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Rival Sons - Solus, Cardiff University - 10th April 2013 (Live Review)

Thursday, 11 April 2013 Written by Jon Stickler
Rival Sons - Solus, Cardiff University - 10th April 2013 (Live Review)

Blues-rockers Rival Sons were at Cardiff University's Solus last night for the welsh leg of their current European tour. Returning to the UK earlier this month for a handful of live dates, the Long-Beach four-piece took a near sold-out crowd back to the glory years of blues rock while roaring through a set drawn from all three of their albums.

ImageBefore Rival Sons tread the boards, an already busy venue is warmed-up by London twosome The Graveltones. A heavy blues rock and roll duo, it would be difficult to find someone who wasn't impressed with The Graveltones' display of raw, dirty blues. The UK's answer to The Black Keys or The White Stripes perhaps? Head over to Classic Rock Mag and give them a vote for 'Favourite New British Band'. Good things are on the way!

Its fair to say that Rival Sons are, right now, cruising towards the title of hottest rock band in the world. Following the release of their critically acclaimed album ‘Head Down’, Rival Sons give a nod to rock and roll history while bringing a modern vibrancy to the music.

Rivals Sons arrive on stage to huge cheers while guitarist Scott Holiday starts the party almost immediately, firing off the foot-tapping riff for 'You Want To'. The fast pace continues with the ballsy swagger of 'Get What's Coming', foot-stomping 'Wild Animal' and 'Gypsy Heart', only slowing for the occasional bluesy guitar break.

Tighter that vocalist Jay Buchanan's leather trousers, Rival Sons looked and sounded every bit the part of the quintessential classic blues rock and roll outfit. Even Buchanan himself has striking similarities to both Jim Morrison and Robert Plant. That's without even mentioning his voice. Talk about range, surely this man deserves to be classed alongside silver-tongued crooners such as Paul Rodgers, Glenn Hughes and the aforementioned Plant.

Allowing very little time for a breather between tracks, the band's technicians are on their toes to assist in switching instruments before the songs have even finished. Sticksman Mike Miley, despite experiencing some technical issues with his kit during the first few songs, is as enthusiastic as ever. His manic rhythmic poundings working perfectly with the cool figure of bassist Robin Everhart.

Howling through 'Torture', 'Memphis Sun' and 'All The Way', the midway point arrives with a clutch of tracks from latest album 'Head Down'. 'Until The Sun Comes', the spiritual 'Jordan', Zeppelin-esque 'Manifest Destint Part 1' and roof-raiser 'Keep On Swinging' are all executed with oh-so-cool soul and swagger before 'Pressure and Time' reminds us of the punch it delivered while propelling the band into the spotlight back in 2011.

With comparisons to the legendary axemen of Led Zeppelin and Free, there is no doubt that guitarist Scott Holiday knows his way around a Gibson Firebird. While not forgetting the roots of the music, he delivers his own unique, fresh, cool vibe to the Rival Sons sound. 'Face Of Light' provides a calming ambience as proceedings draw to a close.

Mike Miley demos a short, somewhat manic drum solo before the energy, raw power and soul of the band is pulled together for set closers 'Burn Down Los Angeles' and 'Soul'.

Rarely do you get to witness original ‘70s blues rock delivered with such passion. Fifteen songs in total, all of which had the audience rocking and nodding in appreciation. For Rival Sons, the world is there for the taking.

Rival Sons' latest album 'Head Down' is available now (check out Stereoboard's review here). The band continue their UK tour tonight in Birmingham.

Rivals Sons UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

April 11th - The Institute, Birmingham (with The Graveltones and Ulysses)
April 13th - Leeds Metropolitan University (with The Graveltones and Ulysses)
April 14th - The Picture House, Edinburgh (with The Graveltones and Ulysses)
April 15th - 53 Degrees, Preston (with The Graveltones and Ulysses)
April 16th - Junction, Cambridge (with The Graveltones and The Temperance Movement)

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