Thunder @ The Carling Academy, Birmingham

 

Mmmmmm… Heavy blues rock. And from what is undoubtedly one of the best bands to still be gracing stages in the UK. Thunder have it all, a frontman with a great voice, two brilliant guitarists, an ability to excite an audience (that is sadly lacking in some younger bands), and some kick-ass songs to back it all up. Their greatest hits and fan-pleasers mixed seamlessly with their new tracks, which are of the high standard they seem to have set themselves in previous years. The songs rock hard without becoming tuneless stomps – it’s impossible not to dance and sing along with the bluesy riffs and catchy choruses.

 

As a band, they look like a collection of the country’s five coolest dads. They may be hitting middle-age, but they still have energy and flair – without resorting to the cheap stadium-rock pretensions of the Darkness. Singer Danny Bowes has a way of drumming up an audience’s enthusiasm from polite applause to rapture in the space of a song, and the whole band have enough of a sense of humour and an ease of performance to keep the attention of a crowded hall without flagging once.

 

And the songs on the new album are brilliant. They feel familiar without giving a sense of just being more of the same and so they slip easily into the set alongside familiar favourites. And their surprise cover of ‘Satisfaction’ even managed to be one hundred times better than the Stones’ original!

 

Finally, I must give an honourable mention to the support act, Winterville. Unlike a lot of small bands at the moment, their songs all feel different and have an edge to them where other bands play a set of bland dirges that serve no other purpose than to fill time. Furthermore, I’ve never seen a drummer look like he was having so much fun!

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~ by Scary Rob on 13 March, 2005.

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