later.
First up were Swedes Degreed. I've enjoyed both albums from these youngsters in the past and was looking forward to see how they would do live. Well the answer is extremely well. They sounded that good bit heavier live than on record but the still had the tunes to back it up. I must admit I haven't heard their songs in quite a while so hearing them live again after a long while meant my enjoyment was somewhat dampened with lack of familiarity at times. But it all slowly came back to me and I enjoyed their set once they hit their stride. Special mention for the Steve Perry cover Captured By The Moment. Black Cat was another highlight. They played a couple of new tunes which sounded much harder hitting than their earlier songs which bodes well for their 3rd album due later this year one would imagine. A really solid start for this night of AOR/Melodic goodness.
Next up were modern AORsters Night by Night whose record I enjoyed quite a bit whilst not finding it amazing or anything. Of course as I explained earlier they lost their singer and would have been well within their rights to cancel but they somehow found a replacement with extremely short notice with the New Device singer Dan. I've seen his main band a couple of times and he's one energetic pocket dynamo on stage and a decent set of pipes on him. The band unfortunately had guitar problems with the mustachioed chap spending a number of songs trying to get his guitar to work which he eventually managed to do. The band sounded like they were enjoying themselves and to even play was a bit of a miracle it seems. A nice cover of Aerosmith's Love In An Elevator was pretty cool. Their own material was decent and they went down well with the rather small Saturday night crowd of about a 100 or so.
Finally it was time for the Aussies who had arrived from Spain only earlier than day and hadn't actually arrived at the Underworld until quite late. I love their Serenade album and am quite a fan of Crossfire as well but it doesn't seem to be quite as good as Serenade but still worthy. Their pompous keyboard sound which is fundamental to the band's sound was in full force and effect but luckily for them it wasn't their own Keyboard! Their gear never arrived it seems thanks to Ryan Air!
The chirpy Aussie banter was flying thick and fast throughout their hour long set let me tell ya! The band still sounded very good indeed and were worthy of headliner status. Jools' vocals are not always to my taste on record but I must admit he was very good live and hit every note. Unfortunately the running theme of the night was technical difficulties and it was no different for WW. The guitarist broke a string and exited stage left as the band continued with more wisecracking and even playing a song or two guitar-less which was actually not that bad. In the end his guitar was not fixed and Degreed came to the rescue again with a working guitar. What we would have down without the Swedes.
WW soldiered on to the end of the gig and thanked the crowd profusely for turning out and apologised for all the problems but it wasn't their fault shit happens. Musically speaking the band is very skilled at playing keyboard led AOR with every song blessed with a memorable 80s style chorus. Oh and a nice cover of Unchain The Night at the end of the night. Of course there will be better nights this year but for a bargain tenner you can't go wrong and home in time for Match of the Day was a bonus!