Review: Stone Broken – Bannermans, Edinburgh

Friday night in Edinburgh during late July usually means several things; road closures for the impending annual hipster festival, groups of tourists getting fleeced on walking tours, and scores upon scores of hen and stag parties providing hours of entertainment for bemused locals. Providing the entertainment of a non-lairy nature, were a young British band, who just that very morning had announced news of a multi-album worldwide deal with Frontiers Music, but before Stone Broken took to the stage, it was the job of another young band to kick things off. Scottish five-piece Mason Hill play an uptempo brand of classic hard rock, which at times reminded me of Skid Row. Vocalist, Scott Taylor indeed has a touch of the Sebastian Bachs about him when he hits some of the higher notes. Mix some vibes from the golden era of hair metal, along with a touch of modern day metal (a la Alter Bridge), then you get the picture. Strangely enough, on ‘Your Memory’, Taylor echoes Chris Cornell and the genre that put bands like Skid Row to the sword. Confident on stage, and with a big, big sound, Mason Hill rattle through a short set, where ‘Survive’ and ‘Where I Belong’ particularly impress. The band are watertight, and it’s obvious that they have put the hours in. Ballsy enough to attempt a Hendrix cover, they blitz through ‘Voodoo Chile’, when they end the set with ‘Now You See Me’ they exit to a rousing response from the crowd. Definitely a band to keep an ear out for. Black Country rockers Stone Broken took to social media in the early hours to break the incredible news of their signing to Frontiers Music. The smiles were still firmly spread wide across their faces at tonight’s gig, and rightly so. Kick-ass songs with a strong work ethic will always win the day. Debut album ‘All In Time’ was released at the start of the year, and the blend of catchy hooks, big riffs, and bigger choruses seems to have caught the attention of the highly respected rock label. The album forms the core of the set with ‘Stay All Night’ opening proceedings. Lead guitarist, Chris Davis, sticks out from the Gibson crowd with his white Fender. Assisted  by vocalist/guitarist Rich Moss, he produces a wall of monstrous riffs as he cuts quite a shape on stage. Stone Broken make a big beefy sound thanks in part to the rhythm team of bassist Kieron Conroy and drummer Robyn Haycock, who has a perpetual smile on her face, even when she is knocking lumps out of her kit. ’Better’ led into one of my favourite songs on the album ‘Be There’. The simple intro sets the scene, before the band comes crashing in with another fine slab of hard rock. ’Another Day, ’Not Your Enemy’, and ‘This Life’ simply soar. Stone Broken would not look out of place at any of America’s major festivals like Rock On The Range etc.
When they broke out the acoustic guitars and the bar stools for ‘Wait For You’ the atmosphere actually heightened, as stripped back, it was clear to see how strong a voice Moss has.With Stone Broken taking their collective feet off the gas, his deep rich voice was pushed to the forefront, and impressed immensely. A quick verse of Bad Company’s ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ followed, and was quickly repeated as Moss joked that he couldn’t actually remember the second line, but no­ one minded as a full on karaoke session developed. More covers would make an unscheduled appearance, as once the band had exhausted all their material, and considered the gig over, they were cajoled by the chants of “one more song”. Moss laughed and led us through a five minute mash up of AC/DC, Metallica, Nirvana, and Alice In Chains. A rousing end to a memorable evening in many different ways… but maybe not so for the “stag” looking rather worse for wear, slumped in the corner.   Stone Broken on tour: August Sat 12 – The Krazyhouse, Liverpool (+ Perfect Crimes and Bulletproof Rose) Sat 27 – Bridgnorth Music Festival, Bridgnorth (After Dark Stage) Sun 28 – Rock Wich Festival, Northwich September Thurs 22 – The Black Heart, Camden, London (+ Feral Sun and Florence Black) Fri 30 – Fuel, Cardiff (+ Florence Black) October Sat 01 – Parr Hall, Warrington (with FM & DARE) Sat 01 – Free aftershow acoustic gig – Anima Jazz Bar, Warrington (FM gig ticket-holders only) Weds 05 – The Musician, Leicester Sat 22 – Rockingham Festival, Trent Uni, Nottingham Fri 28 – The Wheatsheaf, Oxford (+ Breaking Waves, Dead Man’s Whiskey and Guns of Anarchy) November Fri 11 – Cathouse, Glasgow Sat 12 – The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton Thur 24 – B2 @ The Brickmakers, Norwich (+ Idlewar and Florence Black) Fri 25 – The Corporation, Sheffield (+ Idlewar and Florence Black) Sat 26 – The Black Heart, Camden, London (+ Idlewar and Cairo Son) Mon 28 – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton (+ Idlewar and Florence Black) Tues 29 – The Cluny, Newcastle (+ Idlewar and Florence Black) Weds 30 – Bannermans, Edinburgh (+ Idlewar and Florence Black) December Thur 01 – Rebellion Bar, Manchester (+ Idlewar and Florence Black) Fri 02 – Planet Rockstock, Trecco Bay, South Wales Sat 03 – Stage, Basingstoke (+ Florence Black) Sat 10 – The Rock’n’Roll Circus Charity Bash – The Dolls House, Abertillery Review: Dave Stott Images: Ritchie Birnie [gallery type='flickr' user_id='132278830@N06' view='photos' gallery_id='72157671772603055' columns='3' tag_mode='any' sort='date-posted-desc' per_page='54' layout='random' ]

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