an early start tonight, its pissing it down with
rain outside, the academy is refuge from the outside
world, after much uncertainty about whether i
was doing this gig or not, thankfully it all came
good in the end! Thanks Trigger!
First up and on early at 7pm was two piece rock
band Little Fish, an unusual choice, but they
went down well with the soggy Birmingham crowd.
They opened with 'Your dress' not a bad opener
and gave the audience an idea of what they were
in for, for the next half an hour of rock, with
juju on the guitar & vocals and Nez on the
drums. Juju, she had a decent voice, a bit rough
at times but good non the less, and her guitar
playing was excellent, a mix of decent lead an
rhythm playing. 'Whiplash' the second song they
played another decent song, seemed fast paced.
One thing i noticed was the sound tonight was
decent in the venue. Nez the drummer, his playing
wasn't bad either, it was simple but effective.
After they closed with 'Am I Crazy' they received
a decent applause from the crowd who were now
nicely warmed up for Alice in Chains.
Alice in Chains, a band from my youth, I was
disappointed that i never saw them when Layne
Staley was still alive, simply because by the
time i could afford to go to gigs, it was too
late! But enough of memory lane, AIC open with
'It Aint Like That' a fairly slow but heavy song,
got the crowd going nicely, the vocals were spot
on too, couldn't fault it! An early surprise and
only 3 songs in was 'Them bones' quite possibley
the one AIC song pretty much everone knows, still
sounding great after all these years with its
chugging riff, the crowd also adding to the vocals!
Later on in the set they bring it down a notch
by entering the Acoustic part of there set, opening
with 'Down in a Hole', hearing it live so much
better than the album version, the vocals again
stellar, and Jerry Cantrells guitar playing still
excellent as it was all night long, not sure he
made any mistakes tonight. There were some technical
faults tonight though, first effecting William
DuValls mic after 'Damn that River' then it was
Mike Inezs turn briefly during the acoustic part
of the set but that was swiftly solved. Bringing
it back to the heavy again was 'God Am', which
the crowd really got into as the crowd surfing
started, and even the odd mosh pit opened up too.
Closing the main set was Man in the box, pretty
much the definitive AIC sound! and Jerrys solo
is still killer! Coming back out for the encore
they open with Lesson Learned which is followed
by a personal favorite of mine 'Would' then the
one most of the crowd has been waiting to hear
and sing along to was 'Rooster' complete with
crowd vocals as they sang pretty much the entire
song. An absolutely fantastic performance, and
worth the wait for me for sure, cant wait to see
them again along with the rest of the crowd which
was heading back into the rain to cool down!
If you are yet to see Alice In Chains then you are in a bit of luck as they are back to play a couple more shows at the start of December and you will be able to catch them at the following.
06/12/09 Nottingham Rock City
07/12/09 London O2 Academy Brixton
Little Fish – 4/5
Alice In Chains – 5/5
Review By Robert Lawrence