Concert Reviews

Diamond Head / Uli Jon Roth Hot
Written by Central Electronic Brain     January 15, 2014    
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Diamond Head / Uli Jon Roth - O2 Academy, Liverpool (UK) - 24th September 2013

Being an old school rocker who actually remembers Uli Jon Roth in the Scorpions and saw Diamond Head back in 1981, this was a gig that immediately appealed to me. There was just a nagging doubt, however, that with celebrating songs from a band he joined forty years ago and a support who are possibly just as famous for influencing Metallica as for their own music, whether we'd be looking at just one big nostalgia trip.

Liverpool Academy was pretty packed and most pleasingly with plenty of younger generation and teenage metal fans. UJRs set began with 'All Night Long' from the Scorpions 'Tokyo Tapes' album, his guitar work as fluid and smooth as ever, his lead breaks just flowing effortlessly. Carl Sentance provided a powerful vocal and was full of energy and enthusiasm on stage. The main set consisted entirely of early Scorpions tracks first recorded by Uli. The perhaps lesser known 'Longing For Fire' and 'Crying Days' see 'The Voice' contestant Nathan James taking over the vocal role, before they really hit the heights with 'Sails Of Charon' and 'We'll Burn The Sky' with sublime, simply stunning soloing from UJR. 'In Trance' and an epic 'Fly To The Rainbow' appeared too, before the whole place rocked out to a frantic version of 'Catch Your Train'. A couple of Hendrix covers: 'All Along The Watchtower' and 'Little Wing' brought the return of Sentance to close the set. Be under no illusion, UJR is one of the finest guitarist you are ever likely to see. After years of orchestral and symphonic leanings, it's great to hear him just rocking out and paying great homage to his early Scorps history.

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Brian Tatler may be the remaining original Diamond Head member, but tonight's line-up has been together for long enough, and with three albums under their belts, they've made their own contribution to the DH legacy. From the opening chords of 'Play It Loud' there's an energetic full-on performance from the band. Guitarist Andy Abberley and Eddie Moohan on bass provide as tight a rhythm team as you could hope to see with powerhouse drummer Karl Wilcox never letting the pace or intensity drop for a second. 'Dead Reckoning', 'To Heaven From Hell' and 'The Prince' may be thirty years old but still sounded as fresh as the day they were written. Brian is, of course, the main man most have come to see. Faultless soloing, throwing all the shapes and poses you could wish to see, Diamond Head is Tatler's baby and it's clear he still loves and cherishes every minute of it, the grin barely leaving his face all night. Newer material such as 'Feel No Pain' and 'Give It To Me' stood alongside the classics of 'Shoot Out The Lights' and 'It's Electric' with ease. And then there's Nick Tart... Brian may be the name everyone knows, but Nick is right up there as the star of the show. Certainly his voice has its similarities to Sean Harris but he's no imitator, old and new songs being handled with enthusiasm and ease. He's also a consummate showman, constantly on the move, working and engaging the audience throughout.

They say things turn full circle, Diamond Head having influenced Metallica and Megadeth and many of the younger guys in the crowd got into Diamond Head after hearing those covers giving them a new generation of fans. 'Am I Evil' and 'Helpless' closed the set in style and with performances like this they'll carry on winning new followers – old material or not.

Nostalgia trip? Some people may have seen it that way, but after witnessing these performances, I wouldn't even whisper that anywhere near the bands themselves if I were you. Thirty years on and never better...

Ian Parry

Diamond Head 2013-Live-Review-Rocktopia

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