Rival Sons European Tour with special guests Pint Size Hero, Manchester HMV Ritz review.

Rival Sons return to the UK on a full European Tour celebrating their brand new release ‘Head Down’. Tonight their are in Manchester with an upgrade on the venue that holds 1500 people. It has recently been refurbished and now holds a title for having some of biggest names like Theory of a Deadman, W.A.S.P, Fear Factory, Evile, Crash Diet, Trivium, As I Lay Dying and now the bluesy invested rock and roll band Rival Sons.

Pint Size Hero step onto the stage performing what can only be described as fiery fueled rock. The musical accompaniment is very classic rock, where as vocals from Chris Howley give it a modern cut. His vocals are light and produced at top range with a touch of the dirt that rock and roll needs, however he could play upon this more to give the edge the sound of Pint Size Hero lacks. ‘Fever’ was introduced and it blasted it’s way through he venue that brought a lot people closer to the stage. The solo was fierce and had true spirit. Drummer Jamie Whitburn gives Pint Size Hero a blazing rhythm that is complimented from bass player Carl Bartlett. The flow of the actual performance was pretty dire, the songs were there, but the transitions between them was poor. What they need is a little charisma to bring a top level show. The music naturally fits well with Rival Sons making them a good choice for the opening act.

The venue fills as the anticipation of Rival Sons appearance greatens. Wow I can remember when I first saw them back on their first headline tour in the UK playing at Academy 3 with a pretty decent crowd but the amount of fans that have increased over a year is incredible. The lighting display becomes denser and a mist crawls across the stage as drummer Mike Miley strolls to his drum kit with a roar of excitement from the crowds. They follow on one by one until Jay Buchanan greets his fellow fans below.

Rival Sons kick off the night with their hit single ‘Pressure and Time’, instantly riling the audience up, they follow through into a groove that could only be ‘Wild Animal’. As you know they have a vintage, very edgy image and they didn’t half look sharp tonight. Scott Holiday in a black suit with a dash of silver,Jay with dull gold looking leopard print tight pants and Robin as always in a blazer with retro glasses and a flat cap. These guys have style. Jay Buchanan’s has such technique and power that even with the microphone 10 inches away his voice can still be heard resonating around the whole venue.  He emanates passion and eccentricity through his performance similar to the man himself Jim Morrison. They build up together between the transitions of songs tormenting the audience with what song is going to be next rhythmic impulses and tensions . Fans were screaming out ‘Torture’, ‘Get What’s Coming’ and ‘Burn Down Los Angeles’. There was a healthy balance with their new material and their “classics” from previous EPs and albums. ‘All The Way’ a song from their new album is one I was very intrigued to see live, it has a theatrical essence and the delivery was pure entertainment. Scott holiday creates numerous sensations that tickle through your body and the lick from ‘Run From Revelation’ makes the hairs stand up on the back on your neck. The drive of emotion comes from the beast drummer Mike Miley and he was exceptionally loud tonight and bass player Robin is the glue that holds all together with a harmonic framework and a underlying thumping beat.

They broke up the playlist nicely with slower songs ‘Jordan’ that reaches the hearts of ones that have lost and one he dedicates to his son every time ‘Face of Light’ to finish the set off. Before Rival Sons had even left the stage the horde was beckoning them back on.

Robin and Mike return to the stage with a playful build up of the rhythm section, Scott appears and kicks straight into ‘Manifest Destiny’ pt 1. The eeriness that this song gives off was captured. Jay left the stage for Scott to place himself in the limelight for one penetrating and majestic solo. They smoothed into pt 2 and to finish…the finale…’Soul’. There is only one thing left to say go and see them, if you haven’t already.

Set List
Pressure and Time
Wild Animal
You Want To
Until The Sun Comes
Memphis Sun
Burn Down Los Angeles
Keep on Swinging
All The Way
Gypsy Heart
Run From Revelation
Face Of Light

Manifest  Destiny pt 1
Manifest Destiny pt 2


About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.