Of Pan Tang & Saints Of War
Venue: The Studio, HartlepoolDate: 5 December 2015
it comes to classic hard rocks bands that moulded a
generation, they don’t come any more influential that The
Tygers of Pan Tang, who over recent years have rejuvenated
themselves and to be honest sound better now than they did
in their heyday. Led by founding and only remaining original
member Robb Weir, who along with now long time vocalist
Jacopo Meille and drummer Craig Ellis, with more recent
addition Micky Crystal and returning to the band, bass
guitarist Gav Gray, who together brought the sounds of the
Tygers roaring back.
it was without any hesitation that we made the trip down the
A19 to Hartlepool to The Studio, to see these guys once more
rock it up.
up though it was up to Middlesborough’s Saints of War to
open up proceedings. This quartet brought the heavier
side of things with their mix of Sabbath and Shinedown, with
touch of Slayer’s guitar sound.
opened up their set with ‘Do or Die’ as they brought
that heady bass driven metal to the masses. The set
continued in a similar vein with ‘Wash The World Away’,
only this time with a more dominant guitar lick driving this
'End of the Road' was up next, which has a much darker vibe about it, as frontman Darran urged the crowd to come closer to the front of the stage, which some did, even if at first hesitantly. The band brought a big Sabbathesque feel to the set with 'Big Bag of Bones', where the crowd really seemed to gel with the band.
All in all, these are four young guys that are still on a learning curve and need to polish their sound a touch more. They're currently wearing their influences on their sleeves but in time they will find their own sound.
it was the first track from the bands most recent album
‘Ambush’ for ‘She’, again full blown Hard Rocking at
its very best, although for me, song of the set had to be
one of my favourite all time Tygers songs, the quite
stunning ‘Paris By Air’. A song that I’ve been
wanting to hear live by the band for so long. Tonight
I almost made myself horse singing along to it. For me
the night could have ended there,
but there was even more to come as the tempo was
picked up with the storming ‘Euthanasia’, with new boy
Micky Crystal and Weir trading licks on this one.
was back to 'Crazy Nights' for ‘Never Satisfied’ and for
the first taste of the voice box from Robb, something that
he brought to hard rock way before Ritchie Sambora on 'Livin’
on a Prayer’, then it was back to the excellent 'Ambush'
album for 'Keeping My Alive’. Well by this time the
whole place was rocking. There was a gale force
outside but with the Tygers playing on 11 tonight, it was
hard to tell which one would be blowing the roof off The
Studio! Then it was time for Gav to bring in the big
bass lines as he opened up ‘Slave To Freedom’, before
bringing the heat with ‘Rock n' Roll Man’.
introduced the next one as one for the ladies, with a little
sweet rock n' roll in ‘Rock Candy’, before the excellent
‘Take It’, which was Jac as his most soulful. It
was a quick blast back to 'Wildcat' for a touch of
‘Insanity’, before the return of a little lady and
The main set was rounded off with another classic piece of Tygers magic in ‘Spellbound’. The band hadn’t even left the stage before the chants of "MORE!" were heard and it wasn’t long before the boys were back with a rousing version of ‘Raised on Rock’, before topping off another excellent Tygers show with what else but ‘Love Potion No.9’, which went down a storm, as did the rest of the set.
The band may have been going since 1978 but believe me, this is the best Tygers line-up I’ve seen and it’s a tribute to Robb who believes in the band, and not just its legacy, but his vision to take the band forward and continue producing great rock n' roll. I can't wait for the new album next year!
Review by: Barry McMinn
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