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King Billy Rock Bar Northampton, Five Band event


King Billy Rock Bar Northampton, Five Band event

Sunday 9th June 2018

Welcome to the King Billy, a music pub in Northampton that for years now has been entertaining crowds courtesy of Blackbush Promotions and the hard work and effort of Mr Andy Green, promoter, soundman, roadie and musician himself, he provides music week in and week out and has at times had big names here such as Uli John Roth (Scorpions), and Wildman Chris Holmes (Wasp). Three or even four times a week he endlessly works his ass off to keep the Northampton punters happy.

Today we had five, YES five acts on, over seven hours of entertainment: 1 covers band, 2 tributes, and two original acts.

Starting off with American multi-instrumentalist Jason Achilles Mezillis along with his uber tall drummer Forrest Adam Mitchell he plays piano, bass, and numerous guitars throughout his set looping together the sounds brilliantly to create a progressive sometimes even acid rock sound and the transition between each work he does is incredible and the rapport he has with his drummer produces a really interesting atmosphere. Having played here recently Andy managed to fit in a short set for him today due to the amount of bands on, but his talent and musicianship definitely shone through and his thirty-minute set seemed to fly by. He is also a producer and records bands in the U.S.A., he has played with Vivien Campbell and Doug Kershaw and is currently promoting his solo instrumental album Comedown.

Second act is the covers band Black Rose Society, yawn, “not another covers band” I hear you say, but this isn’t your ordinary covers band: this year they celebrate thirty years playing together and are currently sorting out an anniversary gig in early December and getting the previous members back to play again, OH YES and did I mention that lead guitarist and singer is none other than Andy himself in just one of the many bands he plays in.

Third and should I say fourth acts of the night: a Simple Minds tribute and a U 2 tribute, Alive and Kicking & U2+1, with all the members being in both bands and authentically producing the sound of each one.

The final act tonight was Empyre, four guys from Brackley who sound better and better every time I see them, Henrik, Did, Grant and Jack, are difficult to put into a genre, which is what I love about them. They play hard and heavy rock, progressive, Indie and a beautiful ethereal melodic sound from Henrik’s and Did’s guitars, clever bass work from Grant and hard and heavy drum beats from Jack all go to create this special sound they make. One minute you’re headbanging, next they slow the tempo completely down and you’re just standing there hypnotised listening to the beautiful vocals of Henrik, on songs like Stone or the haunting Only Way Out. Having just played with female rockers Tequila Mockingbird on the Friday, tonight at the Billy they were showcasing new songs from their long-awaited album: hopefully due out at the end of the year or early next year and from what I have heard everyone is in for a treat. This band goes from strength to strength and as I have said before if you like your rock just that little bit different you can’t go wrong venturing out to see this band somewhere on the road.

Well done Andy and Blackbush, another awesome night of music and fun at the Billy.

King Billy Rock Bar Northampton, Five Band Event

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Review by Dave Martin

Photos by Ladygigger