Band: Eclipse

Venue: Fibbers, York

Date: 18 March 2015

 

And so it came to pass that a road-trip to York was planned to see the MIGHTY Eclipse!!!

It's been quite awhile since I'd done a gig review but, after witnessing the storming set Eclipse performed at HRH AOR in Wales the previous weekend, I felt the need to do a review of the band from this string of UK dates. I'd seen them on five previous occasions and I have to say they get better each time. 

Touring the UK on the back of the excellent 'Armageddonize' CD, Eclipse are now in the enviable position of having material to choose from 3 fantastic albums. There are people out there who call the band AOR, but Eclipse have a harder edge to their sound, think classic Thin Lizzy and "1987" era Whitesnake. Actually, guitarist Magnus Henriksson has a tone to match Doug Aldrich on some of the heavier songs in their catalogue. 

Before we get going here, let me just say that the band don't have keyboard player with them, so they are using some backing tracks and triggering samples. They ain't the first and they won't be the last, it doesn't alter the fact the band are amazing live.........get over it people!!! 

Opening up with 'I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry' and the catchy 'Stand On Your Feet' from 'Armageddonize', the band are making sure this crowd know what tonight is all about. The band have drafted in Magnus Ulfsted, former drummer, to lay down the bottom end, so two drummers keeping the rhythm section together lol!!. The band then launch into a furious version of 'Wake Me Up' from 'Bleed & Scream', an album that my iPod has been playing constantly since it came out. Erik Martensson and Magnus Henriksson are part of the new breed of songwriters and they write supremely catchy tunes, none more so than the next song the band assail the audience with 'The Storm' which works better live than on record.  The "... this is an emergency..." chorus is one you can't get out of your head and the crowd are singing along to it as well. 

Now Erik has barely stood still since he came onstage, moving constantly, taking total command of the stage and flailing the mic stand with those scarves attached. He admits that he has a cold and is pumped full of ibuprofen, paracetamol etc to try and combat the dreaded lurgy, but that doesn't stop him from giving it his all. 

The onslaught continues and we get 'Battlegrounds', with it's Celtic/Gary Moore/Thin Lizzy overtones, and 'Breakdown', a bluesy, stomp 'n' groove number and 'Blood Enemies', another number with overtones of  Moore/Lizzy. 

The ballad on the new CD 'Live Like I'm Dying', showcases the emotion with which the amiable frontman is capable of. Now due to Erik being under the weather he has made a slight change to the setlist, unfortunately, someone forgot to tell Magnus and he's strapping on the flying V for 'Wide Open' when he gets the word, cue frantic change of guitar, unfortunately I forgot to write down what they played because I was getting carried away in all the excitement of taking photos, so apologies to all. 

You can see the pride on Erik's face as he explains that new super-group Revolution Saints have recorded 'How To Mend A Broken Heart' for their new CD and it's the lead single being played across the US, before the band launch into said song. 

Now I have to say that Magnus Henriksson has played his heart out throughout the evening, weaving melodic tapestries, crunching riffs and giant hooks and on fan fave 'Bleed & Scream' he lays it down gusto and the crowd are behind Erik, singing along to the chorus. 

We get another fan fave in 'SOS' for the first encore and 'Breaking My Heart Again' to end a truly fabulous evening. The crowd may have been small but this band are destined for greater things so catch while you can still get up close and personal.

Review by: Brassy

 

 

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