Just what I like. A night out, checking out three local bands and all for less than the cost of a pint. The other plus being that I get to see The Irontown Diehards live for the first time. A band that I know of but haven’t, until tonight, gotten to see and hear live.
First up on the night was The Steven McKnight Band. I will admit up front that I know absolutely nothing about them. I’ve never even heard of them. So I didn’t really know what to expect. One thing I did notice, and was later mentioned by Steven Mcknight himself, was that the position of skin beater was being filled in for the evening by Dystopia drummer Ian McQuitty.
Steven McKnight on vocals and lead guitar, who does a stellar job at both, makes a great frontman. I really liked his gritty vocals and guitar playing. He can be a bit animated on stage which I enjoyed and you can see that this guy really enjoys what he does.
McQuitty wasn’t the only one pulling double duty tonight as The Irontown Diehards bassist Mark McCallion was doing his first stint of the evening and what an introduction to this player. What an amazing bass player.
Together as a band I thought that they were really good and McQuitty did a solid enough job as a last minute stand in. I would really love to see them again, but next time with their full time drummer, just to get a proper gage on them.
Up next was Dystopia and second outing of the evening for their drummer Ian McQuitty. This is the second time that I have got to see these guys live. The previous time being about a month and a half ago at the same venue in support of Divides Unfold.
This band have only been together for around six months and judging by the crowd, have started to gain themselves a little bit of a following. A decent percentage of the crowd seemed to be into them and I was a member of that percentage.
These guys rock hard and I especially enjoy the interaction between frontwoman Alana Faith Lucas and lead Guitarist Stephen Harrison.
The highlight of the set though was at the end with their final track of the evening “Utopia”. This was one song in particular that stuck in my mind from seeing them previously. I enjoyed their whole set, but for me, this is the standout track.
The band are sounding tighter and everything is really coming together and I’m really looking forward to hearing more from these guys.
Headliners The Irontown Diehards were next to take the stage. I personally was really looking forward to seeing and hearing these guys live. The wait was totally worth it and I certainly was not disappointed.
If you have never seen or heard these guys before and know nothing about their image, visualize Peaky Blinders cast members playing ass-kicking hard rock. Image wise, their is nothing like them around, which makes them really stand out from other bands around.
This band are so tight and really compliment each other. I really can’t fault them at all in any way. Phil Dixon’s vocals were spot on and I loved the almost theatrical and melodramatic way in which he introduced each song. Guitarist Andrew Baxter, well what can I say, other than wow.
I was blown away and seriously impressed by what an amazing guitar player he is. Bassist Mark McCallion continued on from where he left off with Steven McKnight earlier in the evening by playing solidly and consistently. Eamon Lenehan rounded things up by playing with great drive and rhythm.
All in all I had a great night with great music and three bands I look forward to hearing more from and seeing again.
Review & Photography by David Stewart for metalplanetmusic