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.

Friday, 25 October 2013

DIAMOND HEAD, ULI JON ROTH @Academy 2 4/10/13

You certainly cannot accuse Uli Jon Roth of not being active. This show is part of an almost constant effort to play the Midlands it seems, and not glitzy venues either. Have guitar will travel appears to be the motto of this former Scorpion.

The question though, is he any good, it is after all not about how many times you play, but how much skill you have. The answer to that question is a guarded yes. Roth is quite clearly a brilliant guitar player and there is a proggy, almost mystical quality to his metal. There are two vocalists, depending on the type of track that is being played and the music is largely tremendous, but if there is a criticism it is that too many of the songs become drawn out jams.

Diamond Head, since they reformed a few years back, have themselves been frequent in the gig circuit. Perhaps it is this familiarity, then that has led to the crowd being down on what you might expect for this co-headline gig, and bluntly, there is a bit of a deflated atmosphere throughout, which is odd considering it amounts to more or less a hometown show.

The set is something similar to that which they have played for a couple of years, with the bulk of it coming from their best regarded album, 1980’s “Lightning to the Nations.” They tour all around the world doing this sort of stuff – and when they leave us they are jetting for a major run to the US and they know exactly what they are doing.

Often still seen as a new boy, singer Nick Tart has been in the band for nine years now and he is very much at home behind the mic, but he does though encapsulate the overriding problem with this evening.

Perhaps he does so unwittingly, but as the final song of the main set approaches, the Brummie frontman says “I know you’ve been waiting for one song all night, are you waiting?” There is not much response. “Are you evil?” he sneers. And with that the band are off and their mother is a witch, who is burned alive. “Am I Evil?” is a truly fantastic song, one of the iconic moments in British Metal, but it is not the only song the band have – just ask Metallica, who still worship them – but they do seem to want to make their career all about those glorious seven minutes.

RTM has seen Diamond Head before and will see them again, but we have seen them be much better than this, as for whatever reason, tonight was just a touch flat.

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