Buckcherry/Venus Guns Live @ The Night Owl, Cheltenham (UK) - 7th June 2007

In my (cough) twenty odd years of gig going, I have seen some truly special shows.

Now, when I say special you have to understand that my gig heaven list encompasses such "life throttling" events as Hanoi Rocks with Johnny Thunders, Motley Crue at Donington in '84, Venom on the Seven Dates of Hell Tour, Wrathchild At Evesham Town Hall, New York Dolls at Morrissey's Meltdown and now I am inking in Buckcherry at Cheltenham Night Owl.

The queue outside the venue was a sneaky peak of who had been lucky enough to secure tickets for this "secret-ish" Download warm up show. Guys and gals glammed up to the eyebrows made me kind of warm inside to think that nearly some 10 years after debuting in the UK, Buckcherry are finally a must see act for the "voice of tomorrow" (now where have I heard that phrase before?)

Once inside The Night Owl, the night's openers, the (very young) Venus Guns turned on a Little Caesar/Four Horseman type vibe during their short sharp set, which had this reviewer nodding his bonce in approval. Some songs did sound a tad familiar, and singer Jay is a dead ringer for Kid Chaos, but you will either love this Mind-warp music or fucking hate it. Me, I want to hear more.

Such was the air of anticipation that hung over the night's events, that when Buckcherry actually did hit the stage at a little past ten o'clock (Spice you could have made this one after all) it triggered an explosion of pent up energy not unlike one of WilE Coyote's roadrunner traps backfiring on him.

Self confessed "Big Dick Muthafucking" Josh Todd and gang were in the house, and baby tonight the house is the size of your living room.

Thankfully the venues previously witnessed (see my Enuff Z Nuff review) tiny cronky PA sound was nowhere in sight throughout tonight and by the time Crazy Bitch was unfurled mid set in all its smut soaked glory, Buckcherry were stripping paint and clothes as decibel levels reached warp factor Jive.

OK, so a large majority of the set was basically the same hit list as the last few times I had witnessed Buckcherry live, but the additions of 'Place in The Sun' and 'Borderline' are as inspired as they are essential.

When you are watching a band so on top of their game in a venue the size of your living room it just makes it so much harder to keep track of exactly what was said or played and in what order. But a special shout should go out to the guys, who played to the man, as though their lives depended on it. Thank you guys.

So I'll just leave you with a Josh Todd quote from the night, "We're all fucking animals man"…How right he is, and yet again, we all left the venue Lit Up like a fucking light bulb…Superb stuff, roll on Download.

by Johnny H.

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