GIG REVIEW: Airbourne, Crobot & The Amorettes Live in Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth, UK
In their early days, Airbourne were a band often taken for an Australian AC/DC tribute act. Over the last eight or so years however, they have really broken out of that perception, and become known in their own right, with some banging tracks that have made the band a must-see. With the release of their fourth studio album, ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’, Airbourne have made yet another step into the limelight on their own merit. There was something in the air at the Portsmouth Pyramids on the opening night of their UK tour, a real sense that we were about to see something special.
But before Airbourne hit the stage, we were given a palette cleanser to start off the evening, in the form of The Amorettes, an all-girl group from Scotland. The band hit the stage as people were still filtering in, the first song in their set passing by in a flash, but their second song, “Let The Neighbours Call The Cops” really showed what the group had to offer. Gill Montgomery really stood out with her vocal performance you could hear the influence of Girl School in the guitar work, as well and the crowd quickly started to get worked up. The third part of their set, “Grab The Bull By The Horns”; a very nice, pacey number that kept the momentum going and featured some very good backing vocals from Heather and Hannah McKay. Soon, the band came to the end of their set with Hot and Heavy, and right from the beginning you can hear a very clear Metallica-esque vibe to the track. It was a wonderful way to close out, with a few members of the audience even getting involved in a call-back on the chorus. Overall, the set, while short at just 5 songs, was a great opening to the evening, and The Amorettes gave a very good performance.
The next up were Crobot, a band I must admit I knew very little about, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. After a few songs, I‘ve got to say I found them rather underwhelming, and so it seemed did a lot of the crowd. Despite Brandon Yeagley bringing a lot of energy to his performance, songs from their new album such as “Not For Sale”, and older hits like “Nowhere To Hide” – which I personally thought had a very nice sound, and showed the best of Brandon’s vocals – the crowd had quickly all but turned off to Crobot and were impatient for Airbourne to take to the stage. The southern groove sound of Crobot just didn’t interest the audience the same way it probably would back in their native USA.
Finally, we came to the moment everyone had been waiting for, as the lights went down and the Terminator 2 theme comes in, building up nicely to Airbourne hitting the stage like the alcohol fueled tornado that they are. They flew straight into “Ready to Rock”, and the crowd lived up to it as they greeted the band with a deafening roar. Usually, Joel sounds amazing from the get-go, but that was not the case on this night – when he started, it was very hard to hear what he was singing, and it took until the first chorus just to be able to hear him clearly. It didn’t seem to bother the crowd, who were busy going absolutely nuts and proving that they were indeed Ready to Rock.
After two more songs, “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast” and “Chewing the Fat”, both of which were fantastic and showed the band were firing on all cylinders, and sounding amazing we got to the first track from their new album with the song “Rivalry”, and with the way the crowd were singing along, you would never have guessed it was a new track. The, after revisiting their first album with “Girls in Black”, and Joel deciding to spend some time in the crowd -which as always went down very well – we were treated to “It’s All For Rock and Roll”. The band explained that without the late Motorhead front-man Lemmy they might be where they are now, so this one was for him. “Cheers Lem” was answered by an almighty cheer, and there was something about the lines, ‘all around the world he left his mark, and his ghost still haunts the stage’ that makes you think Airbourne certainly aren’t wrong, and that Lemmy would be proud of them. The song itself certainly does sound similar to Motorhead in places again it’s another song that gets the crowd going.
Airbourne continued with a fan favourite in “Raise the Flag” before giving us the outstanding title track of the new album ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’, followed by “I’m Going To Hell For This”, both of which sounded fantastic, with the band hitting every note and really coming together perfectly on their new tracks, where they didn’t put a foot wrong all night. After an encore which consisted of “Livin’ It Up” and the crowds-favourite game of ‘who wants a beer from Joel?’ the band finished up with “Running Wild”, and one final reminder that as long as you’re alive and we’ve alive, ROCK AND ROLL WILL NEVER DIE!
Airbourne proved why they are still a one of the very best live bands around with such energy and stage presence to them and a back catalogue of songs that everyone loves. On top of that the new songs went down really well and the band themselves sound really tight and slick. Joel is a good a front man as ever there was one he knows what’s expected of him and he delivers every time. I think a band like The Amorettes have a future ahead of them if they just keep doing what they have been doing they were defiantly on good from tonight it was just a shame they only had 30 minutes to show the crowd what they were about. Crobot had an ok performance but they just didn’t win this particular crowd over despite their best efforts. Over-all this gig was a solid 3 band bill with 3 different offerings and you defiantly got your money’s worth tonight.