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ConcertsBlackberry Smoke + Million$Reload @ Bodega, Nottingham, UK 03/01/2014

Posted on Monday, April 07 2014 @ 03:02:27 CDT by Dean Pedley
Concert Reviews Since signing to Earache Records in the UK (Home of Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement) anticipation has been furious for these sold out Blackberry Smoke gigs. The Southern Sound has sure made a revival over on these shores so tonight I was about to witness what all the hullaballoo was about.

Irish Rockers Million$Reload have been a little quiet recently so it was great to see and hear them back on stage where they truly belong. With a 'seasoned' audience, their Classic Rock sound went down well, Phil Conalane certainly has stage presence and a great set of pipes to boost. With some excellent solid riffs that sure got the head nodding, Million$Reload made all the right impressions, great stuff.

The weather is unseasonably warm for Nottingham in March, it seems that Blackberry Smoke brought some of their Georgia hospitality to this crammed out venue. Squeezing onto the compact stage, what I was about to witness was nothing short of perfection in every way. A set of 17 songs drenched in the sweat of lead man Charlie Starr soon had the room alight with the boogie and groove of their Southern Country vibe. 'Six Way's to Sunday' and the glorious 'One Horse Town' from their recently released album 'The Whippoorwill' had the crowd transfixed. Many would argue that Skynyrd does it better but I would argue there's enough room for them all, especially when its done to perfection like tonight. With the increasing temperature in the venue it's not until near the end that the air conditioning is finally switched on, much to the delight of the band.

The delicate guitar flurries complemented by the fat groove and subtle keyboards ensured that the sold out venue got exactly what they expected with interest. Seeming impressed by the rapturous response, Blackberry Smoke certainly left their impression on all who witnessed tonight's Southern Fried delight.

Words & Pictures by Mark Davies

(An exceptional thank you goes to Emma Bardill of Earache Records for her monumental generosity).  

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