There is something implacable about the spirit of rock and roll that means that it will move on through the ages no matter what happens. In many ways we do't have a choice in the matter because it is greater than any one of us. Of course, as we live our fragile lives it's far too easy to forget why rock and roll matters - so evenings like these are hugely important to our development as human beings trying to scratch it out in the twenty first century. It's a weird world out there and it's our job to keep it that way.
Mothership were up first, playing their distinct brand of rock and roll that reminds us what truly matters in this day and age. This is a band who truly get the fundamental nature of the music, and while they put out good records, they are far better live (Live At Freak Valley is a modern classic, get on it). The bands ability to communicate a vibe is impressive, and their stunning stage presence kept me rapt. As the band thundered through half an hour of badass rock and roll tunes Mothership reminded me that they always stun with the variety of their sound, at once calling forth images of Hawkwind, the MC5 and even Led Zeppelin. Simply put, this is a band who truly understand the essence of rock and roll.
I'd heard the new Saviours record but I wasn't sure what to expect of their live performance. I was impressed and charmed by their sensibilities though. This is a band who know how to put together music that speaks to the human condition and ends up sounding like a tripped out, heavy hitting, rock and roll nightmare, Saviours are not afraid to bring in a diaspora of influences, from old school blues to much more modern stuff in order to deliver a vibrant live show. I think what's important about Saviours is that even though their music is largely metal derived they very much have the look and feel of a rock and roll band which helps to keep their sounds refreshing and fun and allowing them to unleash a simply genuine stage show.
Of course Corrosion of Conformity were a highlight of the night - and really my show going year. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Pepper Keenan was born to be a rock star and his incredible stage presence only speaks to his ability to excite fans and inspire the masses. As the band belted through an hour and half of classics I was impressed with the sheer crushing magnitude of it all. You feel yourself getting choked out and beaten to a pulp with every crushing drum beat. Charismatic, powerful and endlessly exciting, Corrosion of Conformity operate fully aware of their own legacy and use it to push their unique brand of sludge to the fore of everyone's hearts. As an interesting sidebar - it's really interesting to see the range of fans the band appeals too, from the soccer moms who dug them back in the day to the twelve year old kids who were at their first show, a visceral reminder of the power of their music.
And so the night came to an end - another evening of madness that reminded us why this is the music that resonates the most and why so many of us view it as a religion. These three bands got to the heart of the matter and gave us all a chance to tune in, turn on and drop out. In a world where rock and roll is only just starting to scrabble back to life we need tour packages like this one to remind the scene that there is a lot of exciting stuff going on. So if you can, dive in and see all of these bands live, you won't regret it.
Find the bands on Facebook!
Corrosion of Conformity: https://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity/?fref=ts