Bombs & Octane

I can’t quite believe it’s rolled around already but once again its time to start a new year off and a new blog for the SB touring cycle. This should be a fun year for sure with a prospective foreign tour on the horizon, many big gigs ahead and a new album on the way. I’ve been present throughout the recording process and not only has it been the smoothest yet its also sounding as solid as a power lifters bicep. Needless to say I think you’re all going to get a huge buzz off it, throughout the year the chaps will be debuting new songs live, including a revamped oldie which was a fan favourite for years but never got the standard of recording it deserved back in the day. Anyhow on with the first two gigs of the year which were super special and have already set the benchmark way high in the process. 


The Iron Road, Evesham (11.02.18) 

First gig of the year on a Sunday! Bloody hell, cant get too smashed with work at 9am in the morning. Still, may as well enjoy it eh? Well, right after Scotty sorted more major trailer issues that have plagued us over the past couple of years we were off on the road (2 hours later than expected mind). Back down to Evesham to the Iron Road which is a cracker of a venue but a damn long trek. With the first rough mixes of the new album on CD we had plenty to debate and discuss. We all thought JC was bullshitting when he said he had scored the support slot for Bullets & Octane for two dates but man were we excited to find it was true. I hadn’t heard too much from our American friends but with the other four being huge fans I knew it would be a gig to remember. With a few beers down us we rocked up and met the Bullets & Octane boys. 

Gene Louis: Vocalist, this guy knows how to put on a show and proved to be a fountain of wisdom on the music business. Felipe Rodrigo, Guitarist, super friendly fellow with some of the meanest playing I’ve seen live, excellent skills. Zach Kibble: Bass, built like an ox and again, super friendly and gives it some major effort on the back up vox. Jonny Udell: Drummer, damn good one at that, spoke to Jonny the least over the two gigs but a sterling dude nonetheless. Honourable mention to their giant merch guy AJ, gets it up to 100% now for Californians we’ve met who are truly sound. 

The crowd were growing in numbers as the SB set up, sound-checked and blasted 2018 into high gear. Killer set of songs that you all know and love by this stage prompting thought of how the hell are we gonna be able to replace most of them with newies once the new album is released? Everyone was giving it major effort to put on a mighty show for an appreciative crowd. I got my usual shout out “if you want some merch, see the weird looking vampire guy knocking about somewhere”, I was stood in the shadows of the merch corner at the time shaking my head in disapproval, some things never change. 

Bullets & Octane hit the stage soon enough and were in excellent form, every song passed in a blur and I became more and more of a fan as the gig went on. Gene’s a comedy genius on the mic and and the instrumentalists were on fire, awesome set. To say we would have happily paid to go to see them live we were stoked to support them and became amigos after the show chatting all sorts about life on the road, music tastes in California and the UK, bands we had both played with (their list was a bit more impressive than ours) ending things about midnight with strange shots and photo opportunities all round. We couldn’t wait for Tuesday now, having rolled in at 4am and bushwhacked for the whole of work on Monday it was worth it… totally. 


Bar Metro, Bolton (13.02.18) 

T’was damn cold when Scotty picked us up and it only got worse. Our Road Captain had a micro meltdown about a potential traffic jam we may run into on the way. Class had lied about the arrival time to allow some contingency, saying “not to worry, they ain’t expecting us till 6pm anyhow”. The bearded one’s blood pressure on the decline and the alcohol consumption on the incline we made the short trip to Bolton in no time. The journey was a cracker conversation-wise as somehow we got on the subject of ‘Otherkin’, people identifying as animals, both real and fictional. This set JG off on a brilliant rant, claiming just because someone identifies as Santa Clause society shouldn’t have to accommodate their reindeer parking. Joey took to winding him up more by identifying our animal souls, typically identifying himself as lion and Damo as a praying mantis. Damo suggested maybe Johnny has the soul of a slug, hence his constant salt intake being a form of self-loathing, attempting to kill his ‘otherkin’. We were laughing all the way over. 

On arrival we loaded in swiftly, meeting the Dead XIII chaps (supporting Doyle of Misfits fame for 16 dates in March, nice work) and finding the promoter wasn’t there. The running order hadn’t been decided and no one had any clue what time everything was kicking off. This worried me, so in true Kally style I went back to the car and sunk beers with Kage and Class talking good stuff. It seems the Freaky Naughtiez tag-team have disbanded due to the good behaviour of myself and Kage, in turn forming a new faction. We’ve gained a Class and due to a cool eagle statue on top of a sign opposite the car we are now THE EXCELLENCY, long live The Excellency. 

Two thirds of The Excellency had their first battle with Scott and JG on an old school table football within the venue. Gibbons and Mason put in a valiant effort but it was no match for my brothers in Excellency. We retired for food at a local Wetherspoons having been told Zach from Bullets was ranked no.17 in America at table football and we didn’t want him besmirching our victory. Appetites satisfied we returned to Bar Metro to be told a band from Luxembourg had rocked up outta nowhere and said they were allowed to play…erm, right ok fair play, you crack on. 

Dead XIII started rocking after the longest drum sound-check in history. They were heavy with Goth elements but mostly melodic metalcore is best way to describe them. The singer had heaps of presence and although they weren’t for me they should go far in the genre they occupy. 

SB were up next and a fair amount of our fans had turned up that cold Tuesday night, so big thanks to them and they were rewarded with a new tune, ‘Who We Are’ making its debut with a bang, a seriously catchy tune with an infectious chorus that’s gonna go down a treat with the wider audiences this year. I have to say, some of Scotty’s finest drumming work too. Apart from that the set was pretty similar to Sundays gig, so in a nutshell - it was fast, sleazy and a little bit tasty… superb. 

Just the headliners now and man we felt for them, something wasn’t right with the PA and monitors and they were having trouble hearing themselves. Gene, as per, was on fire in terms of voice and comedy… he also climbed on top of a vocal monitor catching his head on a section of the lighting-rig causing it to crash down and electrocute him in the process. He got up and rocked on regardless… rock n roll. Technical gremlins aside, all members, apart from Jonny the Drummer, were out in the audience circling around us and rocking out as naturally as you and I breathe in a hugely entertaining rock n roll show, cementing themselves as my new favourite band. Gene, Felipe, Jonny and Zachary I salute you! 

Damo told us later he now wants a wireless guitar so he can go to the bar during the set, what a knob. Speaking to the Bullets guys after the gig was a great insight, Gene chatting about his career and the ups and downs he had suffered. Really hope he gets what he wants and deserves as a truly class act. We couldn’t stick round for too long given it was now knocking on 1:30am but man I hope we gig with them guys again soon, a perfect fit with the SB as many commented on both nights and it would be a blast to make these two dates a good 8-10 in the futures… although liver transplants may be required at the end of it for some of us. 

Next up – Our annual outing at the Bad Ass Bash Festival, Snooty Fox, Wakefield… followed by Hard Rock Hell AOR Festival in early March for my birthday festivities… bring it on!

Leave a comment