I was in Pershore early as I interviewed the guys from Hollowstar just after their soundcheck (watch it on the Rock Media UK page). After a lovely meal in the Angel Hotel, it was soon time to return to the Iron Road at Bar 57 just up the High Street. There was a queue forming already at the door, eagerly waiting tonights show, four bands in total, what a treat.
With the feisty, guitar playing Emma Hodgson up front, the False Hearts could be labelled by the uninitiated, as just another band in the long line of Halestorm wannabees. No far from it, there is something more diverse and substantial here. I’m listening to these Cambridge hopefuls for the first time and from the off I like the low moody vocals. Hauntingly heavy songs ‘Remedy’ ‘Misery’ and ‘Fall Down’ define the first half of the set as I get an understanding of the False Hearts distinctive style. Then last years 4 track EP, ‘Dirty Little Soul’ is played in full for the second half and the show gets more majestic. ‘Break’ is a mournful story and Emma releases all her vocal talent to hit the mark. ‘Take Control’ is more mellow, running like a mountain stream and the highly praised ‘Cynical Love’ ends it. Only together since
2016, they are already making waves and appear at several festivals this year.
False Hearts are;
Emma Hodgson – Vocals / Guitar
Ali Westwood – Lead Guitar
Phil Benton – Bass
Adi Bowes – Drums
Three guys up from London are on stage, in what is becoming a very hot evening in the Iron Road. Trident Waters play ‘Firecracker’ to start, a hooky little number with singer Andrew Knightley, looking cool with his corkscrew hair and Sunglasses. He has a bluesy laden voice, a combination of Paul Rodgers and Joe Cocker, albeit slightly higher. From the new EP ‘Hollywood to Vegas’, the song ’Eva Lane’ with its ‘Hey Hey’ punching the air, is a more laid back Blackberry Smoke type of song. It has nice guitar interludes sliding in and is one of those that stays in the head. ‘Be So Bad’ from the same EP, is more up tempo. It rocks along in a groove and has a massive catch of a guitar solo. The riff filled ‘Blindman Blues’ pumps it up, with an easy going, Bad Company type of blues rock. They finish on ‘Save Me’ from 2016. I hear the Free/Bad Co even some Sabbath influences, which, strung out with Rival Sons comparisons, make Trident Waters really pleasing to witness.
Trident Waters are;
Andrew Knightley – Vocals/Lead Guitar
Wilson Zaidan – Bass
Leon Ashby – Drums
Breadflan, the Budgie classic is thrust out by the Welsh trio, I am taken back to a night in the Barry Memorial Hall, sitting on the stage in front of a speaker and hearing tracks from ’Never Turn Your Back On A Friend’ spinning in my head for a fortnight afterwards. Sorry, back to the present day, it’s getting even hotter in here, sweltering heat, where’s the aircon?
Florence Black are a power surge on an industrial scale, ’The One’ thrashes out, with earth destroying chords. It’s a pulsating rhythm that carries into ‘Fiesta’ and ‘Ghost’ both from the self titled 2016 EP. The head shaking audience are loving this, the beads of sweat flying about are of no consequence. It gets even more pounding with ‘Gunshot’ great lyrics and a grunge infused riff. They stop all too soon with ’Smoke’, another mind sapping experience, can’t wait to see them again.
Florence Black are;
Tristan – Vocals/Guitar
Fozzi – Bass
Perry – Drums
And so we come to Hollowstar, on their first headline tour would you believe. Promoting the new self titled LP, this band from Cambridgeshire have been around since 2015 but have been so busy supporting the likes of Graham Bonnet and Dan Reed, that a UK tour of their own has only now been possible.
Bursting straight into ’Take It All’ from the new LP, the affable Joe Bonson sparks up, his clear and sweet sounding voice, together with a brilliant stage presence, does play a big part in the bands success. That said, he is of course, not alone up there, Phil Haines in a dripping wet shirt and Tom Collett, strike some masterful notes on the dual guitars, as they plough through ‘Down By The Water’ and Lay Down’ they give Hollowstar the richness that their army of fans adore.
Since they formed in 2015 they have gone from strength to strength and have taken their time to mature into the immensely popular band we see before us. Well, they said they were playing the whole of the new album tonight and they do, ‘Invincible’ ‘Money’ and ‘Let You Down’ continue the onslaught, Jack Bonson maintaining the pace on drums.
The Iron Road is heaving now, what a great atmosphere in here this evening. The cover of Frees’ ‘Wishing Well’ goes down a storm and after ‘Sinner’ and ’Good Man Gone’ they rock it out with the fantastic ‘All I Gotta Say’, we are all in unison with the chorus ‘Bye, Bye, Baby Goodbye’ what a performance, can’t help but smile.
Joe Bonson – Vocals /Bass
Jack Bonson – Drums
Phil Haines – Guitar
Tom Collett – Guitar
It is impossible not to see a Hollowstar T-Shirt at a gig these days, they are so likeable and such a modest bunch. Look out for them at festivals this year, including Wildfire, Steelhouse, Winterstorm and Hard Rock Hell, not forgetting their support slots to the mighty Skid Row in December.
Must say, it was an absolutely outstanding night at the Iron Road, all four bands were amazing, a credit to everyone involved in putting it together.