It’s a tricky thing when you watch a young band that is trying its best but they don't offer anything. Especially when it’s a free gig.
That, unfortunately is the position we find ourselves in this evening with Rising Struggle. You certainly can’t accuse them of being conventional. Two guitarists, two vocalists, and no bassist, does at least in theory create an interesting proposition.
In practice it, however, it doesn’t sound too great. One singer screams, the other growls, sometimes they both growl and then top it off with a simply dreadful cover of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” – RTM has written before that pop covers and metal should be kept as far apart as possible and so it is again here. When will bands ever learn?!
Next up are Brummie hard rock trio Pyrodual. They offer a more straight ahead sound than the openers, but – despite their name - precious few fireworks. Tracks like “Otherside” and set closer “Need Me” do hint at some talent, and lead singer/guitarist Adam is engaging enough but right now they don’t quite have the killer song to rise above the pub circuit.
They do however win bonus points from RTM for sticking around to watch the headliners.
And those headliners, Nightblade, have been trying to make waves in the Brummie rock scene since they formed a couple of years ago. Recently they supported Iron Butterfly and this is their first major
tour. The trek support is in support of debut album “Servant To Your Lair” which they have backed up with advertising in Metal Hammer (which is where RTM heard of them). UK
Their logo tells you exactly what they are. It is an Eddie-like creature brandishing a massive sword. As such its not really a surprise that they play a rather trad brand of NWOBHM. Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course and they do it pretty well.
Beginning with “Jekyll and Hyde” and taking in most of the tracks from their debut album including the stand out “Helloween,” they are playing music for the love of it and good luck to them.
Guitar man Dave Parrish ( once of the long forgotten Scarab) is their star turn and rather carries the performance with his fine playing and solos. Whether he, or the other three members of Nightblade can ever escape the back room of a pub type gigs on this tour remains to be seen, but they are at least keeping their sense of humour.
They are a band of, shall we say, advancing years and at the end of the gig singer Mark Crosby attempts to jump off stage however, upon landing wishes he hadn’t: “I think Ill need a hip replacement now” he says. Sometimes, it truly is a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll.