Adventures in Birmingham: The Whiskey Syndicate – live music

The Old Wharf, Digbeth.

I don’t know about you but I’m always a little anxious when seeing someone I knows’ efforts for the first time. I was full of trepidation recently when I read my friend’s first novel but not only did I like it, I loved it.

So now I am quietly confident that the friends I drag – OK they come willingly, they really do – will enjoy the much anticipated Birmingham gig of The Whiskey Syndicate. Having been waiting for bassist, @roxyrich to announce a city gig via Twitter for seemingly months, I resist the urge to listen to any of their tracks beforehand, figuring I’m going regardless and live music is always a good thing after all.

But then I succumb and have a little listen via the website, just to test the decibel level after seeing a quote that have them as ‘the heaviest band in the world’. I thought that was AC/DC (or, in my personal experience the Cult, way back when) but after questioning, I have a new quote ‘reasonably loud’ – which is the best description ever!!! I would have got T-shirts made with that on if I had the time.

There are three bands to witness before TWS come on, one of them the excellent Jackpikewith a distinct Green Day influence I feel, walked through and chatted to the audience afterwards. You know I love a band with decent customer service skills so this is another to add to the ‘one’s to watch out for’ list.

Then very late into the evening, The Whiskey Syndicate come on and takeover the room, in every sense. As soon as they open with ‘Stick or Twisted’ my relief is immediate and I stop thinking ‘I hope my mates like this’ to ‘they are going to blow us away’. These guys are seasoned pros and ooze confidence with their music, ability and stage presence. They fill the stage (literally, it’s a small stage but they fill it) and if I’m not already convinced, I am when they throw in a couple of covers; It takes a brave man to do try any Led Zeppelin but my mind is made up when they achieve a slick version of T- Rex’s ‘20th Century Boy’.

You know I dislike comparing but if I must, there is a satisfactory amount of AC/DC in the mix which is always a good thing! As TWS say themselves, ‘100% rock n roll’; what’s not to like?

Why they are unsigned is a mystery, they should be playing at the O2 Academy at the very least and supporting huge arena rock acts to boot. I look forward to the day I say ‘I saw them when’ but in the meantime, I’ll take every opportunity to see them again in any size venue.

If you have an ounce of taste in you, do your musical kaleidoscope a favour and go see them, immediately if not sooner.


Likelihood of seeing again 10/10

The Whiskey Syndicate website


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