As it’s Saturday night in late night London we turned up at this gig fashionably late just after 7pm and missed the first 3 support acts but were in time for both of the double headliners on this package tour to celebrate the release of Crashdiet‘s fourth album The Savage Playground.
The Academy was already pretty packed when we got in and the crowd started chanting for Jettblack about 30 minutes before they came on and got louder the closer we got to them coming on, which of course meant they got a great reception. They came out and launched into Two Hot Girls a song that always get the bands fans going. It seemed like most of the audience knew the words to this and most of the bands set.
Less Torque More Thrust was next and saw a great solo from Jon Dow with a good bit of trading licks between him and Will Stapleton as ever the bands on-stage bonhomie and chemistry worked to get everyone going as it has since I first saw them a good few years ago now. In Between Lovers is one of the songs that always reminds me of other classic Brit rock bands like Gillan and Torme and for my ears Jettblack are one classic Brit rock band.
Tom Wright as ever does his best to get the crowd going between songs and they don’t need much encouragement to get going for Sunshine or Prison Of Love that follows it. But then the place goes properly mental and we get a decent sized pit for Get Ur Hands Dirty, a song that has really become one of their live classics complete with sing alongs and pretty much the whole crowd joining in.
Black Gold is almost a bit of a comedown after that but never mind they ramp it back up for Love is taking Control that breaks down for a full throttle verse and chorus of Paint It Black and back to the original song. They finish their set with two of their crowd pleasers; Slip It On which has everyone singing along and the pit seems to grow somewhat with a few crowd surfers and then they close the set with Raining Rock the song they wrote with Udo Dirkshneider playing a great version that leaves the crowd wanting more and chanting the band’s name again. As ever they were super tight, one hell of a tough act to follow.
Well I’ve now seen Crashdiet quite a few times and they have always been a bit hit and miss as well of course as being one of those bands who seem to have tragedy follow them around. Now that they have finally settled enough for Simon Cruz to become the first singer in the band to make it to a second album this tour had a tragic start when the bands manager Michael Sunden died; still the show must go on, and the tour has.
The crowd did chant a little bit for them before they came on but nowhere near as enthusiastically as they did for Jettblack.
They opened with Change The World, the opening song on the new album, although it was tough to hear any of the lyrics as the vocal sound was horrible and it took the soundman until half way through the second song, Circus, to get it anywhere near right.
After Jettblack they sounded murky and in places a bit thin but were giving it everything on So Alive and Simon Cruz looks great even if he doesn’t always sound it. I’m sure sleaze metal should sound better than this.
They then went back to the first album for Queen Obscene/69 Shots and while the vocals aren’t as good as the late Dave Lepards they actually finally sounded clear and Martin Sweet‘s guitar seemed to be less mired in murk as well.
They dedicated California to the memory of Michael Sunden and it had an emotional edge to it that seemed to be missing in much of the set. Peter London’s bass playing was the anchor to keep the song right on track. We then got a rather over long version of Garden of Babylon that featured a long Bass and Drums solo towards the end during which the other members of the band left the stage and by the time drummer Eric Young wrapped things up and left the crowd were underwhelmed and just about managed to clap enough to get an encore that seemed inevitable after such a short headline set.
Yes they came back on and launched into Riot in Everyone also from the Rest in Sleaze album; it got the biggest pit and sing along of the bands set. They then introduced special guest who I think was Marco from Thin Lizzy who co-wrote Liquid Jesus with them as a bonus track on the special edition of the new album. The addition of a second guitarist lifted the band’s sound and only really pointed to the thinness of the sound for much of the bands set.
They then gave us a good version of Generation Wild that went down a storm before they closed with Cocaine Cowboys. That was ok, and at the end when they expected everyone to be cheering for more while the band stayed on stage to lap up the cheers and take a bow, most of the audience was already heading for the exit more than half of them were gone before the band had all left the stage!
Yes, Jettblack were by far the better band on the night and I look forward to the band’s new album later in the year.