Nestled in the hipsters paradise that is Camden Town is the Roundhouse, whose turn it was on April 1st to host the Rival Sons seemingly never ending tour of last year’s “Great Western Valkyrie”. The Californian quintet’s – Todd Ogren Brooks lending a hand on the keys – support act also come from across the pond, the big apple based London Souls. Like Royal Blood, London souls are comprised of just two people – guitarist Tash Neal and drummer Chris St Hilaire. Playing rock with noticeable cues taken from Cream and Led Zeppelin, not to dissimilar to the Rival Sons, they were very tight and won a fair few admirers. Unfortunately sound problems plagued the latter half of their set, dampening the enjoyment somewhat. Sound problems which even affected Rival Sons, thankfully only briefly.
The Californian rockers got their show on the road with a quartet of tunes from their latest record “Great Western Valkyrie”, the blistering ‘Electric Man’, ‘Good Luck’, ‘Play the Fool’ and ‘Secret’. Fans of their new album (anyone with ears) were in for a treat as the core of their set was based on it, with all bar two of the album’s ten songs appearing. Including ‘Rich and the Poor’ with it’s memorable aside ‘the rich and poor, that’s how people are paid. She said I’m gonna show you how babies are made’.
‘This is the largest venue we’ve ever headlined!’
beamed lead singer Jay Buchanan to the jubilant masses, and with tunes of this magnitude and the band on such superb form it is not hard to see why. Guitarist Scott Holiday and drummer Michael Miley were given their time to shine, giving solos of considerable virtuosity. Holiday’s frenetic fretwork and Miley’s impressive tub thumping left London in awe, showing that solos can exist outside 1975. The powerful ‘Open My Eyes’, another one from their latest record, set up the encore in emphatic style. Style that was continued with the anthemic favourites ‘Pressure and Time’ and ‘Keep on Swinging’.
The Rival Sons were supreme from start to finish, nothing could deter them not even the brief sound problems.