Fireworks

Scarlet Rebels

Written by ant-rocks     May 13, 2022    
 
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A wonderful live performance, plus the release of one of the albums of the year.

SCARLET REBELS, SCRUFFY BEAR, STAND ALONE
Bradford: Nightrain – 07 April 2022

Approximately thirty people were in the venue when local band Stand Alone took to the stage. The duo (recently slimmed down from a three-piece) of Gavin Stevenson (guitar and lead vocals) and Tom Durrans (drums and backing vocals) played a short, well presented, six-song set of hard-edged Rock, featuring songs 'Save You' and the premier of new track 'New Day Today'. Despite the heaviness, their songs had a lot of melody within, innate in Stevenson's natural cadence, and Durrans' excellent backing vocals. They held the crowd's attention for the full set and left to a warm, appreciative ovation.

Setlist: Watch You Burn / Demons / Save You / New Day Today / False Beginnings / Easier Said Than Done

Next up were the fantastically named Scruffy Bear, a four-piece Hard Rock band from North Yorkshire, fronted by powerhouse vocalist Georgy Eaton. I'd seen the lady in the crowd watching Stand Alone, and initially thought she was just another fan; then she stepped up to the microphone for opening number 'Sundance', and almost blew everyone into neighbouring Leeds!

The quieter intro to 'Solace' (the first single to be released from the forthcoming 'Face The Rain' EP) highlighted that she could also control her vocals. Georgy introduced 'Blackmoss', "We're now going to punch you in the face; musically, not literally!" She wasn't kidding as the track started with a titanic Sabbath-style riff before some further trademark ear-shattering vocals. The final song 'Water' was more Bluesy, but still as heavy! It allowed all four musicians (Jack – guitar; Sass – bass; Ryan – drums) to shine. Their music is best described as early Zeppelin meets Janis Joplin, and they are Yorkshire's very own answer to Canada's The Damn Truth. Well worth checking out but take your earplugs if you have sensitive ears!

Setlist:- Sundance / Magic At Our Fingertips / Stories Of Strange Women / Solace / Blackmoss / Water

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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How times have changed. If a band in the eighties had just released a UK top ten album, then the subsequent tour would have seen the sold-out signs at all of the venues. Sadly, in these austere, COVID, and generally uncertain times, mid-week gig attendances are down. Factor in that a large part of the fan base are middle-aged and still working (I include myself in the latter demographic), it makes it increasingly difficult for bands to succeed in this day and age. Having said all that, Scarlet Rebels played like there were six hundred in the venue, and not just the sixty plus fans who had made the effort to turn out on a cold school night. Indeed, the early morning weather of torrential wind and rain almost had me crying off; however, the arrival of the sunshine and the new Dare CD encouraged me to take the fifty-minute journey from south of the county to the west, and my first visit to the impressive Nightrain. The low ceilings of the Bradford club will never lend themselves to a perfect sound, but the mix was good and volume levels just about at the right level. The deep stage saw drummer Gary Doyle sit several feet behind fellow band members, his brother Wayne Doyle (lead vocals and guitar), bass player Wayne 'Pricey' Esmonde, and lead guitarist Chris Jones. They wasted no time and hit the ground running with the opening salvo, 'I'm Alive' and 'Storm' from their latest opus 'See Through Blue'. Following 'Everything Changed', Wayne stopped to apologise for losing his chewing gum mid-song, which he assured the audience was an accident and wasn't spat, stating, "I was brought up, not dragged up," to the amusement of the crowd. Further chewing gum anecdotes followed throughout the evening.

'No One Else To Blame' and 'Let Your Love Go' met with great crowd reaction and the short rendition of the Bon Jovi classic 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' showed that not only did frontman have better pipes than Jon Bon Jovi these days (sic), but so did most of the fans! The cover segued perfectly into 'Part Of Me', before a rip-roaring 'Let Me In' had the venue rockin'. Wayne continually thanked (with genuine gratitude) the fans for buying the new album and turning out on the proverbial school night. He even dished out some chewing gum, although did admit he was scared not to as the punter was markedly bigger than himself!

There was a natural joy from all the band members, particularly accomplished guitarist Jones throwing all the archetypical Rock shapes. 'I Can Sleep Now' and 'Take You Home' kept up the momentum, whilst the Void cover 'Say My Name' was appreciated by the hard-core fans and preceded the riotous 'Not The One'. 'Save Me' included a snippet of the prophetic AC/DC classic 'It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll') and had the whole crowd joining in on the chorus. More thanks to the fans was met with a chorus of, "Yorkshire! Yorkshire!" We are certainly a county who are appreciative of hard-working, classy bands.

A couple more older numbers 'You Take My Breath Away' and 'Heal' followed. My only surprise of the evening was that there were not one or two more songs in the set from the latest album; however, they did conclude with the sensational social-economic, and ultra-catchy 'These Days'; remaining on stage, none of the nonsense of leaving to return minutes later for an encore.

Regrettably, I was unable to stay behind to meet the band and thank them for a wonderful live performance, plus the release of one of the albums of the year. If you're unable to catch Scarlet Rebels live, then do the next best thing and pick up their latest album, which is chock full of great British Rock anthems forged in Llanelli, South Wales.

Mark Donnelly

Setlist:- I'm Alive / Storm / Everything Changed / No One Else To Blame / Let Your Love Go / Wanted Dead Or Alive / Part Of Me / Let Me In / I Can Sleep Now / Take You Home / Say My Name / Not The One / Save Me / It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) / You Take My Breath Away / Heal / These Days

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