It says much about the UK's live Rock and Metal scene that hot on the heels of a triumphant support slot around the enormodomes of Europe with Iron Maiden, the ever hard working Voodoo Six pulled up their tour bus in Dundee, Scotland, to find a small, smart venue which had, even though four bands were performing tonight, actually booked out its balcony for a leaving party...hats, balloons, nibbles and all...
What the gathered throng of party goers upstairs made of being greeted on their arrival by a Santa Cruz soundcheck that genuinely went on longer than their 30 minute set, is anyone's guess. However by the night's end, even those brimming with cake, crisps and cocktails were singing Voodoo Six's name.
First however came two (thankfully) short, and cut even shorter thanks to the soundcheck shenanigans (thank you Santa Cruz and the fumbling soundman, we are forever in your debt!), sets from local bands. One of whom, Twenty Gauge, really shouldn't be playing shows yet, while Bloodshot at least understood how to structure their Metallica meets Grunge.
Mercifully the hours and hours (or at least it seemed that way) of floor tom banging from drummer Taz ensured that Santa Cruz had a sharp sound and even mix from the off, with their high kicking, good time Hair meets Sleaze instantly likeable. Buskers, as you've probably guessed, isn't exactly big, but SC frontman Archie, guitarist Johnny and bassist Middy utilised every inch of the stage to great effect. As they did the front of stage positioned amp cases and the floor in amongst the audience; engaging an ever more enthusiastic gathering from the off. "Let's Get The Party Started" did just that, new single "We Are The Ones To Fall" maintained the momentum – even if Archie struggled a little with the high notes – while "We're Aiming High" closed in mighty fine style. Santa Cruz know exactly what they are, a shimmer-shine party band who offer nothing but a good time and while they may lack the songwriting pizzaz of say Reckless Love, there's no denying they went down a storm. For me thirty minutes was just about right, but I have to admit that many I spoke to hankered for more, which means it was job done.
Voodoo Six are a slick live beast with countless shows of all sizes and shapes under their belt, so while only half in the venue were actually there to hear their foot stomping, neck straining Hard Rock with a sprinkle of Blues and slice of Metal, there was no way that was going to phase them. Singer Luke Purdie has thoroughly settled into his role as chief rabble rouser, but it is his voice and passionate delivery that really sets him apart as a frontman of power and poise. The hard hitting "Falling Knives" set the tone from the start, imposing, snarling, uncompromising yet with hooks aplenty, something "All That Glitters" reinforced and then some. "Take Aim" raised things further but the real jewel in the V6 crown is "Something For You", with even those ensconced in party revelling mode upstairs seduced enough by its charms to filter to the floor in front of the stage. The guitar pair of Matt Pearce and Chris Jones are a mighty weapon, riffs tumbling forth, solos biting and stinging, while bassist Tony Newton and drummer Joe Lazarus have long been the driving force behind this band; the pair's ability to lay down the grooves being second to none.
Keen to promote their current album, Songs To Invade Countries To, it was no surprise that "Brick Wall", where Newton's bass-work was sublime, "Waiting In Line" and the band's new single (although Purdie had to check the set list to make sure...) "Lead Me On", took pride of place. The singer then taking the time to say how well they'd been treated by Buskers and that the locals should take care of their venue; "after all, it doesn't even smell of piss" being his parting shot! "Like The Others Did" brought the night to a close, Purdie resplendent in his bought earlier that day, William Wallace Monument t-shirt, his bandmates grinning (well in Lazarus's case gurning as he tormented his drums) from ear to ear.
Voodoo Six are one of the hottest straight up Rock acts around in the UK (and further) right now and a band with more than enough songs to invade (balcony) parties to! Their fleeting visit to Dundee was no exception.