Devilskin @ Think Tank, Newcastle
Devilskin @ Think Tank, Newcastle
When I got to Think Tank I was outside locked doors at 6.30pm and I could hear them doing the final sound checks. I am not sure who it was but the chords and words were “There I was completely wasted out of work and down’. I thought to myself, is that really Judas Priest inside? It was a bloody good impression if it wasn’t.
It is the 1st time I have been to Think Tank, Newcastle and it is a nice compact venue, I would call it an up close and personal venue…..ok, small The stage only has 6 spotlights which vary between white, blue and red. As a photographer I was hoping for more white but maybe being an Atheist my ‘prayers’ were not to be answered – oh what a surprise and reds and blues prevailed. Oh well a black and white night is on the cards.
It does also seem a bit strange as I started this review at home 2 weeks before the gig but when I 1st realised I was going to photograph and review Devilskin I did a bit of homework on YouTube (As usual). The 1st song I heard in their repertoire was ‘Holy Diver’ I hoped this was not another rehash of the legendary Dio’s Holy Diver, however it was. Now before I start, RJD in my opinion is the best vocalist ever, Killswitch Engage had a cracking start to their effort before the ‘grunge’ section. Devilskin don’t do that and to me that is ace, if you are going to emulate a song you have 2 choices, sing it as it is or rip it up completely and start again, don’t just sing the best bits and make the rest up.
To me Jennie’s voice is a bit like Dio (in a bra and knickers) like a female form of Ronnie, very powerful and commanding, gravelly and perfect for that style of song. I have listened to several of their tracks and trying to work out who she sounds like, I thought Lizzy Hale but with a deeper voice. It was only when they played their set tonight; song 8 gave it to me. They played ‘Hearts’ Barracuda, they didn’t just play it, they nailed it, bang, bang, bang, coffin shut nailed it. Close your eyes and she is Ann Wilson, absolutely superb, this girl has got one hell of a voice. Unfortunately for me they didn’t play Holy Diver.
I am not going to do my usual track by track review for Devilskin but I am going to implore you to get to see these guys, they are superb and you will never get a chance to get so close to them again as the stage will be well out of reach. They did play the songs I was familiar with ‘Start a Revolution’ ‘Mountains’ ‘Voices’ and ‘Little Pills’. Added to this they revealed that they have been asked to play at this year’s Download Festival – Get in there, I am going anyway, now I have 1 more reason.
There seems to be quite an uprising in the female fronted or female only bands lately and Devilskin are right up there with the best of them. If you’re like me and have little previous knowledge of them, it’s just a superb traditional heavy rock, I won’t say a unique sound but an incredibly enjoyable sound, kind of a Dio /Heart/ Halestorm mix and the best part is although they are a big band in New Zealand they are relatively unknown over here, that means you have the opportunity to get up close and personal in smaller venues. Miss out at your own cost, these people are so friendly and approachable it’s like going out with your mates. They hang around afterwards, sign your CD’s, pose for selfies, chat face to face etc. You are really going to kick yourselves if you miss out.
Thank you guys.