With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I AM I, Primitai @Birmingham Academy 2 27/5/12

When ZP Theart planned the debut gig of his new venture I Am I, he probably didn’t plan it like this.

First, the Academy 2 is barely half full, despite a free t-shirt offer to all ticket holders and a reasonably cheap price, but then a Spinal Tap moment happened. The band starts up and Theart gallop on stage, opens his mouth and….nothing. Sound men below where RTM is sat get excitable and wave their arms about, but its not until he gets through the first verse and chorus that he remembers to turn his microphone on.

As starts go it is not the most auspicious.

Before all that, though, it’s the turn of Primitai to show their potential yet again. The Berkshire outfit have bubbling just under the surface for a while. RTM first clapped eyes on them a couple of years ago when they opened for White Wizzard and, although it is easy to see why they get lumped in with the current New New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (if you will) movement, they are not a retro sounding act.

They are currently recording the follow-up to superb second album “In The Line of Fire” and on the evidence of the one new track they air “Fortune Favours The Brave” it is going to be a fine affair.

It’s the songs from “….Fire” that continue to enthral most, however “Sin City” and a crowd participation heavy “Invading Hordes” sounding better than ever. If Primitai were Swedish or American then the magazines would fall over themselves to announce them as the “future of” something or other, but they aren’t, they are English, and as such, they survive on crumbs. However, their time could be now so let’s hope they can make it happen at long last.

Early sound problems notwithstanding this was always going to be a tricky sell for the Theart. I Am I’s debut album “Event Horizon” isn’t out yet (it isn’t even available here tonight) so essentially the only thing that anyone knows of the band are a couple of videos on Youtube and the singer’s career as the Dragonforce frontman.

Given that his acrimonious split from the ‘Force boys was apparently brought on by “musical differences” it is reasonable to assume that this was never going to be a Power Metal sword and sorcery romp. Even still, RTM wasn’t prepared for how mainstream this brand of hard rock was going to be. “Cross The Line” for example could have come straight of Bon Jovi’s 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit album from 1985.

As to re-enforce the 80s feel, the band are soon joined by a lady who plays piano on two real-lighters-in-the-air power ballad moments, which rather interrupts the flow of things, but a trio of more aggressive tracks “Wasted Wonders,” “Kiss of Judas” and “Dusk To Dusk”  brings the rock quota up again.

The encore sees Theart flounce his way through Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” before things end with the lead track from “…Horizon” “Silent Genocide,” which is definitely the bands stand out moment at this stage.

There is no doubt that the I Am I have potential, but equally that, right now, their trump card is Theart himself. He possesses a fine voice and the sort of effortlessly rude banter that marks him out as a sort of rock n roll Russell Brand.

What happened tonight, really, was that we all watched a band rehearse. It is a band with a future no doubt, but this was a promising rather than perfect debut. It will be interesting to see how they grow.

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