Home Gigs Gig Review : Florence Black – Bed Of Nails Album Tour 2024 Support from James And The Cold Gun and Black Lakes Tramshed, Cardiff

Gig Review : Florence Black – Bed Of Nails Album Tour 2024 Support from James And The Cold Gun and Black Lakes Tramshed, Cardiff

20 min read
Comments Off on Gig Review : Florence Black – Bed Of Nails Album Tour 2024 Support from James And The Cold Gun and Black Lakes Tramshed, Cardiff
0
937

Review by Gary Spiller for MPM

Cath Pulag, the monstrous black cat of fabled Welsh legend, the vanquisher of nine score warriors, surveys the scene.

From upon its lofty airy plane, high above the Welsh capital city it watches and patiently waits. At altitude greater than even the loftiest of its native peaks, with the towering edifices of the city centre the tiniest of specks way beneath, the gigantic feline knows the time of reckoning approaches.

Betwixt the mighty feline and the cityscape, the crepuscular daughters of the blackout mark time silently amongst the ragged skies. They too know the clock shall strike at the juncture noted for the arrival; the incoming of the triumvirate of rock n’ roll souls anointed. Only these three can define their ceiling, the achievements thus far are but the beginning of their potential.

Ten days of touring, up and down the full length of the UK, Florence Black conclude matters in the finest style with a sold-out homecoming show at Cardiff’s Tramshed. However, it’s not the first time that Merthyr Tydfil’s finest have achieved this feat having maxed out this venue’s capacity back in April ’22 with the third edition of Steelhouse’s Awayday. The sky truly is the limit as, without the assisting leverage of a record-label, the rising continues unabated with, the previous day, sophomore album ‘Bed Of Nails’ thundering into the coveted number one slot in the UK Official Rock and Metal charts.

There’s much to eulogize and to be raise merriness for and here in the heart of the Welsh capital, alongside the lifeblood waters of the River Taff, for one evening Cymru will rock.

Throughout the tour self-proclaimed “South Wales’ Loudest” James And The Cold Gun have added powerage whilst, in a praiseworthy initiative, local bands of high repute have been gainfully employed in the nights’ opening slots.

This evening the opening baton is, deservedly, handed to Chepstow nu-metallers Black Lakes, hotfooting it southwards having supported South of Salem in Buckley the previous night,to make up a Welsh 1-2-3, as if we required reminding that this particular region is highly fertile in terms of hard rock and metal. This quintet has been gaining considerable traction in the past couple of years since the release of their phenomenal debut album ‘For All We’ve Left Behind’ and are on the verge of despatching new material.

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity states that ‘Time is relative’. From this observer’s frame of reference the next half hour passes in the veritable blink of an eye, as rapid as the speed of light itself. From the moment tribal skeletal hands grasp beneath the pummels of glinting long-swords as the mist swirls during intro ‘Exordium’ right through to set-ending cannonade ‘Dissident’ the Tramshed is captivated.

“How the fuck we doing guys?” roars, as way of greeting, expressive vocalist Will Preston as the band power into the frenetic ‘Avarice’. Prowling cowled bassist Lee Harris stalks the backline whilst flanking will twin demon fretworkers Scott Bradshaw and James Rowlands pour every ounce of their soul into the delivery. Drummer Dafydd Fuller capably underpins the entire scene with seismic percussive of which Thor himself would be justifiably proud of.

There’s little time to draw breath with the anthemic strains of ‘Verity In Flames’ coupling to broiling cataclysm of ‘Fragments’. Ever-expanding the Tramshed gathering give a strongarm welcome. “I look out and see some Black Lake shirts, that’s cool” notes Will between tracks. It’s a healthy barometric merch reading that speaks volumes.

Ever ethereal ‘Ghosts (Of Our Memories)’ possessing of opulent guitar tonage uplifts afore the bone pummelling ‘The Divide’ lays waste to this corner of Cardiff. There is no doubt from my vantage point that Black Lakes have welcomed further members to the ranks of the ‘Blacklist’, their core of fans.

Whilst the opening act have triumphed so main tour support James And The Cold Gun conversely, in their allotted 35 minutes, sadly, fall some what flat. The Tramshed’s response, on the whole, is lukewarm at best and muted at worst.

It’s not without effort from the band themselves as they power through their seven track setlist with feverous kinetics but with their energies focused upon proving their self-proclamation of being louder than anything else in South Wales the overall result is a merging of tracks into one amorphous blend daubed gaudily upon their metaphorical wall of sound.

Having supported both tonight’s headliners in 2022 and, last year, Those Damn Crows James And The Cold Gun’s collision of 21st century indie rock and 70’s punk clearly has fans upon high. In fact, on my first two times of catching this Pontypridd-based hi-energy outfit, in Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea, I was left suitably impressed. Not quite so this evening, however.

“We got one job and that’s to warm you up for Florence Black!” rallies frontman James Joseph as he raises a glass to the crowd before launching headlong into the cascading gallop of set opener ‘Seven’, craned in from 2022’s debut EP ‘False Start’. Through the punky miasma the buzz sawing ‘Chewing Glass’ shines through enigmatically but you can sense a pervading bewilderment within the Tramshed.

It’s an aural assault with the rip-roaring ‘Cheating On The Sun’ and the pounding dynamics of ‘Something To Say’ doing their level best to stir life out front. Even stand-in bassist Luke and guitarist James Bliss’ crowd invasion during the set-closing ‘Long Way Home’ is received, by and large, as a contrived act. I feel for the band, but it appears to have been one of those nights. Out front of a partisan audience who are there to welcome home their conquering hard rocking heroes it’s been a case of running before the Lord Mayor’s show. One to notch down to experience as better times await for sure.

By the time, firstly, Perry ‘Perk’ Davies, then Jordan ‘Foz’ Evans and finally Tristan Thomas, the three high-explosive components that comprise Florence Black step forth from stage left onto the shadowy environs of the Tramshed stage the venue is rammed. There’s more room in a tin of sardines of that there’s absolutely no doubt! The overall consensus is that no-one I speak to has bore witness to a fuller sold-out Tramshed gig; looks like our headliners will require a larger venue the next time they play Cardiff! Did someone state that rock n’ roll is no more? Doesn’t appear so here inside the Tramshed tonight!

It’s been over two and a half years since their debut lp ‘Weight Of The World’ set a terrifyingly high bar but based upon tonight’s showing then the follow up ‘Bed Of Nails’ threatens to well and truly eclipse all that has preceded it. There’s no requirement for gimmicks or trickery here; a furthering of the elements of light and shade tempered with a firm hand upon the gear lever and a well overseen foot upon the accelerator ensures complete control of all levels of output.

Horns aloft pounder of skins Perry saunters on-stage followed, in similar fashion by his low-end partner Jordan before Tristan barrages “Let’s go Cardiff!” The resonant intro is swiftly overpowered as the trio’s uncompromising despatch kicks right into gear.

The Tramshed, as threatened, broils over with cogent powering emanating from the PA as titular track ‘Bed Of Nails’ gatecrashes the party. Already one can sense an upgrade throughout Florence Black, it’s as if their engine has been remapped and every sinew is straining at the leash to be despatched.

Unrelenting in its mercy heavy metal viper ‘Start Again’, the first single off the new lp, has clearly cemented its place within the live set remaining as exciting and vibrant as last year’s initial outings. The glorious battery, another level to any previous tours, continues apace with the aptly entitled ‘On The Ropes’ leaving the thronging crowd reeling in absolute pleasure. A returning heroes’ welcome has been given. In truth Tristan doesn’t need to enquire “Cardiff how the fuck we feeling tonight?” The expressions throughout tell the story.

‘Solid 9’ is a meaty beast that snarls and snaps voraciously keeping the Tramshed upon its toes. “Can you motherfuckers bounce?” asks Tristan, sweat beading on his forehead. Loud and most certainly proud ‘The Deep End’ gets the rank and file punching the air unified, electricity courses and crackles. Dedicated to “Our ol’ friend Romesh!” the hard driving anthem ‘Look Up’ seems set to be a crowd favourite for years to come.

With his silver Les Paul shimmering both audibly and visually Tristan emits a triumphant “Fuck yeah” surveying the mayhem post-despatch of the rampaging ‘Taxman’. The gentler melodies of the wholly delicious ‘Warning Sign’ – my clear favourite from ‘Bed Of Nails’ and equal in every way to the magnificence that is ‘Black Cat’ – replete with soaring uplifting lyrics and its underpinning coruscant vibrancy. The instant singalong contagion of ‘Back To The End’ ensnares with ease prior to a Pink Floydish mid-set interlude.

The 110% bonafide anthem that is ‘Black Cat’, chockful of Celtic resonance and beefed right up, takes us, in an instant, to those windswept hills and mountains of Bannau Brycheiniog. Impassioned the lyrics “I love the way you call my name” resonate on the highest of mellifluous planes. “This is the best show of the tour!” declares Tristan, not one dissenting voice is heard.

Saluting the opening riffs of the rip-snorting ‘Can You Feel It?’ Perry points his sticks in the direction of his guitarist before settling back to pulverise his kit. The rich tones of ‘Rockin’ Ring’, towering and pugnacious to the nucleus, buzzsaws its way into the soul with Jordan demonstrating his appreciation to a packed Tramshed by raising his saluting horns; such is the respect between band and fans. A behomothic battlebeast rendition of Budgie’s classic ‘Breadfan’ threatens structural damage off the Richter scale prior to ‘Bird On A Chain’ and ‘Zulu’ setting the night ablaze.

“I don’t want this gig to end!” proclaims an animated Jordan, a blur of hair and energy throughout. It’s a surefire thing that no-one wants a conclusion to proceedings either. As with all good things there, however, must be a closing chapter and the unmistakeable intro notes of Planet Rock favoured ‘Sun And Moon’ signal the closing act of this wondrous performance. If there’s a track more deserving of Pink Floyd admiration then I’ve yet to hear it; ‘Sun And Moon’ is destined for setlist longevity here on planet Florence Black. Davies, Evans and Thomas, Welsh in name and essence, have come and conquered. Make no mistake about it this is a band in the very ascendency; it’s just a question of time before we recollect the ‘intimacy’ of nights like this!

Photography by Kelly Spiller for MPM

Load More Related Articles
Load More By admin
Load More In Gigs
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Vomit The Soul Announces New Album; Drops Brand New Single & Music Video 

Italian death metal vanguards, Vomit The Soul have today announced their latest auditory o…