By Shane Douthwaite
This was Jettblack’s first solo headline tour, featuring 13 dates across the UK with support from fellow southerners Night by Night on most dates. I managed to get to Stereo, in York (thanks for the lift Shaun), only to find a painfully Hull-like turn out. Stereo is a bar venue but was still only half full at it’s peak; very disappointing for three bands with such talent.
First on stage was the local support, BastRad, a young four-piece who put everything they had into this performance. They’re clearly a band who works hard to create an enjoyable set for the fans and have fun doing it. BastRad’s sound is a riff-laden festival of noise! With duel lead guitars and an upbeat hard rock vibe, it was clear as to why BastRad were chosen to open the bill. Guitarists Martin (also vox) and Lee traded licks and solos throughout the set while Martin (drums) and Steve (bass) kept the rhythm tight and the band as a whole provided an awesome stage show. My favourite song was also the one with which they ended their set, Drive, it was obviously a fan favourite too as their fan club provided a Steps-style dance routine to the chorus: Drive me crazy/Drive me home. I highly recommend BastRad to anyone looking for a great young melodic metal band with great energy… so everyone then.
The tour support, Night by Night, provided us with what can only be described as AOR for the modern day rock scene. Adding an extra twist to the classic formulae of soaring vocals and solos and pitch perfect vocal harmonies, NbN really stand up well against similar bands, like Miss Behaviour and Houston. They played an impressive and precise set with awesome energy and the mistakes, if any, were unnoticeable. The three voice, widescreen harmonies were some of the most impressive vocal displays I have ever seen from any artist live. My favourite tracks were Time to Escape and The Moment, both of which can be purchased from their site as the Time to Escape Single.
After a swift stage change Jettblack took to the stage and smashed into an hour long set of hard hitting melodic rock from their two monster albums, Get Your Hands Dirty and Raining Rock. Set standards like Two Hot Girls, Slip It On and Less Torque, More Thrust were backed up well by ballads The Sweet and Brave and Prison of Love. Jettblack’s onstage energy and connection with the crowd was only matched by their technical skill. Frontmen Jon and Will provided raw yet melodic lead vocals and twin lead guitar craziness. Helping them patrol the stage was bassist Tom, flying around like a dervish while still hitting every note. Behind the madness sat Matt, hitting his drum skins hard, even with a dodgy arm. JB ended their awesome set with an encore of my favourite track that they’ve written, Raining Rock. Jettblack were everything i hoped they'd be; entertaining, energetic, down to earth guys and this set cemented their place as one of my favourite band's of recent times.
The night featured three top class bands, at a cosy venue with a great atmosphere. I had a great time, watched awesome bands and met some interesting people. What more could you want from a gig?