Duff McKagan's Loaded/The Loyalties/Riot:Noise - Live @ Academy 2, Bristol (UK) 14 Sept 2008

Everyone has a pet hate live music venue right!!! It is some strange coincidence that Bristol Academy 2 just happens to be mine. To describe the agony you have to endure, as a music-loving punter in this shithole is up there with what it must be like to endure some form of sensory deprivation torture. The sound is always shite and leaves you with a blinding migraine, the view of the band is restricted to squinting through the first 2 or 3 rows, and the venue always doubles as a mixed sex sauna even before the band gets on stage, albeit sadly devoid of the racy magazines you usually find in such establishments (ahem).

But, when you're the local band with plenty of rock n roll spunk that shouldn't stop you from rocking even the shittiest of joints eh? Cue "Riot:Noise" then, to cut through the usual treacle thick sound of the Academy 2 with some finely crafted tunes set firmly in the sleaze rock camp. Recent single "Never Wrong" and its B-Side, "San Francisco" being the standout tracks amid a flurry of arena rock posturing and swarthy rifferama. With "Towers of London" now fucking off to Oasis-land all "Riot:Noise" now need is their very own "Donny Tourette" to get them ahead of the emerging pack of superb UK bands like "Disarm" and "Peepshow".

"The Loyalties" have first night gremlins, not that their joyously received firebrand punk rock n roll set is anything other than immaculately attired and performed. I've done these guys to death over the last four months and still I can't get enough of them. Cocky rapscallions to a man "The Loyalties", awesome debut "So Much For Soho" deserves to be on every "Glitziners" albums of the year list.

As "Duff McKagan" (ex "G…Oh you know don't you, why do I bother?) says himself "Loaded" are very much his band right now, and fuck it if they don't just happen to have some great tunes to set you on your way to forgetting his other day jobs. It has to be said it is to "Duff's" impeccable rock credentials that he is doing this, simple fact is he really doesn't need to drag this (great) band of musicians over to the UK at all. He could be idling his time away back in the US of A, directing ultimate fighting panda movies whilst lighting Cuban cigars with piles of $100 bills, but still he'd rather deliver white hot rock n roll tunes like "Seattlehead" and "Queen Joanasophina" to paying punters eager to hear his new stuff than seemingly fritter his life away (although you must admit the panda idea is somewhat compelling, and how else do you think they get those black eyes?).

It's "Loaded's" upcoming EP's title track "Wasted Heart" that provides one of the evenings highlights. Strung out loosley over a very "Stonesy" faux country vibe the track unfolds before your eyes, and is quite simply beautiful in such humble surroundings.In a set filled to the brim with class tunes, we got some "GNR" numbers, some "Neurotic Outsiders" and a whole host of covers, most noticably an improvised "Stone In Love" midway through a classy run through "I Wanna Be Your Dog".

The sheer strength of "Loaded" itself as a musical entity makes this whole thing so much more than a side project, and the smiles that permenantly occupy the bands faces throughout the entirity of their ninety minute set speak volumes. Yes ! Mr McKagans "Loaded" certainly is his band right now and its a band having heaps of fun, and don't they just know it.

by Johnny H.

Visit the Duff McKagan's Loaded Website

Visit the Loyalties Website

Visit the Riot:Noise Website