Artists:  Y&T And Fury UK

Venue: O2 Academy, Newcastle  

Date: 8th October 2010   

Last year we saw a very distraught Dave Meniketti on stage, having the flu as a guitarist you can get by with but for a vocalist this isn’t good and it took its toll on Dave.  Not one to let the fans down he soldiered through like a real pro last year and promised he come back this year and give us one hell of a show ... and boy did he live up to that promise!

However, before Y&T were to take to the stage we had the pleasure of once more seeing what we consider as Britain’s premier Heavy Metal band Fury UK.  I know that’s a bold statement but its one that many agree with. We've closely followed the band progress from their early days when a young Chris Appleton first blew us away with the band as they supported Diamond Head at Trillians Rock Bar.

The band have cemented a place in our hearts as show after show and album after album, they've rapidly grown into the full metal beast we now witness before us.  Today the band line-up are one solid unit that play each as every performance as tight as a fishes arse and tonight was no exception.

With an early start (6.45pm) and the venue still filling up as Fury UK hit the stage running.  Consisting of guitarist and vocalist Chris Appleton, brother Luke on bass and tub-thumper Martin McNee, we have the ultimate power-trio.  I mean these guys rock big style.  The band opened up in emphatic style with ‘I See Red’, a song taken from the bands excellent new album ‘A Way Of Life’ and instantly heads started banging down the front.  It was great to see a few Fury UK t-shirts amongst the crowd, thus proving that the bands fan-base and popularity is steadily growing here in the North East.

With a short half hour set the band kept the chitchat down to a minimum and just let their titanic Metal do the talking as it was straight into ‘Fall From Grace’, again from the new album.  As I looked around I could see nods of approval all around the venue as old and young rockers quickly got into rhythm with the band and their music.

Chris is one hell of a guitar player and tonight he really threw out the licks like it was confetti and with such ease it was spellbinding at moments, while the thunderous back beat of Luke and Martin was intense to say the least, with Martin at times just a blur of hair, whirling windmill arms and drum sticks, with Luke pumping out the massive bass lines beside him, this was the band at their finest for sure.

The Fury UK express kept rollin’ on to Metal heaven with stops at blistering and lick filled stations as the set continued with ‘Saviour’, a balls to the wall Metal anthem with a little more angst than the previous songs, again taken from the new album and one hell of a massive song. 

The band did bring it down just a touch with the excellent ‘Nemesis’ before bringing things back to the boil with ‘Call To Arms’.

But the icing on the cake had to be the set closer my all time favourite Fury UK song ‘Death By Lightening’, a real monster metal epic to close another stunning set by a band we hold in very high regard, and despite breaking a string mid-play guitarist Chris never missed a beat.  Lucky for us the band will be following up tonight's performance with another show scheduled for later this month, as part of their headline tour, in our very own Trillians Rock Bar on the 22nd October.  So if you enjoyed tonight's performance by the band then be sure to come along to that show as well and enjoy a much longer set by the band.

Now to the main event of the evening, the mighty Y&T.  A band that have been adopted by the North East as one of their own.  A band that have time and time again filled the venues of Newcastle over the years ever since their support slot for AC/DC at Newcastle City Hall many moons ago.

The band came on stage to the intro ‘Prelude - On With The Show’, to what can only be described as excited cheers and screams of delight ... and the band hadn’t even played a note yet!

But that was soon put to rights as the band blazed through ‘On With The Show’, the opener proper to their stunning new album ‘Facemelter’.  The only thing missing from tonight’s show was the presence of Phil Kennemore, who due to illness couldn’t make this tour, (our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family during this difficult time).

Phil as an integral part of Y&T has massive shoes to fill, but Brad Lang filled them well did the band proud with a stellar bass performance.

The set continued with the first of the classics ‘Hard Times’, which was soon followed with another classic in the shape of ‘Don’t Wanna Lose’, both of which found the Newcastle choir in fine voice as they sang along to every word.  It was crystal clear from the first few songs that Meniketti was in superb voice tonight and last year was just one of those things, tonight this man was here to more than making up for it.

This was a very knowledgeable crowd as always because the band didn’t need any introductions to the songs, just the first few chords were enough and that was never more so with ‘Meanstreak’, an obvious crowd pleaser. 

By this time the place was jumpin’, you’ll never see a crowd act in more unison than with an Y&T audience.  Each one singing along, both young and old, it was clear that tonight we were witnessing one of the finest live band performances of the year.

It was back to ‘Facemelter’ with the stunning ‘Shine On’ then Dave dedicated the next one ‘If You Want Me’ to Phil, which got an almighty cheer of approval from the army of fans in tonight.

The new tracks were coming thick and fast as the set continued with ‘Keep On Running’ and ‘I’m Coming Home’, the latter being very poignant as Meniketti regards Newcastle as one of homes of Y&T and loves playing here.

It was back to the oldies but goodies for ‘I Believe In You’, another crowd pleaser that had the Newcastle choir singing along loud and proud.  From here on in it was classic upon classic, with the likes of ‘Eyes Of A Stranger’, the immense ‘Black Tiger’ (complete with jungle noises from Dave), then it was time for tub thumper supreme Mike Vanderhule to show us why he has become an integral part of the Y&T sound with a drum solo that nearly raised the roof of the venue. There is something primeval about a good drum solo and Mike went all jungle on our arses with some killer skinsmanship tonight.

It was time for a little boogie blues with what else but ‘Barroom Boogie’ a song that always brings a smile to my face.

Then it was one of the many highlights of the sets ‘Rock & Roll's Gonna Save The World’, you don’t hear this one live very often and but when you do it's always a corker and tonight it rocked!

It was time for Dave’s party piece with the excellent instrumental ‘I’ll Cry For You’, then it was back to Mike, (not before a quick Jaigermeister to keep the vocals cords lubricated), for the rocking ‘Hurricane’.  A quick introduction for bassist Brad Laine before heading back to rock for ‘Dirty Girl’ and the feel good rocking of ‘Summertime Girls’ (ahhh the video comes to mind!).  The band gave us one last song before leaving the stage, that song being the magnificent ‘Forever’, which nearly brought the house down such were the cheers that went out for this one.

A quick look at the watch told me it was nearly time for the curfew to take hold (don’t get me started on curfews...), so I though one more song and that would be it, the band returned to the stage and rocked once more with ‘Contagious’.

Dave promised last year that when the band returned next, they would play a full 27 songs.  As I looked down at my notes they weren’t that far away but would time run out?  Well we could have perhaps squeezed six intros in to make up the number, or just kept on playing till the band would have to leave the stage kicking and screaming, but it seemed it would be the latter as they rocked out in style with ‘Midnight In Tokyo’.

Well the 10 o’clock curfew came and went but we still had time for one more and what else could we close on but ‘Rescue Me’, a song that took many a audience member back to those "Hot n' Heavy" days of our youth, where this was played every week and became the anthem of the show, and every voice showed their appreciation as we almost made ourselves hoarse singing along to this one.

This topped off one of the best, if not the best, Y&T shows of the last few years.  Their might be snow on the roof but Meniketti still has a fire in his belly and as long as that continues the fans will still keep supporting one of finest Hard Rock bands that has ever been.


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