KING LIZARD, IMPERIAL VIPERS, FERAL Islington Academy 03.05.09 (Gig Review)


Islington Academy 03.05.09


This band is not an opening act, so what the thinking was behind putting them on first at 6:30 is beyond all sense especially when you consider that the next two bands were not even rock!
Still ever the professionals they took to the stage in front of a pretty packed house (and not all their fans had made it at this time) and for the next 30 minutes blew the academy away with a standard of music that some might say is far in advance for a band so young!

What i really noticed tonight was their musicianship,with some quite outstanding guitarwork from Martin, it was the first time i had really taken this in as to how much work he puts into his playing.the same is also true of laurence (the other guitarist) is is no chord merchant but someone who plays the guitar with passion and style, let us not forget the bassist James who flys up and down the fretboard, unlike a lot of bass players who tend to stick to the bottom string and finally Tom on the drums who is in danger of drawing comparisons with a young Bill Ward and John Bonham.

They closed their way too short set with a storming version of "Truth Is Lies" with a guest vocal from Jaz of Man Of Kin, it was one of those great headbanging moments and the ever increasing audience loved every second of it.


The glam/punk rockers totally packed the venue.Currently touring to promote their recent album 'Broken' they played an energy fuelled set mixing the old with the new and ending with a cover of Motorheads "Ace Of Spades".The band were a welcome relief after the indie crap that was before which had emptied the venue to the bar and smoking area and managed to get the evening back on its feet and dancing.


A while ago i said to Flash that it was time for them to "up their game" and toinght they once again proved that they have with an impressive performance.
After the intro tape London's monsters of rock take to the stage and go straight into "Waterloo rats" then proceed to tear the place up with classic song after song, while the newer "Viva La Decadance" is a stand out track with it's catchy chorus.

After Niro's guitar solo we get the first real hint of true greatness.I have to say that the rock ballad "Not For me" will in the future be hailed as an all time classic rock song, its up there with Motley Crue's 'Home Sweet Home' and Guns N Roses 'Sweet Child O Mine' it is that good and tonights rendition was perfect.

A few songs later and we hit another future classic with "Riot", tonight we get to hear Flash's piano intro as recorded for the debut album played on tape (Gotta do it live man) then Alice starts that wonderful bassline that sounds like the Doors 'Riders On The Storm' before nodding to Alice Coopers 'Im Eighteen' and then it's pure Lizard all the way with slow bits and heavy bits and of course a sing a long.
They end with a storming version of "Late Nite Dynamite" and an encore of "Johnny Be Goode".






Anonymous said…
Good to see the story really deserve them. Band number one. Rock with a vintage. Wish you all greetings
Anonymous said…
Adi koren
Mick Wood said…
Well the whole idea was cross genre , 14+ to get the kids into ALL kinds of Alternative music, also with King Lizard being as big as they are (and Im sure they have "upped thier game" on your advice) there are not many bands in thier specific genre, either worthy or available to play with them.

You also have to realise that as co - promoter I watched eachband, and the crowd reation and had privvy to the gate figures so your account on the other 2 bands is not as Isaw it (and remember the line up order was in place from the point of view of the bands overall popularity within thier own scope of fans).
Surely the point is that with a mixed bill like this its a celebration of MUSIC and a chance for smaller bands to be exposed to a wider audience and take a day off playing the huge toilet ciruit (which I would applaud as it gives exposure too - but who wouldnt want to play the Academy without having to pay2play).
All the bands and fans seemed happy, certainly all of them collected additions to thier fan base and the day was a sucess.
King Lizard do indeed "rule the roost" hence thier headline status - any "chicks" the "Mother Hen " Flash and the boys can give a leg up to were greatful, warm and content.

Stu said…
Bands worthy of kl support..Mercy House, Kitty Lips,Green River Project,Roxville,Generation Graveyard.And thats off the top of my head.
But i have no intention of getting into a war of words with you over this or anything else for that matter, there is enough shit flying around as it is.

However cross genre gigs dont always work you can have glam to death metal on the same bill but indie has its own rules,if those bands were supporting Kaiser Cheifs they would have been better recieved, as it is the first band only had one single row of fans and the other band about 2,i dont think the metal/glam crowd even noticed them.So im sure the gate figures were okay but punters taking note was minimal.

As i said mixed bills dont always work, this one didntin my opinion but the bar takings during their sets were no doubt very high.
Good on you for not doing pay to play, total respect there from me (not that u give a shit what i think).

Bottom line 3 great bands, good gig !
Anonymous said…
Well Stu, i actualy do give a shit what you think as part of the scene and i thank you for your praise.pay2play is simply evil.
I think the whole bill is subjective,depending on who you talk to.i know sombody in the headline band thought Floors n Walls were amazing and a great band to have on the bill,The Krak have frequently associated musically and as Gemma and Claire were from the sorely missed Sufrajettes it kind of made reply to your list of bands,again id say half of your list would suit,and some were not available.
Dude,i think that healthy competition has been confused with bitch fighting here,i applaud what you do and in particular this site that allows anyone to debate the bands we love/hate or are in-different to. I strongly agree with your observation on Feral (they and Man Of Kin are the new breed for sure) and congratulate you on your words.
Keep The Loop Loud.