RavenEye Live Gig Review
Jan 23, 2016, Rebellion Manchester
By ~Maggie Wright @FullMetalRock
The highly anticipated return of RavenEye to the UK scene may have been met excitedly by their hometown crowd in Milton Keynes. But Manchester greeted them as Rulers of Rock in a gig like no other. On January 23, 2016, Manchester Rocks and Rebellion Manchester hosted a lineup that exemplifies why this city is the epicentre of live rock, not just in the north but in the whole of the UK.
Commencing with Voodoo Blood, a newly formed blues rock band that should be on everyone’s radar, this was a night of intense music, culminating in a performance by RavenEye that raised the bar and then some.Voodoo Blood, fronted by Kim Jennett, was mesmerising from start to finish. It was almost easy to forget that there was a band behind her; Chris Norris on bass, Sean Owens on guitar, and Will Lewis on drums. Jennett delivered vocals with the power of Janice Joplin combined with ethereal movements that transfixed the audience. But that should not take away from the talents of the band, particularly that of Owens. I will be following this band with keen interest.
The crowd was then completely warmed up for the the headliners by the dudes from Devonshire, Reigning Days. Recently recognized on music television by the likes of Kerrang and Scuzz, this trio, Dan Steer, Jonny Finnis, and Joe Sansome, are not only supporting RavenEye on their UK dates, but are also going on to support Detroit heavyweights Wilson for their UK tour. Hearing them live for the first time it is completely understandable that they are in such demand. Their set introduced me to a sound they have been developing for the past three years, and it was incredible. I definitely will be seeing them again, and it just goes to prove why it is worth turning up to gigs for the opening bands. After all, they’re the ones who we’ll be buying headline tickets for in the future, and I suspect Reigning Days will be one of those bands!
The crowd was so pumped for RavenEye, there was a buzz around the venue. You could hear “RavenEye”, “Oli Brown”, “Kev”, and “Aaron” all being brought up in conversations as I walked through the room, all in raised voices over the music coming through the loud speakers. RavenEye delivered a blistering set of thirteen songs that must have took the guys beyond their own thresholds for performance.
Starting with Gonna Take, RavenEye played out of their skins. Normally I expect a couple songs before a band gets into their stride. Perhaps the time spent on tour with Slash ft Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators did far more than just give the guys tours experience. Performing like seasoned headliners, they rocked the house with the new songs as well as the established ones from the “Breaking Out” EP. Smoke, in particular, left an impression on the fans, as they continued to sing long after the song finished.
For Me, Nobodies Soul mad a huge impact. Oli Brown, singing without his guitar, with an Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam sound, just blew me away. With Aaron Spiers, bass, and Kev Hickman drums pounding the rhythm on this song, I cannot wait for it to be released. Likewise with Home Sweet Home with the tight vocal harmonies.
Musically, this band has it all and then some. Hard hitting riffs, powerful vocals, thunderous bass and intense drums are not unique in this industry. But the way these three guys combine to deliver it, and the writing talents of Brown, makes them something uniquely wicked. And they do it all without gimmicks. Their live performances are beyond comparison. The chemistry between them is so intense, at times I almost felt like I was eavesdropping on a private session. Yet they went out of their way to make you feel a part of it. Not only did Brown hop off stage into the audience for a guitar solo during You Got It, but during Hey Hey Yeah, Brown got on Spiers' shoulders while BOTH of them played in the middle of the crowd! RavenEye makes you feel like you are a part of the set, not just an observer.
If you live in the UK, you MUST catch RavenEye, because it is an experience for the record books. Those lucky enough to have seen iconic bands like Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, at their beginnings have an experience to boast about. That is what it will be like when people look back on experiencing this tour. RavenEye are THAT good.
Oli Brown: lead vocals, guitar
Aaron Spiers: bass, backing vocals
Kev Hickman: drums, backing vocals
RavenEye Set List:
Get It Started
Come With Me
Wanna Feel You
Oh My Love
Home Sweet Home
Hey Hey Yeah
You Got It
Remaining UK tour dates with support from Reigning Days:
Jan 29 Fuel Club, Cardiff
Jan 31 The Musician, Leicester
Feb 4 Waterfront Studio, Norwich
Feb 6 Marrs Bar, Worcester
Feb 7 Bannermans, Edinburgh
Feb 8 They Cluny, Newcastle
Feb 11 The Horn, St. Albans
Feb 12 Greystones, Sheffield
Feb 13 Diamond Rock Club, Ballymena
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