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Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 26, 2018    
 
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Myles Kennedy - Gorilla, Manchester (UK) - 21 March 2018

As a singer, whether it be for Alter Bridge or Slash's recording and touring band, Myles Kennedy seems to divide opinion. His recently released 'Year Of The Tiger' solo album has also surprised many people, probably because it does not sound like Alter Bridge and also because the subject matter is very personal and quite dark. I have followed his career from the initial Mayfield Four days back in 1999 through to the present and I am a big fan of everything he lends his talents to. The 'Year Of The Tiger' album merely strengthens that belief, due to the fact it does not sound like Alter Bridge and because of the different musical approach and heartfelt lyrical themes.

Tonight was my first visit to Gorilla, though I am very familiar with several other venues in the immediate vicinity. According to their website, Gorilla has a capacity of six hundred and the show was a sell-out. It was not a comfortable experience. It is just one room, maybe fifty by fifty foot and once you had decided on a place to stand then you weren't moving. A trip to the bar for a drink (it was warm to say the least) or a visit to the toilet were dismissed out of hand, as to do so would have inconvenienced a great many people and would have proved very time consuming. In my opinion, they should reduce the capacity by around a hundred and if need be raise ticket price by a few quid instead.

The reception Kennedy received when he made his low-key entrance to the stage was one generally afforded to a long-lost friend or family member (one that you like). Just one man and a guitar (occasionally a second guitarist... take a bow Tim) meant there was nowhere to hide performance wise, but we were in the presence of natural who has now reached arena-sized heights with Alter Bridge and Slash. Beginning with 'Devil On The Wall' (from 'Year Of The Tiger'), it was readily apparent how suited Kennedy is to this kind of format. A bigger venue would not have lent itself to the intimate nature of proceedings and I was not just rooted to the spot because of the close proximity of others, it was difficult not to take your eyes from the stage (when you could see through all the heads and shoulders).

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The one hundred minute set was a great mix of songs originally performed by Mayfield Four, Slash and naturally Alter Bridge. We also had four songs taken from the new album and despite the heartfelt themes they still worked well in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Highlights included my favourite Mayfield Four song 'White Flag' and a spellbinding 'Watch Over You'. Obviously the latter has received this kind of treatment hundreds of times since its first appearance at an Alter Bridge show, but I was still floored by how strongly it impacted and how much feeling Myles continued to put into his vocal delivery. The original versions of 'World On Fire' (Slash song) and 'Cry Of Achilles' (Alter Bridge song) were intense, guitar-based work-outs that both worked really well with new acoustic arrangements. The set had a good flow and they fitted in really well alongside the likes of 'Eden' (Mayfield Four), 'Before Tomorrow Comes' (Alter Bridge), 'Losing Patience' (Alter Bridge), 'Starlight' (Slash) and 'All Ends Well' (Alter Bridge). Kennedy was very relaxed and got the chance to interact with the crowd a lot more than usual. Any heckling was in good fun and there were plenty of opportunities to get the sweaty crowd involved.

On the basis of the sold-out tour, I think a "warts and all" live recording of one of the shows would be a fantastic idea and would sell really well. Myles Kennedy has nothing to prove to anyone now and he has cemented a fan base through his band work during the last twenty years. If he has the energy, then he should have a very successful solo career during gaps in the Alter Bridge and Slash schedules.

Dave Bott

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