Sunday, 6 September 2015

Von Hertzen Brothers Live at the Camden Underworld

I vowed to myself not to go to this gig so my attendance is rather contradictory actually but what the hell I was there. You see I've already seen VHB earlier this year at the Boston Music Room and although I enjoyed their live set I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit to see them live again so soon but it's a Friday night and there's nothing better to do and the ticket price wasn't exorbitant so I took the plunge. Two support bands were billed, namely Voodoo Six and Massive Wagons. I have seen V6 before and like them moderately and I wasn't aware of MW at all.

First up were MW who played to only about 50 people or so but they didn't put a step wrong really. They sounded Northern when they spoke in between songs so it's cool to have a Northern rock band come down to London town and rock the place out. And rock they surely did as MW have a swagger and fun aspect to their material that's a little bit tongue in cheek or happy go lucky but the songs always remain infectious and hook laden. the front man is an energetic bearded little guy but he's got a mean melodic voice and cool attitude. The riffs were of the gargantuan variety and bounced off the Underworld ceiling and walls and straight down my lugholes like there's no tomorrow. I've actually been to youtube to check the band's songs since the gig and I'm even more impressed now than I was then. They have an album which I need to check out pronto.

Next up were Voodoo Six whom I saw supporting Maiden at the O2 Arena no less a couple of years back but of course they've been a bit absent for a while and their profile has lessened somewhat in that time period as the singer explained from the stage. Nevertheless this 40 minute set reminded everyone gathered what V6 are all about. Heavily riffed melodic hard rock with slightly bluesy riffs here and there and a solid melodic singer. I actually enjoyed them more in a small venue like this than I remember when I saw them supporting Maiden. This sort of audience and venue allows the band to make a more personable impression than they would otherwise make. I'm sure I've heard their previous cds as the songs sounded quite familiar at times. They're in the process of writing a new album and they played one tune from it which was a slow building number but really got quite good as it progressed. V6's bass player gets special props for all the Steve Harris bass moves down at the front.

The crowd had built up pretty well as VHB seem to have quite a decent sized UK fan base going on here. I'd guess the crowd to be upwards of 300 by the start of their set which was mainly culled from their latest album New Day Rising. In fact almost all the album was played. The band is super heavy live and brought their own sound man as well which made the sound much sharper and blisteringly heavier than the previous two bands. In fact it was punishingly so at points and made the vocals quite hard to hear from my vantage point as I was standing right next to the right speaker and was getting the full force of it.

However I must admit the band sounded in tip top form. The front man has an easy going manner typical of Finns actually and his brothers and other members of the band all played their part in making the band sound as tight as I remember them being the first time I saw them earlier this year. Trouble remains my favourite song on the album and the performance on this track was mesmerising indeed. All the other new tracks were also pretty spot on with that monstrous guitar sound crushing the first few rows no doubt. I actually took the opportunity to buy their album which is signed by the band so that was cool.

Like I said this was just a late decision to go to this gig, but for a Friday nights entertainment it wasn't too bad at all and I'm glad I got the chance to be acquainted with Massive Wagons. What a cool band!

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