BPREVIEW: Alter Bridge @ Genting Arena 27.11.16

Alter Bridge @ Genting Arena 27.11.16




Words by Michelle Martin

On Sunday November 27th, Alter Bridge will perform at the Genting Arena in Birmingham – with support from Gojira, Volbeat and Like a Storm.birm_prev-logo-main-lr

Alter Bridge at the Genting Arena is presented by Live Nation – tickets are priced at £34.55 +booking fee. For direct gig info, including online ticket sales, click here.

Hailing from Orange County in Orlando, Florida, Alter Bridge comprises of Myles Kennedy, Brian Marshall, Scott Phillips and Mark Tremonti. Philips, Tremonti and Marshall were former members of rock band Creed, who disbanded in 2004.

Having taken a hiatus from touring across 2015, Alter Bridge started writing and recording their fifth studio album, The Last Hero, late last year – once again working with the band’s long standing producer, Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette. Beskette has produced every Alter Bridge album since the BPREVIEW: Alter Bridge @ Genting Arena 27.11.16band’s sophomore LP, Blackbird, in 2007.

Released on October 6th 2016, The Last Hero has received a widespread thumbs up from both critics and metal fans alike, with Chad Childers (Loudwire, Ultimate Classic Rock) praising the LP for being ‘darker and more political in nature’. A big record, the only real negatives came from the album’s intensity and power, with Dom Lawson (Metal Hammer, The Guardian) calling it ‘relentlessly bombastic’.

But The Last Hero is Alter Bridge’s third top ten LP, reaching a very respectable No3 in the UK Album Charts. Plus we can’t imagine the Genting Arena crowd having too many complaints about something being ‘much heavier and more overtly metallic than their modern arena-rock peers.’

The album’s lead single, ‘Show Me a Leader’, was released on 26th July 2016 – with front man, Myles Kennedy, stating “Lyrically, it reflects the frustrations that a lot of people are feeling with the current state of the world. The world is looking for trustworthy effective leadership and not this undignified dog and pony show that’s really made a mockery of our system.”

‘Show Me a Leader’ – Alter Bridge                      

Alter Bridge announced a tour supporting The Last Hero Tour in summer 2016 – playing seven dates across the UK, from Manchester on 23rd November to Glasgow on 1st December, before heading to mainland Europe for six more dates this side of Christmas. Alter Bridge then tour North America and Canada across February 2017, before heading on to Australia in April.

Alter Bridge will be back in Birmingham for one show at the Genting Arena on Sunday 27th November, with support from Gojira, Volbeat and Like a Storm. For direct gig info and online ticket sales, click here.

For more on Alter Bridge, visit www.alterbridge.com


For more from the Genting Arena, including full events listings and online tickets sales, visit www.gentingarena.co.uk

For more from Live Nation, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.livenation.co.uk


ALBUM: Wild World – Bastille


Words by Ed King

I once (half) joked that Bastille wouldn’t be able to release a follow up album until Dan Smith had another relationship break up. After all, the phenomenally successful (and catchy) Bad Blood was a litany of growing pains and heart ache – what could he (now they) pen 10+ more tracks about if not rooted in appropriated teen angst?

Well, the day is here. Festival showcases have been drip feeding the music consumer masses new material, and now, on September 9th, in the year of our lord 2016, Bastille are back for Act II. Wild World is out on general release, with a string of high profile live dates to ram it further down your oesophagus – starting at Festival No6 and Bestival, ending at Newcastle’s Metro Radio (nee Telewest) Arena in November. And that’s a big fu*king room.

“Our second is about trying to make sense of the world around you, both as you see it and as it’s presented to you through the media,” explains Dan Smith – courtesy of Bastille’s Wild World press release. “It’s also about asking questions of the world and of the people in it. We wanted the album to be a bit disorientating – at times extroverted and introverted, light and dark.”Wild World - Bastille

‘Disorientating’ isn’t how I’d describe Wild World, but it certainly jumps enough from pole to pole to keep your compass spinning. Much of Bad Blood (and I won’t base this review in comparison) began life as a solo endevour, with raw melodies and dairy scribbled lyrics that felt inherently personal – this was part of what made Bastille’s debut LP so endearing. That and crack cocaine melodies.

But from the first few bars (and Kelly LeBrock/Weird Science quote) of ‘Good Grief’, the sophomore’s opening track, you can feel the husky driven horde of production dragging it uncomfortably through snow. Is that funk, pop, soul? Is that a Vanilla Ice bass line? I’m still not sure what it is… and by the time the obnoxiously radio friendly chorus kicks in I’ve stopped caring.

‘The Currents’, track No#2, starts equally as confused – a speed garage rasping bass line, staccato string sample, and lyrics that feel like sloppy copy mélange from the ghost of LPs past. 2 x 3 ½ min rounds in and I’m beginning to get annoyed.

Then a stripped back return to the keyboard ushers in ‘An Act of Kindness’; Smith’s mournful lament over ivory begins simple enough, before reverbed vocals and staggered layers sets up a stormer of a new track. And I mean new in every possible sense – this is not Bad Blood Bastille, this is not a quick fire amalgamation, this is new. New and good, oh so fu*king good. By the time the second chorus kicks in I am driving down the motorway shouting the words at my dashboard.

The rest of the album follows a similar vein – some swings, some misses, some balls knocked out of the park; Wild World is a fourteen track career expansion, with a major label agenda clearly stoking the coals.

‘Warmth’ is an odd attempt to fix political commentary (…hhhmm) over a Casio backing track and 80’s party anthem, whilst ‘Send Them Off!’ is a staggeringly punchy anthem (out as a single on Oct 7th) which straddles a right hook chorus with pin point body blow verses. All kinds of awesome.

Bastille‘Power’ begins as a litigiously brave homage to ‘Friction’ by The XX, before becoming as awful and obvious as you can get with sample rock riffs leading the charge. ‘Blame’ falls into the same electric six string trap; not a bad song or melody, but lost in the confusion of an 80’s production portmanteau.

Then you have the gloriously bluesy ballad ‘Two Evils’, which sticks to its uncompromising steel guitar guns for the full 2mins 46secs. ‘Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)’ follows the same suit, but more James Bay than Chris Isaak; neither will make Playlist A but they’re both reassuringly mature and well crafted songs.

Overall there are a few too many oh-so-clever cultural reference points in Wild World for my liking, and the overarching complaint is too many cooks – but as follow ups go, this is a pretty successful release. ‘Disorientating’, if you say so… I’ll stick with confused.

But something is clearly clear with Wild World – Dan Smith has more than a debut album to offer the world. And the world should listen.

Bastille needed to move away from the piano led laments and solo screams to become anything bigger than an epitaph to Bad Blood, and their ‘tricky second album’ is a strong move forward. It is a successful return to the public domain, one that will work well live, and with enough creative development and Radio One potential to balance both sides of the music/industry see-saw.

And as far as I can tell, no Valentine’s Day cards were hurt in the process. Job done gents, job done.

‘Send them Off!’ – Bastille

Wild World by Bastille is out now, on general release through Virgin Records.

For more on Bastille, including online sales & full tour details, visit www.bastillebastille.com