REVIEW: Rival Sons, The Point, Sunderland

Rival Sons at The Point

Rival Sons at The Point

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Fire-breathing, lizard-tongued KISS bassist recently proclaimed that Rock is dead.

Try telling that to the likes of Vintage Trouble, Halestorm and Black Stone Cherry, all firing on all cylinders and all packing out shows wherever they play. Add to that list of sizzling talent, Rival Sons.

Rival Sons at The Point

Rival Sons at The Point

Only a couple of years ago Rival Sons were third on the bill to Queensryche and Judas Priest but quickly marked themselves down as ones to watch. Extensive touring and a series of increasingly impressive albums have seen their light shine ever brighter with their latest album, Great Western Valkyrie, garnering 5 star reviews in virtually every music paper going.

In what is an undeniable coup for the local promoter, Rival Sons landed in Sunderland for one of only two shows either side of Scotland’s Belladrum Festival and what a night it was.

Vocalist Jay Buchanan is cut from the same cloth as some of Rock’s greats combining the smooth tones of Jim Morrison with the holler of Robert Plant but with enough individuality to give him his own unique identity.

Guitarist Scott Holiday cut a fine figure bedecked in shades and Gibson Firebird in hand cranking out some seriously delicious riffs during Secret and Tell Me Something.

Rival Sons at The Point

Rival Sons at The Point

Rock bands of old dressed in denim and leather or in the 80`s, spandex and sequins, and that was just the men. Rival Sons look like they`ve stepped off the cover of GQ magazine with sharp suits and finely sculptured facial adornments. Yet they Rock hard but Rock with a swagger and a deep, deep groove with drummer Mike Miley and bassist Dave Best locked so tightly together that you couldn’t slip a Rizla between them.

Electric Man, Good Luck and Open My Eyes were colossal. Manifest, Destiny and Torture developed into sprawling jams that allowed Holiday to spread his wings while Rich and the Poor and Where I’ve Been showed the depth of quality in their repertoire.

Rock has been written off more times than almost any other music form over the years, yet it has a resilience that sees it continually bouncing back from the underground.

With The Point packed out on a Monday night and an incendiary performance by the Californian rockers proving beyond doubt that far from being dead, Rock is very much alive and kicking.

If this is the calibre of act that The Point will be attracting over the coming months then it will soon rival those of Newcastle as the venue of choice for the North East for touring bands.