Friday saw me once again at one of my favourite venues, The 1865 down in Southampton. I was here tonight for those 80’s rockers FM, and tonight was the first of six nights with Sons Of Liberty supporting.
Doors opened just before seven and there was a steady stream of people through the door steadily filling the room. There were lots of FM tee shirts on show, especially ones that showed the new album titled 13. The merchandise stands were piled high with tees in every colour you could wish for and was a very busy area to be.
Just after eight and we see Sons Of Liberty take to the stage. Now these west country rockers have a slightly different line up currently, and for the rest of this year at least. They have Rob Walker as their singer now as they have parted ways with their previous front man. Now Rob hails from the Birmingham area with a bit of Yorkshire grit, and brings a different vocal sound to the band. Less of a gravel growl, more of a full on rock voice.
We are treated to a decent length set with tracks from their debut album ‘Animism’, and their latest release ‘Aces & Eights’. Their sound is on the heavier side with a southern whiskey soaked flavour, and the crowd lap it up. Songs like ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’ and ‘Up Shit Creek’ from ‘Animism’ set the pace before heavy recent numbers such as ‘Damaged Reputation’, ‘Don’t Hide Behind Your Weakness’ (which is my personal favourite with its driving beat), and ‘Fire & Gasoline’, before they end with a tribute to the late great Ruby Starr with a song of the same name.
This has been an excellent opening set which has definitely given the crowd a healthy dose of west country rock before the main event. They would have surely won a few new fans from that show.
Set list:- ‘Big Ass D’, ‘It’s My Bad’, ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’, ‘Up Shit Creek’, ‘Damaged Reputation’, ‘Texas Hill Country’, ‘Don’t Hide Behind Your Weakness’, ‘Beef Jerk Boogie’, ‘Fire & Gasoline’, ‘Ruby Starr’.
Around nine, the lights dim and FM take to the stage. Now I confess that I am no FM connoisseur, and seem to have been on a different path as they were making a name for themselves back in the mid eighties and beyond, but after a little research I found that they definitely had that big eighties sound.
I can tell from the crowd here tonight that they are still a very popular band and from the very first song you could see why. Excellent musicianship, and the lead singer Steve Overland, still has an amazing voice, flawless, and very anthemic.
Now the latest album is named 13 for a reason, and that is, because it is their thirteenth studio release. We are treated to a wonderful set spanning the years, and multiple albums.
They kick off with the title track from their previous album ‘Synchronized’, and this is a track that could have graced any of your favourite eighties movie soundtracks.
In the first thirteen songs, we have a variety from nine different albums. Each track showcasing just why this band is one of the very best melodic rock bands around today.
Great musicianship, great vocals, great performance, wonderful show. You should definitely try and catch these guys live if you can, and just enjoy the quality and professionalism of this fabulous band.
Set list:- ‘Syncronized’, ‘Bad Luck’, ‘Life Is A Highway’, ‘Let Love Be The Leader’, ‘Long Road Home’, ‘Crack Alley’ ,’Killed By Love’, ‘Everytime I Think Of You’, ‘Crosstown Train’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘Over You’, ‘That Girl’, ‘Tough It Out’, ‘I Belong To The Night’, ‘Turn This Car Around’, ‘Story’, ‘Other Side Of Midnight’.
Review & Photography : Will Carter // Two Finger Media // https://www.facebook.com/TwoFingerMedia