Demolition Derby is the creation of local Rock devotee Georgie “Goldie Locks” and this year’s instalment is the fourth in the series. Eschewing the manufactured pap of the likes of X Factor and The Voice, this event plays to the vast army of rock fans that lurk everywhere, but whose interest is poorly represented on television and radio. Rock always is best experienced live, unsurprisingly the Hairy Dog in Beckett St, Derby was packed.
First up on Friday were Walkway who comprise; Chris Ready (Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitar / Keys), James Ready (Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals), Alex Rosedale (Bass Guitar / Backing vocals),Joe Evans (Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals) and have supported the likes of The Darkness and Black Stone Cherry. Their influences were unmistakeable as they charged through a storming set honed over the past five years mixing covers with material from their debut album “Top Shelf Content”. They were brilliant. “Comfortably Numb” and “Sharp Dressed Man” stood out, but the tour de force was the encore of “Freebird” with guitarist James Ready soloing the night away and leaping into the crowd and going walkabout. Gary Rossington would have been as impressed as we were!
Headlining the evening were Sack Sabbath playing homage to Black Sabbath. I was fortunate enough to see the Sabbs twice in their heyday in 1976, and 1977. It was only live that it was possible to understand how the band worked. Centre stage would be Tony Iommi, musical director, ( a phrase no-one would have dared used then!), a static brooding figure, lashing out the licks with a venom a ships Boatswain would have savoured. Stage left Geezer Butler would never look at drummer Bill Ward, instead they seemed locked in a telepathic, diabolic trance, laying down a pounding rhythm celebrated best in Children of the Grave. And then there was Ozzy, cheerleader, wizard, icon and, singer, his distinctive high pitched vocals essential if they were to be heard over the growling roar of the rest of the band. It is quite a standard to live up to and Sack Sabbath delivered.
Naturally Ozzy hogs the show living up to Nick Kent’s defining description of his likeness on stage to a demented sea lion. Geezer strangely has taken to playing his bass in the style of John Entwhistle rather than in “gunslinger” mode but is no less effective for it. The set celebrates the classic years but opens with the closing numbers that Sabbath played at the time, namely “Children of the Grave” and “NIB”, I would have loved to have heard “Killing Yourself to Live” again as an opener, and for them to have walked on to the strains of “Supertzar”, but maybe another day. A Sabbath crowd know what they want, and Sack Sabbath know how to give it to them. A great show. A great night.
Demolition Derby continues on Saturday night with Towers of Stone and Metal Fatigue