The word legend is banded around quite freely, but is it always worthy, well tonight that word is in all definitions quite true as we are in audience to legendary singer songwriter Graham Bonnet from his work with Alcatraz featuring future guitar legends Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen to his stint as lead singer with rock gods ‘Rainbow’ featuring another guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore, but filling the shoes of Ronnie James Dio was never going to be an easy task. An unfortunate event of self exposure put an end to his Michael Schenker collaboration. However all that is past and this is very much the future and present of a fine vocalist indeed with the release of his new album ‘The Book’ a two cd mix of new material and also features a rehash of some of his finest work. The New ‘Graham Bonnet Band’ features some mighty fine musicians in Conrado Pesinato, Guitars and Beth-Ami Heavenstone on Bass.
So first up was ‘Firegarden’ a mighty fine rock outfit based out of Sheffield, being first up is always going to be a daunting task for any band, but these guys handled it with a cool swagger and delivered although a short set there was enough time to see these guys are deadly serious about their passion for the music and fans, as they went through ‘Circle’ ‘Borderline’ ‘Firebird’ with a deep ‘Deep Purple’ influence their blues infused funk/prog rock was a pleasure to the ear ‘Mad Queen’ and Choose You Own Adventure’ closed their set, if you have not heard of these guys then check them out their new album ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ is a killer, they are destined for bigger things and will be around for a long time to come.
Welsh rockers ‘Void’ were next up and as they kicked off their set announced ‘We Have Not Had A Soundcheck, So We Will Take It As It Goes’ well with that in mind the ‘Void’ guys came blasting out of the blocks with ‘Say My Name’ ‘Forever Yesterday’ the vocals were spot on and the band was tight, although the crowd was a little subdued the ‘Void’ guys as did ‘Firegarden’ previously rocked with as much spirit and desire as they possible could muster stopping only to announce ‘ if you have any money left stop by the merch booth and we will do you a deal’ before launching into ‘I Told You Nothing’ ‘Let Me In’ soon followed. A catchy footapping headstomping ‘Zero’ was the set closer, again with only a short time slot to impress but ‘Void’ certainly didn’t leave any gaps unfilled look out for these guys near you a band you most definitey must see, there will be great things ahead for these guys.
Veteran rockers ‘Chrome Molly’ were next to hit the stage, and aside from a few slight sound issues kicked off in great old skool rock and roll fashion and were into full swing with ‘Shooting Me Down’ a track written by ‘Slade’ proudly announces singer ‘Steve Hawkins’, was blasted out with a real passion as the guys warmed the crowd with as much zest as a dozen football sized lemons, ‘Somekind Of Voodoo’ a track from their upcoming new album ‘Hoodoo Voodoo’ released next year was an all out rocker as ‘Short Sharp Shock’ and ‘Supercharged’, They really looked like they were enjoying their time on center stage and havn’t lost a bit of their desire and passion for the music and putting on a show, age is all but a number and there is no slowing these guys down, as we blasted into ‘Save Me’ a track written about being stuck in the kitchen of a party with a twat exclaimed chief protagonist ‘Hawkins’ there was another balls to the wall rocker ‘Thanks For The Angst’ before set closer ‘Corporation Fear’.
At last after a slight delay it was Graham Bonnets turn on stage, just what we have all been waiting for and straight off ‘Eyes Of The World’ ‘All Night Long’ brought a huge response from the crowd as Graham struggled a little with some sound issues and the fact he and guitarist ‘Conrado Pesinato’ have been suffering with a rather nasty illness that has been going around the band first started by bassist ‘Beth Ami Heavenstone’ even though you could see a slightly drained and maybe tired graham he gave everything to his performance as not to let the fans down a true legend the songs came thick and fast which included tracks from his new album release ‘The Book’ which is an outstanding album, mixed with some old classic fan favourite tracks from Grahams career with some of the best rock outfits which are also rehashed on disc two of the latest album, ‘Night Games’ ‘Dancer’ and ‘Desert Song’ were great to hear live with this new band guitarist ‘Conrado’ making things look easy as he did a rather impressive impression of some of the finest guitarists of the last 35 yrs and handled it with ease ‘Conrado’ himself will be added to that rather impressive list. All night Graham apologised for being a f*** up with his illness, and to be perfectly honest he sounded amazing and put everything he had into making it a special night and that we must thank him for. Another new track ‘Rider’ about old guys at 80 riding harley davidsons proclaimed ‘Bonnet’ before crowd favourite ‘Since You Been Gone’ ‘Assault Attack’ followed, the set closer ‘Lost In Hollywood’ had everyone in fine voice icluding ‘Bonnet’ who once again apologised for being out of sorts but its great to be back in the Uk, while ‘Bonnet’ may have struggled to put out a performance, he did just that and we all went home very happy at seeing a music legend at work backed by a very highly talented band.