Buckcherry/B*Movie Heroes Live @ Zodiac, Oxford (UK) - 8th September 2006

If my memory serves me correct, the last time Buckcherry played the UK was off the back of their debut album, and I was stuck in work while my mates whooped it up big style at Wembley Arena watching not only Buckcherry but Kiss on the 3D Psycho Circus tour. Then when Buckcherry split in 2002 after the grossly underrated "Time Bomb" album and tour, I was resolved to the fact that I would never be able to cross them off my "gigs to see before I die" list. What a bastard!!!!

So on a sweltering September night in 2006 at Oxford Zodiac, the recently reformed line up of Buckcherry responsible for this years (well in the UK anyway) awesome "15" album, not only erased their names off, but actually ignited to my pointless fucking list. This gig was the type you know will be good from the off, a small sold out show and at only 7 O'clock already a steamy sweatbox full of people ready to rock n roll, everyone seemingly desperate to see the headliners.

B*Movie Heroes supporting on a one off basis delivered a well-played, efficient if slightly unremarkable set. Tracks from new album "Calibrate" were spat frantically from Neil Philips and Co, as the band really were tight on stage time (this venue like many others turned into a club straight after the gig). Stand out track was the very memorable "James Dean". Unfortunately this was never going to be The B*Movie Heroes night, not when most had waited 7 years to see the headliner, so sorry guys, maybe next time eh?

Hitting the stage like some bastard lovechild of Denis Leary (Mr Beebee I spotted that first dude) and Stephen Tyler, Josh Todd looks every inch the rock god he knows he is. Tattooed from head to toe with a voice as caustic as they come. The band of original guitarist producer and songwriter Keith Nelson, plus newish guys Jimmy Ashhurst on Bass, Stevie D also on Guitar and Xavier on Drums, look and sound like a troupe that has spent much of the year on the road. They sweat ice cold and sound fucking immense right from the off. Songs from the aforementioned "15" such as set opener "So Far" gel seamlessly with those from the first 2 albums and then by about the 3rd song "Porno Star" you realise you are watching a band that has sold ½ a million copies of this new album in the US and they are now playing a club in OXFORD!!!

Mid set "Crazy Bitch" seems to be the track everyone's up for tonight and god do we need brainless stuff like this in an age of PC madness. So much so a mate of ours proudly declared, "Fuck this" as he disappeared smiling ear to ear into the free sauna available stage centre. To see an air-conditioning unit on full blast yet still see sweat running down the walls of the venue will give an idea of just how involved this gig was.

In a set littered with semi obscure ("Fall") and popular ("For The Movies") songs the 75 minutes Buckcherry were on stage was a dream come true. Finishing the night off with the inevitable "Lit Up" human dynamo Josh finished off by thanking god before giving the middle finger to the man. Ummm I'm now confused albeit a very happy chappy.

After the show I met up with most of the guys and Xavier in particular was a genuinely humble dude, who thanked us for coming over from Wales especially for them. Fella, when your bands this good, distance should never be an object.

by Johnny H.

If anybody has any photos from the Buckcherry UK Tour and would like to see them in this column, drop me a line @ EMAIL