Friday 7th February
Skam at the O2 Academy
Review and Photos by Kevin Gaughan
A night of solid, hard and heavy rock was on offer tonight in Leicester’s O2
Academy Scholar bar. This was to be the first night of Skam’s Rivers Tour
2014, comprising nine dates around the UK supporting bands like The Answer and the
Howling and celebrating their new worldwide record deal with Off Yer Rocka
Recordings = which is the same stable the Quireboys now hail from.
Kicking off tonight’s rock gig was The Midnight Dogs, a four-piece band from the
Midlands. Inspired by the likes of AC/DC, The Quireboys and Guns ‘n’ Roses,
these guys were set to produce some solid sounds.
With blistering guitar solos aplenty and gravely vocals, not a lot unlike
Spike from the Quireboys, these chaps were confident, great to watch and
starting the night off with plenty of ass-kicking rocking riffs. They were
the perfect start to tonight’s show, finishing off with the Stones’ classic
‘Sympathy for the Devil‘.
Blackwolf, a five piece from Bristol, with exceptional vocals
and long, wavy locks, courtesy of Mr Scott Sharp. Turning up the
temperature, with a strong guitar section providing the ideal backdrop for
Scott’s superb vocals, I found these guys to be nothing short of
spectacular. As a five piece, the stage was a little cramped, limiting the musicians’
movement, unfortunately, the lead and bass guitarists had to play in the
dark as the venues’ lights wouldn’t get to the extremities of the stage.
Last on the stage for tonights night of rock was the local rock legends
themselves, Skam, a three-piece rock band from Leicester.
Having built up a solid local following, regularly packing Leicester’s
venues to capacity and having recently been signed to a world-wide record
company, it feels as though 2014 will be an important year for the band’s
progression. Being a three-piece, they make up for what they lack in number by having lashings of lovely bass, courtesy of Mr Matthew Gilmore. As they have no rhythm guitarist, Matt has to work doubly hard to fill in the rhythm bits with his bass, which is why as a three piece, they can hold their own against any four or some five- piece bands.
Skam are never shy about putting on a full stage show, most songs incorporating one of Steve’s trademark lead guitar solos, as he takes centre stage in doing so. The new songs were a welcome addition, especially Rivers, the new single, a medium paced, pounding rock track with the essential ingredients of Steve’s blistering guitar solo performed on a backdrop of Matt’s driving bass, with X-Ray keeping it altogether with the drums. As Matt says, “It’s all about the bass!”
Finishing the show off with Indignity never fails to make me laugh as Steve tells us his elaborate story of his ex-girlfriend who became a lesbian! A blistering performance from one of Leicester’s finest exports.