London - April 28
Before this tour, all of Slaves To Gravity's live performing has been done without an album to tour. They'd released two singles, but that was all the material fans and potential fans had to go on. Now the album was out, with another single and a full UK tour to support it.
Excellent, grooving hard rock band iMMa, named after their energetic front-woman, delivered what could be summed up as Skunk Anansie style rock over King's X riffs. A hugely entertaining combination which deserved a far larger crowd than the few who had turned up early. They set what was to prove an unattainable level for main tour support act Grand Volume to match. Although starting out with an excellent progressive opener, and a big-riff follow-up, they proved, by way of a disappointing Queens of The Stone Age-style romp, to be a rather flat progressive-indie act, whose songs, with the possible exception of the first two, never really did their technical ability justice. A classic case of support bands in the wrong order.
Slaves To Gravity's live set echoes their album; the good songs are great and the rest are mostly quite boring. Obviously with only the one album's worth of material to draw from, plus a couple of b-sides, this was somewhat inevitable, but bands can sometimes make weak songs sound stronger in a live environment. Not so this time.
One of their truly great songs, Heaven Is A Lie was used to open the set, which meant there weren't going to be many highlights to come for next hour or so. They followed that up with second single Meantime, another strong track. Excellent first single Big Red was saved until toward the end, and as such the middle of the set started to drag a little. Third single Mr Regulator really isn't on parr with the first two, so it's presence didn't really do much to revitalise the energy levels lost after the first two songs.
A couple of songs have some nice riffs (Too Late, Gutterfly) but lack the quality of the stronger tracks, and the absence of album closer Rosa & The Ocean Blue, an Alice In Chains-esque acoustic track, was disappointing. There's a lot of potential in Slaves To Gravity. They have an ear for a good riff and a catchy song, but too much dabbling in run-of-the-mill alt-rock lets down both their studio output and live shows at the moment. Worth keeping an eye on in the future though.
“ started to drag ”
Setlist: Heaven Is A Lie / Meantime / Too Late / She Says / Gutterfly / L.G. Halo / My Poor Hand / Mr. Regulator / Doll Size / Big Red / Pluto / Burning Robe
Photo(s): Andy Lye
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