Black Stone Cherry // The Kris Barras Band // Otis // Live Review // Ulster Hall // Belfast
Tonight sees three big hitters roll into Belfast as Black Stone Cherry return to Rock this town once again and not too long after their sold-out show at The Telegraph Building one year ago. It’s a testament to the popularity of these Southern Rockers that they can pull a bigger crowd and bigger venue with each visit and with a classy line up completed with UK bluesman Kris Barras and Kentucky rockers Otis, the Belfast crowd were in for a treat.
Kentucky natives Otis bring their slice of Southern Rock laced with Blues to the Ulster Hall Belfast for the last night of the UK run of shows for BSC, and goddam they’re going down a treat with the Belfast faithful. Normally a tough gig warming up the crowd for big hitters like BSC Otis hit the ground running nailing it track after track and educating the Northern Irish crowd as to why they are so highly rated BSC across the pond. Groove laden riffs and sexy guitar solos grab the attention from the crowd right from the off and Otis don’t let go throughout – their set may be short and sweet but they have engrained themselves in the hearts and minds of the Irish crowd and will be welcome back anytime!
The Kris Barras Band:
The Kris Barras Band takes the stage next and they are a seriously tight outfit, Barras has been slaying it since his reemergence on the Blues scene after he came to terms with his love/hate relationship with the music industry and he has been grafting and making serious waves as he tours relentlessly forging a serious reputation for himself. Rightly so, as a live proposition, they’re a force to be reckoned with and with a new album ‘Light It Up’ on the horizon coming via Blues pioneers Mascot Label Group he’s in no better hands to get it out there to the masses.
Barras himself is a serious player, savage as a live entity and all-encompassing and engrossing live in the flesh, as a band their energy of off the charts and they bring it with each and every show. En route to Ramblin’ Man this weekend and beyond if you haven’t had the pleasure, do yourself a favour and catch these crazy kids while you can. You can also catch him on the recent Supersonic Blues Machine Live Album just released via Mascot alongside Billy F. Gibbons and co.
Black Stone Cherry:
BSC hit the stage around 9 pm and all involved have a dash to the ferry to make their way to Ramblin Man this weekend, that doesn’t deter from the performance in any way as BSC as always like caged animals by the tile their set starts, go on a rampage from one end of the Ulster Hall stage to the other. These guys bring energy levels to another level without missing a beat. Chris Robertson’s vocals on point as always as the Belfast crowd joins in with gusto. The room is bouncing from front to back as BSC slay their way across a more than healthy back catalogue.
Back in Belfast once again after their sold-out Telegraph Building show in early 2018?? They bring their A-game once again lighting the Ulster Hall up like a Christmas tree and bringing the roof down with an unbelievable collection of powerhouse songwriting and melodic beauties. From early fan favourites to tracks off their latest offering Family Tree BSC have more than enough in their arsenal to keep this party going all night long!
These guys have a swagger and charm that you only get from the best of the best when it comes to Southern Rock, like their peers Blackberry Smoke and bands like The Cadillac Three, this new generation of Southern Rock pioneers bring another layer to the equation. You can’t help but surrender to their charms and embrace the party atmosphere that resonates from the stage above, as far as the eye can see ladies and gents are dancing and rocking their asses off to as BSC orchestrate the legion of fans below. It’s a testament to the quality within the band that a Southern Rock band a long, long way from home can have this pull on Irish shores and beyond, but this just any band. This is one of thee bands at the height of their game right now. One of the hardest rocking bands out there doin their thang the only way they know how, night after night, city by city taking over the world one gig at a time.
Photography & Review: Mark McGrogan
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