Event: S.O.S. Festival 2015 (Day Three)

Bands: Furyon, Tyson Dog, Skarlett Riot, Knock Out Kaine, Ten By Ten, Black Whiskey, Sansara, Chasing Dragons, Sister Rose

Venue: Radcliffe Civic Hall, Radcliffe, Manchester

Date: 19 July 2015


Day three of this years SOS Festival was another late start after another early hours finish last night and a storming set by Blaze.  Day 3 had a lot to live up to, but fear not, the days rocking kicked off for us with Bolton’s Sister Rose, a straight up Melodic Rock band let by frontman Chris Berry who blew away the cobwebs of Sunday afternoon with opener The Devils Hand’.

The band might have been playing early on but gave it their all with set highlights for me being old school hard rocker ‘Shame on You’ and set closer the oddly titled ‘Shake Your Snake’.  A real ballsy, no nonsense rocker that ended a short but impressive set.  Definitely a band I would check out again if they were playing a pub near me.

Now each year SOS brings us some of the best underground talent around and 2015 was no different, yesterday The Amorettes were the find of Saturday and Sunday it was Leeds based Chasing Dragons, another female fronted band on this year’s festival that gave the guys a run for their money.

Headed by the not so girly named Tank, the band delivered a sound that mixed all the angst of Punk with equal parts Hard and Alternative Rock.

When it comes to kick-ass rock n' roll this weekend Chasing Dragons gave it some, as they powered through an impressive six song set, with Tanks powerful but equally melodic tones the main focus.  The band set out their stall early and rampaged through the set with the likes of 'Throw Down Your King', with its soaring guitars courtesy of Mitch and the powerhouse rhythm section of Murf on bass and the skin pounding force that is Kate.

Other highlights of the set had to be ‘For The Sake Of Murder’, a bass ridden monster and set closer and single. 'Broken Jaws’, a real heavy slab of Alt Rock to round off one of the sets of the day. Definitely one of our favourite bands of the weekend.   

Next up was Bournemouth’s Sansara, again a band that mixed Traditional and Alternative Rock with a modern grungy edge, think Pearl Jam with balls.

Led by Tom Sawyer the band delivered as solid set with the likes of the excellent ‘Pacify’ and the storming ‘Stronger’, before rounding things off with a grungy fused version of the Motorhead classic ‘Ace of Spades’, which worked really well.  Who’d have thought it.   

Up next were a band who impressed with their album 'Heavy Train' were Classic Rockers Black Whiskey, led by former Xentrix and Hellfighter vocalist Simon Gordon.

The set kicked off in impressive style with ‘Idol Rich’ from their storming 'Heavy Train 'album, then it was straight into the rocking ’All Seeing Eye’, before the excellent ‘Devil Rides’.  A song that ... “grooved like bastard” ... according to Gordon and he wasn’t wrong.

The classic rock just kept on coming as the band rocked it up a notch or two with the stunning ‘Stone Cold Comfort’ and the bluesy undertones of ‘Hungry for Bullets’, the latter being one of my favourite tracks from 'Heavy Train'.

The tempo was brought down just a touch with the laid back 'The Coming Storm’, before it was brought back up in spades with the funk filled ‘Tie It Down’.  This excellent set was rounded off with the title track off the 'Heavy Train' album, a real gusty rocker to finish off a great set.  If you're into Classic Rock then check out 'Heavy Train', it’s a corker and live the songs are even better. 

Being almost horse from singing along to Black Whiskey is was off to the bar then to the food bar for some much needed nourishment this meant we missed Ten by Ten, but we would be back in time for Sleaze Rockers Knock Out Kaine.   

But before the band hit the stage it was to the acoustic stage as young Sam Tout had his ponytail cut by Luke Appleton for charity.  Sammy had been growing his hair long since he was five and the money raised came to over £800.00 today and was going to the Princess Trust, who provide wigs from children who recover from cancer treatment and Sammy’s hair is going to be used to make a wig too.

I don’t know who was more worried Chris Appleton comparing or young Sammy, but £800.00 was a great total for a very worthy cause. 

Now to the main stage on one of the bands of the weekend for many Lincoln’s Knock Out Kaine, led by frontman Dean Foxx, who had the moves of Steve Tyler and the vocals of Taime Downe, aided and abetted by the guitars of Jim Bohemian and the sleazy rhythm section of Danny Krash on drums and Lee Byrne on bass.

The bands set was split between their two albums, their debut 'House of Sins' and their latest opus 'Rise of the Electric Jester', opening up the set with latest single '16 Grams of Heart Attack'.

From the off it was clear Foxx displays his influences on his sleeve, as he moved like Tyler with that trade mark swagger, donned in reflective Aviator sunglasses.

The Aerosmith styling didn’t end with Foxx’s looks, the band had that 70’s groove down to a T, with 'Skinstar' the first track from the 'House of Sins' album.

It was back to the Sunset Strip inspired sleaze with the excellent ‘Set The Night On Fire’, again from House of Sin', then it was back to the new album for thumping 'Cascading', as the band threw a little melodic rock into the mix with this one, as Foxx donned an acoustic guitar for the big finish.

Foxx kept the acoustic guitar strapped on for the funk filled ‘Backstreet Romeo’, before returning to the melodic hard rock with ‘Flying Blind’, then turning it up a gear or two with the excellent ‘Ain't Your Kind’.

The set was sounded off with ‘Little Crystal’, again from 'House of Sins’.  A fitting end to what was another great set of Day 3. But this wasn’t the end of Foxx and the boys as they would step in later for and impromptu acoustic set but more of that later. 

The last of the female bands on the main stage was one Skarlett Riot, a band that I’ve seen on a number of occasions and they always deliver and today was no exception.

Things got underway with ‘Divide Us’ from the bands latest EP 'We Are The Brave’ and instantly they showed why they are one of the hottest properties around the scene at the moment.  With Skarlett they have a powerhouse vocalist and a mean guitar player, with Danny they have power driven lead guitars, add to that Martin’s pounding bass lines and Luke’s tremendous stick stills and combined you have one hell of a band.

The impressive set continued with the raucous grinding riffs laden ‘Wake Up’ again from then new EP, before the first track of their last album 'Tear Me Down', the superb ‘Villain’, with Skarlett’s powerful vocals dominating this angsty rocker.

The driven rock continued with the excellent ‘Faded Memory’, with a monster bass line from Martin driving this one, then it time for ‘Cascade’, with Luke delivering one hell of display of power on drums on this one.

The sheer power and angst new eased one iota as the band kept the high-octane rock going with ‘Are You Alive’ and the superb ‘Rising’, before rounding off another great set in style with ‘Tear Me Down’.

With the band on tour later this year with The Ravens Age, this in one show I’d highly recommend, because this band has the talent to be one of the biggest bands around.

Next up where the second of the NWOBHM on this years bill the legendary Tysondog.

Much water has passed under the bridge since Clutch and the guys first unleashed they metal might with their debut album 'Beware of the Dog', and Clutch’s vocals may sound a touch raspier, but this dog certainly hasn’t lost any of it bite.

Opening up the full on Metal assault with ‘Blood Money’ it was clear was hear the band were here to show their teeth, with their twin guitar Priestesque Heavy Metal.

The set continued at a ferocious pace with ‘Into The Void’, the first of the tracks from the bands new album 'Cry Havok', before the metal anthem ‘Don’t Let The Bastard’s Grind You Down’ from their second album.  The track may be nearly 30 years old, but the sentiment behind it still holds strong today for many metalheads.

The new albums title track was next ‘Cry Havok’ again shows the band still has chops to deliver great old school Heavy Metal and with newest member Steve Morrison on guitars throwing out the licks like a bad-ass, along with Paul Burdis.

It was time to roll things back a couple of years to their 2012 comeback EP 'Hammerhead' for the title track, and thumping ‘Painted Heroes’.

Then it was back to the new album for ‘Shadow of the Beast’, another full on Metal assault, before rolling back the years once more to their second album 'Crimes of Insanity' for the riff spewn metal thunder of ‘Taste The Hate’.

There was a little confusion as the band set was due to close with 'Taste The Hate', but the band had to their surprise two more songs, so they the brought out the big guns with ‘The Machine’ and The Inquisitor’ to round off a mammoth metal assault on the senses.

 Well during Tysondog’s we were informed that headliners Furyon were stuck in traffic and were running late and wouldn’t meet their allotted time slot, this was confirmed by Chris Appleton so it was time for that impromtu acoustic set by Knock out Kaine, and with guitarist Jim have to leave for an acting audition in stepped Chris to fill the void.

The set was more of jam session as unplanned at it was Chris was unfamiliar with and of the Knock out Kaine songs, but he still managed to run through a great version of Backstreet Romeo with Dean and the boys.

The threw in some classic covers and Dean’s banter kept the crowd clued to the small acoustic stage, after a the band remaining themselves Knock of Kaine the rounded things off with their version of the Skynards Freebird, don’t be surprised is Knock Out Kaine appear on next years bill either main stage or acoustic. 

Will ten hours on the motorway in the blister heat of summer can wilt a band but headliner’s Furyon finally hit the stage and boy did they deliver the goods and those who hung around to see them saw them give one of the best shows I’ve seen from the band.

Form the off Matt Mitchell gave one of his purest vocal performances whether is was pent up road rage or just relief at finally being stage but he hit the ground running as the band opened up with Disappear Again’.

It was straight shooting rock all the way as the ripped through Lost Salvation and Wasted, before going for the jugular big style with ‘Souvenirs’ and the thumper ‘Don’t Follow as the band showed their edge with the latter, with Mitchell powerhouse vocals filling the hall.

The crowd might not have been the biggest of the 3 days but this didn’t matter as those present showed they had the vocal might of an arena crowd cheering every song.

The set continued to impress the recent single the modern edgy rocker ‘These Four Walls’, then returning to a more darker with ‘Fear Alone’ with new bassist ? shows this metal  on this one.

The band were no running at full speed as they unleashed Stand Like Stone but then put on the brakes for a moment with the more melodic tones of ‘Our Peace Someday.

They was a quick bass and drum solo that led nicely into the hard hitting dark ‘Scapegoat’ then it back to the more melodic metal with the superb ‘All That I Have’ then rockin out in style with or shout I say Kicking Out The Jam with Voodoo Me.

The set was rounded of with what else but a cover of the AC/DC classic ‘Highway to Hell’ a fitting end to what must have been a nightmare drive to a gig, ten hours on the road the straight up on stage, but boy did the boys do good definitely worth hanging around for.

This rounded off another great SOS Festival, so it only leaves me to thank Mark and Lynne, Bart and Ela who did a wonderful job on the sound, Chris and Martin did a great job comparing, Colin in charge of the acoustic stage. All the backstage crew and all the bar staff.

See you all next year \m/ \m/

Review by: Barry McMinn




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