As I step foot into The Garage on this chilly evening, my hopes are set high for tonight’s gig. The Graveltones and StoneRider playing together is a line-up that I made sure I wouldn’t miss. Both bands are entirely different from one another, yet similar in a way that makes sense that they should both find themselves here.
StoneRider, from Atlanta, are currently supporting Europe on their European tour, yet on a night off, managed to fit in this headline gig. Unfortunately the evil clutches of Laryngitis had hold of Matt (lead vox and guitar) which resulted in a much shorter set, which is a shame purely for my own selfish reasons. It was disappointing to see it cut short, but needs must and health is much more important.
So, let’s look at the gig shall we?
When you think of these guys, the closest comparison I can think of is White Stripes….. But you know, with an actual drummer! The relationship between both Jimmy O and Mikey can really be seen as they launch into ‘Blamin’ It On You’ which is a fabulous blues based song , filled with attitude and a crazy gleam in Jimmy O’s eyes as he strums that guitar for all its worth. The Graveltones project pure passion for the songs and it is completely infectious. As I look across the stage I can see Mikey pounding his high hat with a tambourine and one stick under arm as Jimmy O turns to him for a killer head banging moment.
Next up was a certain 3 long haired men by the name of StoneRider. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, then I would describe them as a very 70’s esque, blues, stoner rock band. In a word, brilliant! And boy do these cats know how to rock your soul…
First song up was ‘Show Me The Light’. Jason’s drums come sauntering in with a light to heavy drum roll while Matt lays a great bluesy melody down, and as the song breaks, BAM! Adam gives a high kick and is already bouncing around the stage with so much life. Matt’s guitar solo is marvellous as his fingers glide effortlessly over the fret board.
A great high energy, opening track from their album ‘Fountains Left To Wake’, perfect to get the crowd in the mood for what is yet to come.
‘ElDorado’ up next and by far my favourite track… laced with charisma, this song is definitely a journey, best taken with your eyes closed as you glide over the music as if it were like waves under you. The crowd thought the same as they were screaming for more and dancing along in time. Not one person in the place was still and I find that testament to the music itself. This track can be quite reminiscent of The Doors in the jamming style as one eager crowd member shouts mid song “Excellent, build it up!” and boy did they…. Jason let rip a brilliant drum roll/beat that lead the song to a climax and left the crowd in awe.
Last track of the night, much to everyone’s dismay was ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ as Matt says to the crowd “This is our last song of the night, we appreciate it, we’ll be back” which is music to my ears. Jason leads in on drums and the boys kick off with yet another brilliant high energy track. At one point I was surprised Adam didn’t give himself whiplash he was that lost in the moment, which is always fantastic to see.
Video: StoneRider 'Say I Won't'