TNT – Camden Underworld – 30/11/12
It’s never easy opening at 6.45pm on a Friday night, but since the Underworld had a club at 11pm, NeonFly, Stampede and TNT were on a tight schedule to finish by 10.15pm.
Credit has to go to NeonFly for the show they produced. The crowd topped 50, which, for a band that has toured with Magnum was perhaps a little deflating but they never gave that impression. Vocalist Willy was dynamic and engaging with a fantastically powerful and emotive voice. The synchronised head-banging looked at times rather silly but at least it came across as rehearsed and part of the show. There were no airs, graces or unnecessary arrogance – this was a band that plays for their enjoyment as well as the crowd’s. Unfortunately the sound was rather cluttered. I would attribute this to the Underworld’s system rather than the band’s performance; though the band’s recorded backing tracks didn’t help. They crammed a lot into 30 minutes, including their latest video track A Gift To Remember – a moving power-metal track that NeonFly performed to a T. A band that is great live with a raw and edgy sound.
Stampede is a British rock band that have been around for as long as headliners TNT. Vocalist Reuben Archer showed what a great voice he has, making me wish I’d heard him in his heyday, and the band gave a tight performance. The sound was clear and definitive, thanks in part to guitarist Laurence Archer’s characteristic sound. They had a friendly rapport with the crowd and put in lots of effort to make the performance one to remember. The songs weren’t all to my liking; Missing You, Humble Pie and Moving On were just some of the tracks from the band’s repertoire but I almost felt like the songs weren’t up to the performance. They’re enjoyable and talented band and while you won’t exactly be raving to your friends if I saw them on a bill I’d get there in time to see them.
Wow. TNT. If I said they were all they’re cracked up to be I still feel I wouldn’t be doing them justice. Guitarist Ronni Le Tekro, the only original member, played with a passion and zeal that almost seemed to control his fervent performance. And he is one heck of a guitarist. His instrumental was short enough to be sweet while cramming in technique that still allowed the solo to flow coherently. It was great to see a live keyboardist instead of silly recorded backing tracks. Vocalist Tony Mills proved he still has the lungs of his Shy days though maybe not as enduring or as powerful. Still, he was taken aback by the loyalty of the fans and how many knew the words. Hits like 10,000 Lovers, Intuition and Caught between the Tigers took the Underworld by storm while the band’s later tracks were received well. On the whole, a very warm and energetic appearance by a band that is clearly gifted both in musicianship and performance. Don’t miss out if you get the chance.