Review: Hell's Gazelles – Bannermans, Edinburgh

here. The meat in the sandwich was provided by Black Tree Vultures, who had driven eight hours from Bournemouth to make their Scottish debut. Gigs like this will always throw up a band that many people might be unfamiliar with. For most in the crowd, Black Tree Vultures is that band. There’s no hiding at the back when Black Tree Vultures are onstage. Vocalist Celyn Beynon makes sure of that. Constantly making eye contact with everyone, he’s off the stage singing to people at the back, cajoling everyone to move forward, and mastering the art of splitting the room for a slice of audience participation. While Black Tree Vultures do not sound like Shinedown, there is a lot about Beynon that reminds me of Shinedown frontman Brent Smith. His mannerisms, the ease with which he communicates, getting the crowd doing what he wants and making sure everyone is involved. Musically, there are many different tastes on offer from Black Tree Vultures. You are as likely to pick up an AC/DC influence as you are Corey Taylor or even Metallica, and on current single ‘Bitter’ you will pick up all three. Expect a new EP later this year. ‘Bitter’ is immense and really shows how much Black Tree Vultures have come on since releasing ‘Sanity Isn’t Perfect’ last year. Connect with them here. Oxford’s Hell’s Gazelles won the Oxford branch of Bloodstock’s ‘Metal 2 the Masses’ competition, earning a spot at Bloodstock Open Air 2015. The following year they were runners up at Hard Rock Hell’s ‘Highway to Hell’ competition, and here lies their charm. They have riffs hard enough to survive Bloodstock, as well as the melodies and big choruses to ensure a sing-a-long at a HRH event. ‘Give Me Something’ and ‘Stone Cold’ are just two examples of Hell’s Gazelles taking the restraints off. ‘Take Your Medicine’ is the perfect example of how a band can play at pace, but not forget the all-important big chorus. ‘She Devil’ shows the other side of Hell’s Gazelles. A gorgeous fuzzy guitar tone from Nath Digman that could easily have came from a Queens Of The Stone Age outtake: modern Rock at its finest. That guitar tone though – tasty, very tasty. Vocalist Cole Bryant is a real livewire, a frontman putting everything into his performance and covering more mileage on that small stage than most do in larger halls. Like Celyn Beynon during Black Tree Vultures’ set, he spends part of it in the crowd, making sure that everyone is paying attention. He has a rich varied voice, hitting the high notes (and holding them) with ease (‘You Ain’t Nobody’), he’s like a firework going off in your closed hand – explosive. Drummer Luke Evans is also putting an almighty shift in. After a quick drum solo he batters out the unmistakable intro to ‘Overkill’ and the band goes for it. After a few verses they bring it to a halt and Evans looks spent! It’s then that Nath Digman points out that not only does Evans propel the band forward from behind the skins, but he’s just driven them up from Oxford as well as loading and unloading the van. Just as well drummers can multi-task then! As the set is coming to an end, the chant for “one more song!” leads to a few more songs. The set ends with a cover: it’s a toss up between Billy Idol or The Darkness, and The Darkness wins. I wouldn’t have minded a bit of ‘Rebel Yell’, but the popular vote goes with ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’, complete with the trademark handclaps. A Danny Dyer sized “Nutty” way to end the set. Special mention has to go to bassist Rik Ridemark, not just for his rainbow coloured bass strings or his five string bass, but for bringing a pounding low-end that shook the fillings in my teeth. Nice work fella. Three quite different bands, all from different parts of the country, all proving that live music is alive and kicking. Crucial when so many similar bands have recently took a kicking from PledgeMusic. All current live dates from Hell’s Gazelles can be found here. Review – Dave S Images – Dave J [gallery type='flickr' user_id='132278830@N06' view='photosets' photoset_id='72157689160074563' media='photos' columns='3' tag_mode='any' sort='date-posted-desc' per_page='42' layout='square' caption='title' thumb_size='s' main_size='z' ]]]>

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