Voodoo Six at The Garage, Highbury, North London. 09/05/2013
Thursday night of a four day week (thanks to the Bank Holiday) and we gather at The Garage, Highbury, North London to watch Voodoo Six play the last of their UK gigs before heading off on the summer road, supporting IRON MAIDEN around Europe.
Support from Fighting Wolves, (https://www.facebook.com/fightingwolves ) a London based rock band. I’d heard their track ‘One Minute More’ on the radio and it had grabbed me straight away, so I was glad to get to see them live.
The second support was from New City Kings (https://www.facebook.com/newcitykingsofficial?fref=ts) formerly the Suburbians, a four piece from Brentwood, Essex, this was their first gig under the new name. I have to say I was impressed by the bass lines and the frontman’s drum duet/duel.
VOODOO SIX take to the stage, no messing about, straight in to Like the Others Did from their album ‘Fluke?’ The performance is powerful full of energy, exactly what you want from a rock gig…seized by the first chord and held in its clutches for the next hour and a half.
I don’t really like making comparisons or indicating that a band sounds like another, but the influences, grooves and all round feel of this band spans so many styles, even genres in such a marvellous way it’s hard not to express similarities when trying to explain how good what you’re hearing is. Let’s just say if you like Velvet Revolver, Foo Fighters, Clutch, Thin Lizzy, Hendrix, G’n’R and I even thought of Dire Straits at moments, you’ll probably like Voodoo Six. They have aspects of Blues, Classic Rock, Funk, Metal and some almost Prog intros. Honestly, I really enjoyed every minute, as did the rest of the crowd. True musicianship.
Each member is quality, there’s no other word. Voodoo Six are Tony Newton – Bass. Luke Purdie –Vocals. Matt Pearce – Guitar. Chris Jones – Guitar. Joe Lazarus –Drums.
Without showboating there is plenty of performance and the band absolutely interact with the audience throughout. I don’t know if they make a point of playing to and getting eye contact with every member of the crowd, but it certainly feels like it.
After the first number Luke Purdie welcomed everyone and announced “We’re here to have a good night” and bosh, straight in to No Friend (Feed My Soul) pounding with great rhythm an almost ‘Foxy’ riff, naughty little drum fills and a dragging swoop. As with all the tracks, the bass is charging and the vocals are strong.
I could quite easily write about every song, but I don’t have enough adjectives.
The guys played numbers spanning 3 albums. No Friend from ‘Feed My Soul’ 2006. Tracks from ‘Fluke?’ 2010 included Long Way From Home, Like the Others Did, Take Aim, Something for You, Take The Blame and then encored with Live Again. The rest of the gig we were treated to 9 new songs from the 11 track album ‘Songs To Invade Countries To’ 2013 with Waiting in Line, Falling Knives, Your Way, All That Glitters, Lead Me On, Sharp Sand, You Don’t Know, Sink Or Swim and Stop.
Basically, to keep me happy when listening to music I want to hear key changes, travelling bass lines section changes that catch you off guard just a little bit, scale drops, time breaks. I want building to crescendos, time changes and bringing the groove back down again. I want it to cut out with a pause that makes you want more. I want guitar fills, wailing and intricate work on the fretboard. I want to hear all the notes you’ve got in a clever order that makes me think wah! I want vocals that say “Here I am and this is what I’m saying”. Strong and assertive, I want to hear heartbreak, passion, love, friendship, anger and conviction in tones which are complimented by the melody. I want to see the band are enjoying it and that they’re playing off each other, accompanying one another and those special glinted eyes when they pass on stage. If you share my demands on any of these criteria then I’d recommend checking Voodoo Six live. I didn’t go home disappointed on Thursday night.
The Garage audience participation that night saw many pointed fingers during Take Aim over the sinister bass, wailing tickling magic of guitars alongside meaty riffs running scale ranges, hi-hat and tom work.
Sink or Swim’s driving rhythm was clapped in by the crowd, guitars wept and the audience rocked.
There was some call and response which (a bit like a Mexican Wave) I think everyone likes to be involved in sometimes?! AND on 2 occasions I Wooed out loud!! They were proper woos as well, some of Matt Pearce’s guitar work had an especially bluesy soulful kind of magic and I couldn’t help myself.
The most brilliant thing was how well they worked together. Tony Newton could smile for Britain whilst knocking out some mischievous solid, almost bouncy bass lines. The way Matt Pearce and Chris Jones don’t stick to ‘rhythm’ or ‘lead’ guitar roles really adds to the dynamic and you find yourself watching both sides of the stage at different times, marvelling at what each of them are up to. I was impressed at Joe Lazarus’ tom and cymbal work on the drums and loved how Luke Purdie made his way over to the kit regularly to feel the power and then back to the mic to belt out some more no nonsense vocals, sometimes accompanied by Matt on backing vocals. There were no dud performances. Each song was delivered with ultimate passion. Fantastic!
Reluctant to let the night end, the crowd called out for more and the Voodoo Six chaps provided an encore of Live Again and we were lead to a marching, driving, rocking end. Everyone was clapping and cheering and graciously they thanked the crowd and left the stage…. Watch out Europe you lucky, lucky people!
All the best to this great band. (See below for tour dates and album release information)
Setlist for The Garage 9/5/13
Like The Others Did
No Friend Of Mine
Take The Blame
Lead Me On
Sink Or Swim
Something For You
You Don't Know
All That Glitters
Waiting In Line
Long Way From Home
Encore: Live Again
The guys are on great form and more than ready to embark on a working holiday with Eddie. The tour kicks off on 27th May in Bilbao BEC, Spain. This date also sees the worldwide release of their new album ‘Songs to Invade Countries To’ (Spinefarm Records 2013) via Universal Music. Download the double A side single Your Way/ Sink or Swim here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/your-way-single/id641384250
“'Songs To Invade Countries To' will consist of 11 tracks mixed by Tony Newton & Pedro Ferreira (The Darkness, Enter Shikari, Therapy?) and mastered by Ade Emsley (Iron Maiden, Steve Harris).”
You can pre-order the new album from Amazon. Released 27th May 2013 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-To-Invade-Countries/dp/B00CG6G99M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367517410&sr=8-1&keywords=voodoo+six
Get the V6 mobile App here - BANDAPP.COM/VOODOOSIX
If you’re going to see Iron Maiden in the next few months, start the night right with Voodoo Six, they’ll get you in the mood for sure. These dates include Sonisphere Spain (Barcelona and Madrid), Sonisphere Italy, Sonisphere France, Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium) and Download UK.
“This is a huge deal for us and an amazing opportunity to support arguably the most iconic band in metal history. We came up with the album title ‘Songs To Invade Countries To’ ages ago since we’ve been wanting to get our music across to European shores for a long time - but it’s been made a reality now that we’ve been chosen to support Iron Maiden on these dates. It’s going to be a very exciting year!” Luke Purdie
Tickets Here - http://www.livenation.co.uk/artist/voodoo-six-tickets
'Songs To Invade Countries To' Track-listing:
1. Falling Knives
2. All That Glitters
3. Lead Me On
4. Sink Or Swim
5. You Don’t Know
6. Your Way
7. Sharp Sand
9. Brick Wall
10. Waiting In Line
11. Higher Ground
Full list of Tour Dates:
Thu 9 UK, London The Garage
Mon 27 SPA, Bilbao BEC (w/Iron Maiden)
Wed 29 POR, Lisbon Atlantico Pavilion (w/Iron Maiden)
Fri 31 SPA, Madrid Sonisphere
Sat 1 SPA, Barcelona Sonisphere
Thu 5 FRA, Paris Bercy (w/Iron Maiden)
Sat 8 ITA, Milan Fiera Open Air Arena Sonisphere
Sun 9 FRA, Amneville Snowparc Sonisphere
Tue 11 GER, Frankfurt Festhalle (w/Iron Maiden)
Wed 12 GER, Frankfurt Festhalle (w/Iron Maiden)
Sat 15 ENG, Donington Park Download
Tue 18 GER, Berlin 02 World (w/Iron Maiden)
Wed 19 GER, Hamburg 02 Arena (w/Iron Maiden)
Fri 21 AUT, Graz Schwarzl Seerock
Sat 22 SWI, Zurich Hallenstadion (w/Iron Maiden)
Tue 25 HOL, Amsterdam Ziggo Dome (w/Iron Maiden)
Thu 27 SLO, Bratislava TopFest
Sat 29 GER, Singen-Aach Open Air Arena (w/Iron Maiden)
Sun 30 BEL, Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting
Wed 3 POL, Lodz Atlas Arena (w/Iron Maiden)
Thu 4 POL, Gdansk Ergo Arena (w/Iron Maiden)
Sat 6 GER, Oberhausen Open Air Ko-Pi-Arena (w/Iron Maiden)
Wed 10 SWE, Malmo Stadium (w/Iron Maiden)
Sat 13 SWE, Stockholm Friends Arena (w/Iron Maiden)
Wed 24 ROM, Plata Constitutiei (w/Iron Maiden)
Fri 26 TUR, BJK Inonu Stadium (w/Iron Maiden)
Mon 29 CZE, Synot Tip Arena (w/Iron Maiden)
Wed 31 CRO, Zagreb (w/Iron Maiden)
On first listening to Ulysses on the Rival Sons tour last year – I thought they had groove but I wasn’t entirely sure that they were my thing. I guess that I wasn’t sure of what I was hearing. Was it pop? Was it rock? Was it psych? I think the answer to that is it was all of those things.
Ulysses, for me, would appear to be a big melting pot that has taken some of the best aspects of psychedelic pop/rock and fused them all together into an eclectic showcase of an album and right on!! It’s a joy to listen to.
I’ve had ‘Kill You Again’ on constantly of late and the reason for that is it is such an intricate album. There are so many influences, tones, accents and harmonies apparent here you can tell that some real thought has gone into the structure of these songs. Sure, some of them may not sound as raw as I would like in a band, and maybe a little too considered but each aspect highlights a little more of the track, shines a bit of extra light here and there, and really opens your ears to some different sounds and some great aspects of music. I know you won’t all agree and that’s cool.
The first track that really grabs me is ‘Strays’ the third track on the album. Shane’s rhythm hooks me with a kinda variation of a Calypso/Reggae beat. Once the first verse hits, the guitars spiral off into a very psychedelic journey for a few seconds as it comes back to a chorus of delicious harmonies and vocal tones. This song, along with ‘Mrs Drawnel’, to my ears have a very Sgt Pepper feel about them – infact you could say that about quite a few tracks on this record. Tom and Luke have got some brilliantly written and bold riffs throughout. Not always feeling the need for shredding solos each note has purpose.
The next track and title track from the album ‘Kill You Again’ is a more bass and rhythm section driven song with a slightly darker tone. However I am not sure if Luke and the guys have noticed but the rhythm of the lyrics on the second part of the verse of this song sounds quite similar to Katy Perry’s ‘I kissed a girl’ – Just something I noticed ;). Something I really appreciate in Ulysses is that during this track they seem to pull all resources as they trail into an instrumental jamming journey, with spectacular rhythm changes, explosions, maracas? Gunfire.... It’s a little crazy – and I like it.
I think without a doubt my favourite track is ‘French Japanese’. No matter how many times I listen to the album – this is the track that gets me... it heads into a very slow, sassy and more bluesy feel during the verse, which is definitely where my comfort zone is. Very sexy indeed. However like most Ulysses tracks as you get settled in they like to throw a little curve ball in there which changes the pace and always for the better and more interesting. Lots of little hooks to look forward to!
Is it possible that the boys from Ulysses although written off instantly by some, are in fact experimental music geniuses?? If you listened to that question and thought “Woah, that’s a bit bold” then I wouldn’t blame you. However I would ask you this – have you actually listened to the album? Well, I can tell you at least, that while Ulysses may intimidate most as they can’t really be thrown into a box like most bands, they do have an appeal all of their own and I like that.
I have had this on repeat for 4 days now and each day my favourite track changes as each time I hear something new amongst the very cleverly structured and written songs. It’s true that I think Ulysses are very different to my usual taste but they are a different band, a different machine and should be accepted as such. They are an absolute ray of light to listen to. Please don’t just put them on once and think “it’s not for me” put it on a few times and listen to the musicianship that has gone into creating this very psychedelic musical journey. Enjoy!
All articles are © Michelle Nevill