Home Gigs Gig Review : Midnite City : Atlas : Takeaway Thieves Yardbirds Rock Club, Grimsby – 26th Feb 2022

Gig Review : Midnite City : Atlas : Takeaway Thieves Yardbirds Rock Club, Grimsby – 26th Feb 2022

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Review & Photography by Paul McGowan for MPM

For the first time, in quite some time, I am again heading to Grimsby and the Yardbirds Rock Club with some trepidation.

Whilst the dreaded COVID restrictions were about I have been informed that the owners have done a complete remodelling and overhaul of the premises.

Anyone who knew the old Yardbirds knows it was a decent, though slightly small, rock venue which could certainly tell a few stories. Upon my arrival, having held on to my teeth and sanity, driving along the officially condemned A180 into Grimsby, there is absolutely no change to the outside of the venue.

Upon entering, I instantly notice a complete transformation. The bar is still on the right wall and that’s where the similarities, with the old club, end. Double the space means double the capacity, A two tier room, completely refurbished and a raised stage that stands magnificently commanding the far end of this new space. A state-of-the-art lighting coupled to a new sound system make it a formidable space. Yardbirds v2.0 is one that could now exceed anything in the region for quality.

First up are Takeaway Thieves, a five-piece rock outfit hailing from Blackpool. Many support bands simply walk on, heads bowed and after a quick hello start up.

Well, the Takeaway Thieves do no such thing. There’s a confident swagger as they walk on stage, accompanied by a most delightful intro through the PA, a quick good evening and they are off.

Drawing from their debut album ‘9’ the band simply steam roll through their set. The sound is rock, fused to a distinct undertone of punk.

There’s a two-pronged guitar assault on your ears with Neil Hunter and Ben Gibson churning out meaty rhythms whilst Ben throws in stunning solo’s with an almost consummate ease.

Rick from the Last Great Dreamers is standing in on drum duty and the drums are solid, with a confident flair, whilst ably accompanied by the quite animated Adam Hall on Bass. Fronting the band, with his rasping vocals, is Peter McLoughlin who is clearly in his element, which shows.

Every song is quality and sadly, it’s all over too soon, though with the superb ‘9’ now available I can only see these guy’s regularly ringing the swagger to a venue near you.

Next up are Atlas, again a five piece band, though with just the one lead guitar and the added dynamic of a keyboard player, James Thorley.

Atlas are polished and, other than a couple of minor first song sound issues, they quickly show why they have the main support slot tonight. The sound is melodic rock subtly blending with AOR influences and delivered with a passion that is clear to see.

There are hooks and melodies galore, with focus constantly switching between the guitar of Howard Little and James on keyboards. This is all ably supported by the solid bass of Christian Redfern and Ryan Riggs on drums. This quality classic rock sound is all topped off with the superb vocal talent that is Craig Wells, who also has the canny ability to muster an audience to rock.

The band storm through an eclectic set of their material, including from their 2017 debut EP, that seems an age away thanks to a certain pandemic. Notable moments such as their first live play of ‘We Are The Fire’ and the sublime ‘Human Touch’ make this a memorable set for all the right reasons.

The band finish with a double header of ‘Flesh & Blood’ and ‘Breathe Me In’ which leave the crowd wanting more.

Atlas has a distinct sound, coupled with a quality presence on stage which could easily see them climb through the ranks at pace.

Lastly, we have the superb Midnite City headlining the last night of their “They Only Come Out At Night’ Tour, supporting the release of their third album ‘Itch You Can’t Scratch’.

This is unashamed hair metal that is delivered with all the combined attributes of the bands before them, packaged up and delivered at railgun velocity.

As the intro starts, stand in drummer Ryan (Atlas) is already behind his kit and ready to fire. Miles (Guitar) and Josh (Bass) then bounce onto the stage, closely followed by Shawn (Keys) and explode into ‘We Belong’. Lastly Rob (Vocals) enters the fray, grabbing the crowd by the unmentionables and the fun begins.

The band steam through a total of 14 songs, chosen from all across their available catalogue. Rob never stops moving, covering every inch of the stage throughout every song, delivering a quality vocal whilst engaging with the fans, with eye contact and fist bumps galore. The entire band are smiling from start to finish and this positivity and energy clearly transcends to the audience.

The new material is cleverly mixed with the established and even the likes of ‘Girls Of Tokyo’, only available as a bonus track, is played and raucously received by the crowd.

It could be said that there is just a brief slow down which see’s Miles and Shawn have a musical duel during the set, but even that was engaging and gave both the chance to showboat their talents.

The whole set is a roaring success, by a band on top of its game. As the last song ‘Give Me Love’ gets motoring the band are joined on stage by both Atlas and Takeaway Thieves for a venue rattling sing along and final tour bow.

If you missed them this time, don’t miss them next time.

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