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ConcertsRival Sons @ Institute, Birmingham, UK, 04/11/2013

Posted on Friday, April 12 2013 @ 15:16:51 CDT by Dean Pedley
Heavy Metal Another month, another Rival Sons tour of the UK…these Californian rockers have pretty much taken root across the pond since being picked up by metal label Earache Records at the end of 2010. With 2012's Head Down having gatecrashed the Top 20 of the album charts there is no shortage of admirers for their twenty first century take on good old rhythm and blues. With Birmingham's Institute transformed into the Temple of the Rival Sons, reporting from the altar for Sea of Tranquility is staff writer Dean Pedley.

When Rival Sons take the stage after a lengthy introduction it is as if the 1980's never happened. The Long Beach quartet simply brings on the heat and burn the house down to the very last brick. The outstanding Head Down has provided them with such strength in depth that they can play for more than ninety minutes and there are still notable omissions from the set list. (Screamin') Jay Buchanan may be suffering with a throat infection but he is in no mood to leave the Birmingham crowd short-changed and you can feel his pain as he rises to the occasion for stellar moments 'Face of Light', 'Get What's Coming', 'Jordan' and 'Soul', the latter of which finds him howling into the mic like a man possessed.

Chess Records may have been out of service since the 1970's but is surely the spiritual home of this band as they weave gospel, soul and jazz into the fizzing blues stomp of 'Keep on Swinging' and raise-the-roof reverb of 'Pressure and Time'. Buchanan provides the voice and the soul but at the very heart of their sound is the ultra-cool Scott Holiday grinding out the riffs; and when you add the ruminative rhythms offered up by Robin Everhart and Mike Miley then Rival Sons are, without a doubt, the real deal.

Raw, primal and inspired…this band is simply getting better and better.

1. You Want To
2. Get What's Coming
3. Wild Animal
4. Gypsy Heart
5. Torture
6. Memphis Sun
7. All the Way
8. Until the Sun Comes
9. Jordan
10. Manifest Destiny, Part 1
11. Keep On Swinging
12. Pressure and Time
13. Sacred Tongue
14. Face of Light
15. Drum Solo
16. Burn Down Los Angeles
17. Soul

Review by Dean Pedley
Images by Rich Ward of Classic Rock Photography -

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