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Gig review: Statetrooper-Lionsheart

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BrentfordFC Stripes Bar
22 Jan 2004

This was suppose to be a 3 band bill but the first band did not show. This is rather fortunate because both Lionsheart and Woflie & I had a bugger of a time finding the venue. Wolfie & I relied on high-tech and ended in the right place but on the wrong side of a fence. Anyway I arrived just in time to see Statetrooper storm through their set, taken mostly from their new album. (Which I will review tomorrow) It was a competent and enjoyable set of tunes that I had never heard. The band is very good and deliver keyboard-heavy 80s tinged hard rock with aplomb. Gary Barden (ex-MSG), can certainly deliver the vocals, especially impressive since he admitted to me after the gig he was losing his voice because of a cold.

Up next were headliners Lionsheart, led by the mightly Steve Grimmett. Similar in presence and vocal chops to John Oliva of Savatage, he can sure deliver the goods. Featuring a tight 4 piece band backing him, the small but appreciative crowd were in for a great evening. Grimmett sang quite a few songs from both his and his band’s back catalogue, including an awesome version of Grim Reaper’s ‘See you in Hell’. Several tracks were from the new album including ‘Screaming’, ‘Nightmare’, the title track, and ‘I need Love’. There were an handful of people in the audience who knew all the tunes (inc. me) but the band went down a storm nonetheless. Ian Nash, on guitars, was particularly impressive, as he is on the CD. While our hosts at Brentford Stripes were great, one could not feel a wee bit sorry for both bands playing such a small venue. Lionsheart certainly have the talent and drive to be playing much larger venues. Thinking back to some of the cack I have seen as opening bands why doesn’t someone take these boys on tour with em’? As we all headed off into a rainy January night, Grimmett’s powerful voice still filled our heads. I can think of a hell of a lot worse things to do on a Saturday night…well worth the rain-sodden trek.

Rating: 4.5/5

NB: Thanks to Gavin of Lionsheart for both the CD and the guest-list for this excellent gig.

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About Marty Dodge

  • Purple Head

    I was at this gig on the off-chance (having just watched ‘The bees’) And I’ve got to say that STATETROOPER were absolutely superb!! I’ve not seen a british band of this quality for a long, long time… check them out!! Also, can’t believe your review of there CD… I bought a copy on the night and it is perfect from start to finnish… it’s not Heavy Metal but it’s very powerful and has great songs!! It’s good to know that British bands are still coming up with the goods!!

  • Yoshi

    I saw this band in Tokyo in 1993, and they were awesome, the line up was perfect.
    I was also at this show and well they were below average,particularly Steve and Gavin.
    Vewrey much pub rock.
    Bring back the mark 2 line up Steve.