Black Star Riders – headline act
Another State Of Grace European Tour 2019 – leg 1 –
Diamond Head – very special guests
31/10 – 2019
Live pictures and review by: Anders Sandvall
The brand new Black Star Riders brand new album ANOTHER STATE OF GRACE came out at the middle of September and it follows up the previous 2017 year release HEAVY FIRE. In between the releases the band lost a member in guitarist Damon Johnson which is replaced by Christian Martucci. The European leg of the tour began in the UK at the middle of October and the band only added quite a few shows in Scandinavia, two in Denmark, on in Norway, two in Finland and four in Sweden. The band added a couple of support acts on the tour like Diamond Head, Wayward Sons and Stone Broken, in Sweden it was Diamond Head that took on the opening position. The place for the show in Malmo was Kulturbolaget that inhabits about 850 visitors and since the show took place on a Thursday there weren’t a nightclub straight after the show. Diamond Head was scheduled to be on stage at 7.45 and Black Star Riders at 9.30 and the doors opened at 7.
Unfortunately there weren’t a photo pit at the club this night and in wait for Diamond Head to enter the stage I took a look at the merch stand and saw that BSR sold various amounts of different t-shirts.
Diamond Head is a British band that began as early as back in 1976 and throughout the years many members have come and gone. The only remaining original member left today is guitarist Brian Tatler, drummer Karl Wilcox was a part of the band in 1991-94 and is now back again. In 2016 the band released its latest effort in the album THE COFFIN TRAIN and to be honest I have never been a fan of the band, this night I was there only to see the great Black Star Riders in action.
“Play It Loud” opened the show and it followed straight away by “Bones” and the audience had barely time to catch their breaths in between the songs. Andersen thanked the crowd and said he wanted the fans to scream for the band in the next song which were “Death By Design”. To call Diamond Head’s music heavy metal is to exaggerate, I’d rather call it classic English rock n roll. The line-up is made of:
Brian Tatler – guitar
Karl Wilcox – drums
Andy Abbz Abberley – guitar
Rasmus Bom Andersen – lead vocals
Dean Ashton – bass
Andersen once again thanked and said he is from Denmark and asked if he should speak in English or in Danish, he chose Danish saying the band have been playing in Roskilde Denmark last night and it had been a bit rough. A lot of beer drinking took place and laughed. Today we took the bridge over to Sweden and I think it’s the first time we are here in Malmo, here is “Set My Soul On Fire”. Andersen asked if the crowd understood Danish and the crowd all shouted yes, he asked if the fans wanted to sing with the band and said it was time for everyone to sing along in “Shoot Out The Lights”.
The show felt pretty boring to me, the music didn’t do much and the quality of the songs felt a bit poor. The members didn’t feel too solid on their instruments and maybe there is a valid reason why the band didn’t make it back in the days when fellow bands like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest and Def Leppard took over the world. Tatler did a tired guitar solo and together with Andersen he walked out to the edge of the stage. “Heat” and “Shoot Out the Lights” followed and Andersen wanted the fans to clap their hands for the band.
“It’s Electric”, “The Messenger” and “Diamonds” followed and by now I started to get tired of the bands music. The crowd felt a bit reluctant and it was only the hardcore fans of the band that clapped their hands and singing along still. Andersen said it was time to play something old school and asked if the crowd was ready for “Helpless” which everyone apparently were, the song is really old and taken from the 1980’s album LIGHTNING TO THE NATIONS. Anderson brought a bottle and cheered with the crowd, it has been an amazing time here with you all tonight he said and we have one more song to play before we leave you. He wanted the fans to scream for the band and fired off “Am I Evil?” which lit up even the people in the back. He wanted the fans to sing the chorus with him and to be honest it didn’t went too well with the sing along and it became a pretty sloppy version of the song.
That ended the night in Malmo for Diamond Head and the 60 minute show was over. The show didn’t appeal to me at all, the songs felt poor and the appearance left more to wish for, it was a boring rock n roll show and nothing to remember. Again, it was pretty obvious why this band didn’t make it along with with the rest of their genre mates back in the late 70’s early 80’s.
Play It Loud
Death By Design
Set My Soul On Fire
Shoot Out The Lights
Am I Evil?
It was strange that not more people were interested in seeing BSR this night, after all, it was quite a long time since the guys were here the last time. But this fall is pretty jammed concert wise in Malmo and Copenhagen with a lot of harder acts performing so I guess many maybe pick and choose carefully what they were going to see. Last time I saw the band they were out supporting the HEAVY FIRE album back in 2017 which meant I was really eager to see the guys live again, and I was looking forward to seeing the new members in action. The stage was set for the headline act and it was ready for use at 9.15 and when the fans heard the pause music silence they started to clap and shout for BSR.
Black Star Riders
As the intro music faded out the band walked out on the stage firing off “Another State Of Grace” and “The Killer Instinct” as the first two songs and the fans were on fire. The tempo was fast and furious from the start Ricky Warwick must be one of the coolest frontmen ever walked the earth. “All Hell Breaks Loose” followed straight away and the fans sang along in the song together with Warwick. Line up in the band today is:
Ricky Warwick – lead vocals, guitar
Scott Gorham – guitar
Robbie Crane – bass
Chad Szeliga – drums
Christian Martucci – guitar
Warwick thanked the crowd for being at the club and said the doors are now locked and inside here we don’t have to hear about Donald Trump or Brexit or other irritating things, it’s only us in here tonight and we can do what we want. We only care about rock n roll, but before we go any further you all have to “Testify Or Say Goodbye”.
“Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down” continued the show which meant the band played songs from all of the albums they’ve done. The band was as tight as I remembered them to be, the new both Gorham and Warwick impressed and it was fun to once again see the legendary Gorham on stage. If Szeliga annoyed me before tossing around with his drumsticks and so he did a better impression this time and didn’t ad lib as much as before. The new guitarist Martucci hadn’t found his place in the band yet that was obvious, he stood on the side doing his thing, in a great way, but it felt like he has to have a few shows behind him in order to warm up. “Ticket To Rise” followed and it felt like the fans were a bit reluctant towards the new songs, Warwick used the ramp in order to get closer to the fans and he was the only one in the band that used it.
Warwick said that when he and Gorham met back in 2012 they were talking about making an album together, and when we had written the first one Scott said – well it would have been great to write another one. And today we have written four albums so far and we want to thank everyone who has bought the albums and supported us through the years. Here is a song from 2012 called “Hey Judas”. The song lit the crowd on fire and everyone sang along with Warwick in it.
“In The Shadow Of The Warmachine” and “Soldierstown” followed and the songs really woke up the crowd. Gorham walked out on the ramp and it was his time to shine, Warwick said Ok I want everyone to clap along in the song. He thanked everyone for the support and asked if everyone was doing fine. It’s time for us to play a new song that’s about common sense which is a thing many lacks today, here is “Why Do You Love Your Guns?”.
Warwick then changed his guitar and fired off “Blindsided” and “Bloodshot” and I was amazed by how vital and energetic the band felt, the guys have been out on the road for a while now but there were no sign of being tired of restless, everyone was amazing on stage. The members also seemed to have a good time on stage and the good times up there rubbed off on the fans.
How many of you have bought our new album Warwick asked, a few in the crowd raised their hands and Warwick said oh not many, well I’m going to give you two good reasons why you should buy it. It’s crazy good and we have to pay for our kids to go to college, Warwick laughed and said the next song is the first single out from the new album in “Ain’t The End Of the World”.
“When The Night Comes In” followed straight away and once again I was blown away by how great of a vocalist Warwick is, I have loved his work since the beginning of The Almighty back in the late 80’s and have followed him since then. “Underneath The Afterglow” taken from the new album followed and I think that was the 5th song from the album the band played so far and in my opinion the songs sounded stronger live compared to on album. Warwick once again thanked for applauds asking if everyone had a good time. Now it’s time for us to go out and dancing, but you have to be careful otherwise you’re going to “Dancing With The Wrong Girl”. Warwick introduced the band members and when he came to Gorham he said he wanted to introduce his friend and Thin Lizzy rock n roll hall of fame meanest gunslinger and one of the coolest ever Scott Gorham. Gorham took the mic and the fans all shouted on the top of their lungs, he introduced Warwick and the both hugged each other and then fired off “Finest Hour”. Malmo sing together with us Warwick said and thanked for the support. Thanks for letting us come to the club playing, we have been rocking and you have been rolling tonight and we love you, “Kingdom Of The Lost” followed which is taken from the debut album ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE from 2013.
We are Black Star Riders Warwick said, make some noise for us, we are going to leave you with “Bound For Glory”, thanks for the support once again Malmo. That amazing song ended 90 minutes of music and the show was over.
Oh how loved to see the guys live again, I really love this band and take every chance I get to see them live. Warwick did as always an amazing job as lead singer and frontman, no one is as cool as him on stage. The show included energy, vitality and everything you want a show to be. It was an honor to see Gorham live in action again and I agree with Warwick that he is a true gunslinger. I met a few people after the show that said they were disappointed that there weren’t any Thin Lizzy song in the set list but hey, the band is their own and have put out four albums and probably want to play their own material. Sure it would have been fun to hear a Lizzy song or two but on the other hand I think their material can stand on their own by now and doesn’t need to be “saved” by Lizzy material. I missed Damon Johnson in the band and hope that Martucci grows into the band soon, and I hope that Warwick and Gorham are able to maintain the current line up for a solid while because members have come and gone now in the band. This was one of the best shows this year and I really hope to see the band live soon again.
Another State Of Grace
The Killer Instinct
All Hell Brakes Loose
Testify OR Say Goodbye
Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down
Ticket To Rise
In The Shadow Of The Warmachine
Why Do You Love Your Guns
Ain’t The End Of The World
When The Night Comes In
Underneath The Afterglow
Dancing With The Wrong Girl
Kingdom Of The Lost
Bound For Glory
Thanks to Totte Lundgren, head of Kulturbolaget, for help with press and photo pass to the show.
Thanks to the always friendly staff and security at the club.