Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dave Evans + Triaxis + Buffalo Summer, Odins, Ebbw Vale, 29/06/12

A superb night at Odin's Club in Garnlydan, Ebbw Vale with three excellent bands on the bill.

Buffalo Summer

There's a definite trend at the moment for hard rock bands to base their style on the bluesy rock sound rooted in classic outfits like Free and Led Zep. The Answer do it superbly, Rival Sons are another fine act, and now we can add to the list Buffalo Summer who delivered an excellent opening set, despite having to play when most punters were paying their admission fee and getting the first one in.


Next up were Triaxis, who are working the circuit hard with support slots and their own dates. If you haven't seen them yet, you really must. They are an absolute treat for those who like modern metal with a sound grounded in the riffs and solos of Maiden, Priest, Megadeth and others.

With Krissie on lead vocals and Owen on bass (both above), they have Glyn on lead (below), CJ on rhythm and Giles on drums.

They took the opportunity to showcase material from their much anticipated 2nd album (due real soon), the follow up to 2009's highly acclaimed 'Key To The Kingdom', but also delighted the gathering crowd with set staple 'Lies' and Maiden's 'The Wicker Man', with which you really can't go wrong.

Do check out you tube clips here and here.

CJ, Krissie, Owen (hands and leg only), Glyn (in Maiden mode) and Giles

CJ and Owen

The Triaxis set was really well received and the one or two wise old heads (and not so old) who I spoke to afterwards gave them the thumbs up on their first night seeing the band - which was just as well given how much I've banged on about them.

Dave Evans

And then, to headline, Dave Evans, one time lad of Carmarthen but now very much Aussie and, famously, the original singer in AC/DC. He was backed by his UK Baddasses, who really did kick a..... With 2 members of Fury UK (and they know the way to Ebbw Vale by now) in the line up, the playing was of top order.

As for the set list, he rightly drew on his AC/DC past with 'Can I Sit Next To You Girl?', 'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Rock 'n' Roll Singer' ("written by Malcom Young about me"). He also rightly introduced the likes of Jailbreak and TNT as Bon Scott numbers as well as doing some of his solo material such as Judgement Day.

It was a blistering set of High Voltage rock 'n' roll (groan), although perhaps it was a bit of a cheek to close with Let There Be Rock and encore with Rosie. But by then, 11.30 on a Friday night, most in the headbanging audience were too 'emotional' to care.

All in all, an excellent night of rock and metal.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Diamond Head, Hog and Hosper, Pontypool 28/06/12

When you use the words 'inflential' or 'underrated' in connection with hard rock and heavy metal music, one name won't be too far from the top of most fans' lists, and that is Diamond Head. And tonight in Pontypool the 120 or so hardcore punters, packed into the bar of the Hog and Hosper pub, saw and heard exactly why.

With their West Midlands roots stretching back right back to the mid 1970s, guitarist Brian Tatler has been to hell and back again in keeping the name Diamond Head alive and kicking right up until the present.

Most of you will know the story of how they missed the boat in the NWOBHM golden era of the early 1980s and, despite revivals largely driven by the worldwide success of uber fans Metallica, it never has quite happened in a big way for them.

That, however, is absolutely no reflection on the quality and longevity of their music, as demonstrated in Pontypool tonight at the starting point of their 2012 European tour.

After 2 local bands provided support, Counter Hold plus Fell On Black Days, all we needed was the men (or indeed women) in the crowd to start chanting 'We want Head'. That didn't happen but Diamond Head played a blasting set of the new, the old and the very old including in some sort of order:

Play It Loud
It's Electric
Dead Reckoning (you tube)
Shoot Out The Lights
Sucking My Love
The Prince (you tube)
Lightning To The Nations
Am I Evil? (you tube here and here)

Yet another superb band who really should be playing much bigger venues...

....but with that they were gone, off to tomorrow night's gig in France!

But it was a night few in Pontypool tonight will forget in a hurry.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Spiders, Steelhouse, Ebbw Vale, 22/06/12

Another outstanding night at the Steelhouse, Ebbw Vale with the superb Black Spiders.

First up were local boys Hangfire, with their core hard rock influenced by Free through to Whitesnake. They did a great job.

Then the main act. Black Spiders were fresh from a successful appearance at the Download Festival at Donington and they really are finely toning their act these days.

They are loud, proud and heavy, with no less than three lead/rhythm guitars to bang out their riff laden AC/DC / Kiss influenced songs.

Next up is the Steelhouse Festival 'up on the mountain' at the end of July, featuring Reef, Feeder and The Answer amongst others. Let's hope the weather improves.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

T20: The Story So Far at Glamorgan

Glamorgan should be halfway through their T20 programme by now.

Instead only 4 of the 10 games have been completed, the fifth, versus Worcestershire last Wednesday, was, of course, postponed due to the tragic death of Tom Maynard, which has hit the club hard (many at Glamorgan viewed him as only being on loan to Surrey).

Glamorgan's record so far is a mixed one. Northants away was abandoned after a start and not a ball was bowled in last night's home encounter with Gloucestershire. The home win over Warwickshire Bears was secured by ensuring that the Dragons stayed on top of the DL target whilst the storm clouds gathered, and the only defeat came painfully at Taunton on Friday with 1 ball to go. James Hildreth hit a brilliant 100 to take the game away from Glamorgan as they looked for most of the game likely to record their first T20 win away to Somerset for 8 seasons.

There's little doubt this season that the Welsh Dragons (as they have ridiculously been branded) have made T20 their number 1 priority. Shaun Marsh has been brought in to join fellow Australian Marcus North, and experienced South African Martin van Jaarsveld has signed as a non-overseas on a short term deal. When you factor in two more Australians, captain Jim Allenby, and Stewart Walters, together with another South African Chris Cooke, the Dragons have a distinctly un Welsh feel.

But with Finals Day in Cardiff in August, and the ever increasing emphasis, financially and otherwise, on T20, you can understand the thinking. Each home match has a theme, Seventies Disco, Eighties Party and so on. Me? I'd rather watch the game.

Sadly the summer of 2012 has been unkind, and the wet weather will doubtless make a dent in club coffers, not only in gate money but also in terms of food and drink income. Nonetheless, with the overseas sprinkling of batsmen, together with England veterans, Simon Jones, who's bowling pretty well, and the very veteran Robert Croft, still spinning away with craft and guile at 42, Glamorgan could, with a decent tail wind, have some hope of reaching the quarter finals from the Mid/West/Wales group, and then they're only one match away from Finals Day on home soil.

And, after the emotions of this last week, what would be more fitting than a final between Glamorgan and Surrey? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tom Maynard 1989-2012 RIP

Tom Maynard, Glamorgan and Surrey CCCs, who died earlier today.

 With Glamorgan at Hove, 2010

...and on 12th man duty for England, 2009.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crap weather

I'm totally fed up with this crap weather.

It's June, it's light 'til 9.30 and we should be sitting outside. Instead it's wet, it's miserable, and it's too cool to even leave the doors open.

The cricket season is being decimated, even the stuff on TV is affected. I don't like watching too much football and rugby in June, but don't seem to have much choice at the moment. Bah!

Anyway, at least there's a few gigs coming up: the rather excellent Black Spiders at the Steelhouse next Friday, and then, on the following Friday, original AC/DC vocalist, Dave Evans, is at Odin's Club at Garnlydan, the highlight for me being that the superb Triaxis are also on the bill.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Glamorgan v Surrey, CB40, Cardiff, 020612

Glamorgan blew their best chance in a long while of recording a victory over Surrey by failing to capitalise on an excellent bowling display in this CB 40 match.

Instead, an inept batting performance led to another defeat.

Bowlers like John Glover did a superb job.. did Simon Jones

Surrey opener Steven Davies was excellent.. a lively opening stand with Rory Hamilton Brown

 Jim Allenby was the pick of the Glamorgan bowlers

Stewart Walters..

..and Martin Van Jaarsveld promised to deliver

 but it was Surrey's bowlers like Jade Dernbach..

..and Murali Kartik who prevailed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Glamorgan v Leicestershire, LCC2, Cardiff, 30/05 - 01/06/12

Glamorgan's 4 day match versus Leicestershire ended in a bore draw after the visitors batted out the final day on a dead flat Cardiff wicket, with Glamorgan's bowlers failing to make the penetration expected.

The match featured excellent centuries from Marcus North and Mark Wallace for the home side whilst Michael Thornely for Leicestershire virtually secured a contract by batting for what seemed like days.

Scorecard and report here.

1st Innings centurion Marcus North (above)

Huw Waters

The bowlers, like Huw Waters, battled hard

as did James Harris. How good was it to see him back?