Clap of Thunder Rocks Colston Hall Bristol
Colston Hall, Bristol we made it through the chaotic traffic that was conspiring to make us late. We overcame and were there to see the first band in a smorgasbord of styles on offer tonight. With three bands it was going to be wall to wall guitars, vocals and keyboards with King King, Terrorvision and THUNDER!
What a start King King are not a bottom of the bill blues rock outfit. Thirty minutes are just not long enough we wanted more of Alan Nimmo’s honey dripping vocals that pour over his guitar strings. They made the best use of the time, chatter kept to a minimum they let the music do the talking. One thing for certain they made another phalnax of fans tonight, who will want to hear the band again very soon – you are in luck they are back on tour – checkout dates and venues HERE. King King are more than a little bit special they are a quartet of talent. King King are a band that celebrate each other’s abilities, thus the musical depth is greater than the sum of the individual inputs. Kilted and dazzling as ever front man Alan Nimmo adds the shining finishing touches to the surround provided by his musical comrades. The keys add lead breaks and curlicues of chords to every track thanks to Bob Fridzema, and the rhythm section, drummer Wayne Proctor and Lindsay Coulson on bass adding yet another tonal layer to the King King’s rising blues Rock Banner. What an opening act! We wanted more but sadly was not to be appropriately squeezed into a whistle-stop tour of King King songs was Hurricane kicking up a storm before Thunder, and then Bristol had a chance to sing with Rush Hour and You Drive Me Crazy. King King came and once again excited and royally conquered Bristol with blues rock that appeals and thrills every time.
What an efficient turn- around equipment taken off the front of stage and Terrovision were set up and ready to take over the baton handed to them by King King to entertain.
Terrovision, a band from Bradford not one I have heard much of so intrigued. Would they be terrifying or a visual delight? It turned out they for me were neither! For me they just did not connect in my musical lexicon. They were a letdown following the opening set. They delivered a set of high-octane power rock-pop, many fans in the audience were delighted with the antics. The second keyboard player of the night, who kept rocking the keyboard into a strange angle which added nothing the sound. Terrorvision definitely infused the high energy set with powerful riffs. Tony Wright fronting the band cavorts across the stage delivering his vocals whether on Discotheque Wreck the opening number right through to the expected songs in the set. The fans loved the trip down nostalgia road – My House, Alice and What’s The Matter. The set was showmanship over substance why take your shirt of Tony it added nothing to D’ya Wanna Go Faster as he leaped around the stage. Thankfully he did put another shirt on. Terrorvision fans were delighted they understand what Terrorvision are about musically this metal-pop just did not ignite.
Another quick set change. Entering the stage to Edgar Winter on the PA followed by a clap of thunder! Danny Bowes and Thunder under a blaze of lights hit the stage in Bristol the applause, shouts and whistles were thunderous. The atmosphere just got hotter and hotter the energy and the thrill of the audience was uniform from the front of the stage up through into the seats upstairs. Starting the show with Wonder Days, title track off their current nostalgia drenched album. Danny had complete control of the crowd generating an electric atmosphere that he continued to re-fuel throughout the set.
Thunder is a band that refused to fade away, they have a fan base that is alive, well and growing this is the renaissance of a much underrated rock band. The reward a top-ten album, chart topping DVD and sell out shows – Colston Hall was sold out months ago.
Danny’s vocals are superb as he spits out the lyrics and then throughs in a gentler side. With his long-time partner in music Luke Morley on guitar. Adding into the Thunder mix that blew up a storm are one of the most popular drummers Gary ‘Harry’ James combined with Chris Childs the rhythm is assured. We still need a another layer of tones so who else could fill the role it has to be multi-instrumentalist Ben Matthews who not only plays a splendid cowbell his true role is guitarist and keyboard player. Fantastic to see him back on stage after his brush with Cancer.
This is not a strutting testosterone fueled rock band. Thunder want to have some cheeky fun, they want to have a rock fest of joyous energy. The set list was laden with songs from Wonder Days. There was also time to revisit past glories including River of Pain from the 1995 Behind Closed Door album and further back Like A Satellite. The crowd whooped with delight and earned a chiding from Danny as he smiled and said “you’re not helping”. Despite the passage of time, which Danny referred to his vocal prowess has not diminished with the passing years. He is unarguably on of the finest rock voices on the circuit today.
Luke Morely played with his characteristic way, tasteful considerate and never overwhelming the band. As Danny Bowes left the stage the acoustic was his chosen guitar with a gentle number fitting neatly into the set a juxtaposition to the rest of the evening. The interlude was short-lived the Gibson flying V tool over the voice was back and the band picked up the rock tempo with a flick of the lights adding more power to the set Rock Conquers All. The Colston Hall crowd loved every maneuver Danny used to get them participating the sparks between stage and audience were as intense as an electric storm. The cowbell added to I Love You More Than Rock and Roll, and Ben used the bell for a short while in the next track before casually throwing it towards the back of the stage where it was deftly caught. Picking up the guitar the bell was silenced.
The noise rose and rose as the demand for an encore was screamed, stamped and shouted for and the enthusiastic and happy audience was rewarded with Serpentine from Wonder Days and the inevitable Dirty Love.
Thunder tonight, played a magnificent set of classic rock sparking with lightening of guitars and keys and the thunderous power of ‘Harry’ on drums. SUPERB!!!