Gin Annie / Wicked Stone / Shyyne / Matt Mitchell
Robin 2, Bilston 7/9/19
Review by; DeeDee
After a late night in Nuneaton, there isn’t much time to relax today, before it’s back onto the road for more interviews at The Robin 2. Looking forward to this show, four on the bill and it’s going to be a fantastic night.
MATT MITCHELL is playing an acoustic set tonight, the man who has had a varied career in Pride, Furyon and Colour Of Noise, is usually seen fronting The Coldhearts these days. But being the talented musician that he is, Matt is able to play a solo spot with just a guitar and still wow the audience. I hear a few from the latest ‘Matt Mitchell and The Coldhearts’, self titled album, that came out earlier this year. ‘Wave Goodbye’ has to be one of my favourites, this mild mannered and genuinely nice guy, writes some totally sincere and heartfelt songs. He leaves us with ‘Black Diamonds’ a single from the album, that was greeted with wide acclaim. Tonight he receives loud applause from The Robin audience, he will soon return as support for Inglorious and the full band are on tour with Skid Row in December.
SHYYNE go back to 2012 when vocalist Toni Gale and guitarist Mark Wilkins, met in their local somewhere in Wolverhampton and decided the world was one short of those glam and sleazy bands, that they had adored during the late 80’s early 90’s. So Shyyne was born and now have a load of gigs under their belt and a host of fans who follow them relentlessly. They are about to release a second album ‘Out Of The Sun’ and tonight we get a few samples. ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Say Goodbye’ are truly in the same vein as Shynne’s heroes such as Crue, Poison and Ratt. ‘Go Your Own Way’ is a chirpy sing along and Gale grabs a top hat from the front row, to add to his hair metal look. ‘Show Me’, ‘Friday Nite’ and ’Take Me down’ are all in rapid succession. I spot Nigel Poole on backing vocals, he’s usually behind the sound desk, so that’s a rare sight. ‘Song For The Broken Hearted’ ends the set, to cheers and steady clapping. After just supporting Vain and due to play the Steve Harris Memorial show on October 5th, the band are well in demand.
WICKED STONE have been quiet of late, the reason being they have undergone a few changes. Now 5 strong, they have been preparing themselves for the release of ‘Devil In Me’ a five track EP that you can get your hands on by way of all the usual platforms. Another change is singer Joe Hawx look, sorry girls, but he has lopped off his long locks and now, wearing his baseball cap reversed, has a more streetwise appearance. This is the first gig for the new guys, although they have played together in bands around their native Kent before.
The set list reveals songs from the new EP mixed up with some from the 2017 album ‘Ain’t No Rest’. ‘Couldn’t Take Anymore’ is the second single off the EP and we see what the new Wicked Stone are all about. More gutsy I think and with ‘Hit It And Quit It’ they start to relax and Dave Winchester begins to let his guitar scream. Drummer Olly Smith keeps a fine tempo with bassist Tom Lane, during ‘The End’ and ‘Devil In Me’ while Hawx gets the Bilston audience involved, by encouraging them to sing, he is good up front. By the time they play ’Unchained’ and ‘Ain’t No Rest’ they have settled into a proper flow. By adding a rhythm guitarist, Tom Lane, the sound is fuller than before and there are encouraging nods all round.
They return to this part of the country to play Gravity Fest in Cannock on October 19th, but check out their social pages for more show announcements.
GIN ANNIE are on a roll these days, their feet haven’t really touched the ground these last couple of years. Winning the HRH ’Highway To Hell’ award last year was probably a pivotal moment, they haven’t looked back since. With a chart topping album ‘100% proof’ and tours, festivals and shows coming from all directions, they found time to play at The Robin tonight. ’New Bad Habit’ and ‘Fallin’ get the Gin Annie fans dancing down the front. Vocalist David Foster is on form, there’s plenty of banter with the audience, well they speak with the same dialect. Constant touring has paid off these last months, as the band have improved and gained so much more confidence, ‘All I Want’, ‘Damage Is Done’ continue the melodic rockers repertoire. Byron Garbett and Brian Green, the two guitarists, are full of energy, racing around the stage and interact with the crowd, so you feel part of the action. Phil ‘Hammer’ Burrows, fast being famous for his ever changing hairstyles, plays excellent bass throughout the set. Jack Ryland-Smith is one of those drummers that amazes you with his incredible strength, as the tracks speed by, he never stops, his long blond hair swishing about. ‘Next To Me’ and the spellbinding ‘Chains’ slows it up for a while, although the barrier babes carry on dancing with hands in the air. ‘Born To Rock And Roll’ is usually the last one, but they carry on with a cover of ‘Highway To Hell’ and Joe Hawx from Wicked Stone, joins in the fun.
Having just finished a tour with Geoff Tate, Gin Annie return to the ROBIN 2 on November 9th, when they support Buckcherry.