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Black Veil Brides + D.R.U.G.S + Reckless Love @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 24 March 2012

Review for Birmingham Live! Pictures: Katja Orgin.

Clad in black, leather and chains, black spiked hair, oh and don’t forget the face-paint – tonight in a warm Wolverhampton, all the way from Hollywood, California, comes the crazy world that is the world of the Black Veil Brides.  It’s the highly anticipated re-scheduled date, after lead singer Biersack had an argument with a drum riser, sustaining concussion and a broken nose at a Luxembourg gig last year. 

The Black Veil Brides consist of Andy Biersack on vocal duties, Ashley Purdy on bass, Jack Pitts lead guitar, Jinxx on guitar and Christian “C.C.” Coma on drums. 2011 saw a series of accolades on the back of their second studio album ‘Set the World on Fire’ including MTV Favourite Breakthrough Band and Revolver magazine 20 best albums of 2011. This is part of a seven day run that sees them throughout the UK, tonight here in Wolves it’s a sold out gig – tickets just £15.

First up support comes from Finnish glam metal band Reckless Love. I didn’t get there in time to catch them – but if you want to find out more – check them out on their website.

Up at 8.30 – D.R.U.G.S (acronym for Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows) – an American post hard core rock band formed in 2010. Debut album ‘Sex Life’ was released on the 22nd February 2011 – lighter in parts but still full on rock featuring addictive choruses. Live they are far heavier – and tonight are very loud and very screamy, with a commercial twist. And they get the crowd screaming too. Clearly the “new” rock breed, full of youthful angst – vocalist Craig Owens is energetic, leaping around the stage getting the crowd fully engaged in clapping and singing along. He climbs on the security railing, a walking balancing act – singing above the crowd, “That’s one of my favourite shirts – ripping it off my fucking body” – he’s shirtless now – much the girls’ delight. “One last time – make some fucking noise – we are D.R.U.G.S.”. Half hour set of energetic, heavy, addictive full on rock – with great stage craft from the boys – these guys won’t be playing the support fiddle for much longer. And just to add to that – when I escaped, Owens was out the front, by the merchandising stand, having his picture taken with fans.

Wolves Civic is, and always has been, a great venue. It’s high ceiling gives space to a mid-sized venue, and it’s a pleasure to come here to a sold out gig and not feel crammed in like a sardine. And there’s always a good vibe here – cosy, yet not claustrophobic. Tonight’s audience is very young and full of face-paint (girls and boys – some more successful than others) and they start chanting – “Black Veil Brides, Black Veil Brides, Black Veil Brides” – it’s 9.15pm – they really should check out the twitter feed for when the band is due on – 9.30pm. And bizarrely, as we wait, the speakers play out Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice”….

So after lots of chanting, screaming as the roadies do a full on, serious, rock gig sound check (the drums are gonna be loud tonight)  – then to a massive eardrum exploding scream from the crowd, and on time, on come Black Veiled Brides, to hundreds of hands in the air, half of them capturing the moment on cameras and phones.

Black Veil Brides are a big stage band – Biersack encourages the screaming fans and they lead off with  ‘New Religion’ followed by ‘Youth and Whiskey’ –  the whole band are hugely energetic, full on rock n roll. “Wolverhampton – we are the Black Veil Brides – been a while since we’ve been here – you fucking okay?”  After a couple of tracks we’re presented with ‘Rebel Yell.’ Yes that track originally done by one Billy Idol. A faithful and direct cover version – with twice as much drumming – the drummer “C.C.” clearly thinks he’s Tommy Lee (as shown even more by the blindfolded drum solo later in the set)  – and he is indeed highly proficient.  And to fit the rock n’ roll image – there’s all the sexual innuendos you would expect – the band “dressed” in black, well – from the lower torso down – just about.

“This is from our first record – last tour before we start making another record…” and an ‘exclusive’ hint that the new album with go “back to basics” and we’re into ‘Children Surrender’.

Biersack is certainly an enigmatic frontman – energetic, giving it all – “I have a confession – I’ve fucked up the entire setlist – this one called ‘Love Isn’t Always Fair’” and next up more chat –  “Wolverhampton – this is one of our favourite shows in a long time – if you follow me on twitter – think should have more songs which are hygiene-based – this ones called I want Shampoo”(aka ‘God Bless You’) an “in” joke with his twitterati.

A complaint that there isn’t enough bras and panties on stage “this is a rock n’ roll show you know…” For the lead in to ‘The Legacy’, we’re told they’re here for all the “outcasts” and that the one thing they stand by is “…in this life you can either fall by the wayside or you can leave a fucking legacy…”

Well the one thing that you would not say about Black Veil Brides is that they are original. They are the bastard offspring of KISS and Motley Crue – that is clear – and they have taken every single element and brought it to 2012. From the make-up, the glam rock n roll persona for the ladies and smaltzy expletive ridden “are you having a fuckin good time?” – they have taken the template that made the original bands multi-millionaires. In saying that – they do a hell of a job of it – they are great fun – and if you like your rock on the glam face-painted side, then they’re for you. And they’re hugely professional and very talented. The world of rock goes in cycles – so is it really time for good fashioned old glammed up rock n’ roll to re-appear? Whichever way it goes – it’s great to see a new generation rising up to bring kids into the world of rock n’ roll baby. So look out Black Veil Brides, and for D.R.U.G.S, ‘cos I’ve a feeling they’re about take on the world.

KISS sang “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” way back in ’91. They certainly gave it to the boys of Black Veil Brides. In bucket loads.

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Listening:

Black Veil Brides: Set The World On Fire [2011]

D.R.U.G.S.: Sex Life [2011]