What a way to rock a “Thorsday” in true rock n roll style, with the return of Mr Gilby Clarke. Kicking off his Australian tour right here in the city of Bris Vegas, Gilby promised us a rock show, and we got just that.
Arriving a little late to catch openers Devine Electric, the buzz from their apparent rocking set was well felt on entry, which is awesome and the guys certainly looked like they were on a rock n roll high. There were a lot of high-5’s for these guys, so keep an eye out for them, as the vibe was that they brought the rock early on.
Valhalla Lights pull no punches with what can only be described as tight and carnivorous sound of T-Rex proportions. The GC/Byron rockers impressed with a huge wall of sound, topped by soaring vocals from a lady that can hold her own and is not shy to cut loose on the big notes. The melodic rock fans of the universe would be most pleased to hear this gal rock. The band is an impressive unit with a shredding guitarist, and a tight rhythm section between the bass and, if I may say, monolithic drums that thundered throughout the bands set, with a merciless conviction rarely seen by these eyes. The band has some solid song ideas going on, and the audience approve well at every chance. It’s the slower moment of “Beautiful” that captures and defines this band as their pinnacle moment entwined by the sweat drenched intensity delivered with truth in the way this song comes across. The passion was felt and the band took their performance to another level that won the crowd right over. With a set of rock finesse from the openers, the main act quietly made its way out the back in an almost ninja like style, and the people were ready, as soon as these guys hit the stage to tune up.
The lights dimmed, the noise grew and Gilby Clarke made his way to the stage, yelling, “What do you say Brisbane?” The crowd screamed back and were ready to be taken to school by a true rock icon. The set was a real jam fest, and the look of fun on the band’s face was so obvious and fantastic to see, as they jammed at every opportunity. Gilby quotes to the Brisbane crowd, “It’s only Rock n Roll(But I like It),” as they launch into said song and got the crowd singing along to the Stones classic. Clarke was gracious and shared his passion with the audience, showcasing songs from his illustrious career, as well as songs that he’s inspired by. Playing the Rockstar Supanova track, “Be Yourself”, his band of Sydney recruits laid down some solid and tight rehearsed groove worthy of a well seasoned touring act, which boasts the McDonald brothers( Jordan-Drums, The Art), who slay on guitar and drums.
Gilby is totally at ease onstage and handles the crowd like the pro you’d expect, but he can’t hold back his appreciation and his fun nature bleeds into the crowd and you can’t help but notice the happiness of this Brisbane audience, who dance and sing along and hold onto his every word like a rock messiah. He says, “A little rock n roll is good for your soul,” and there’s definitely no argument there, as he lets his band jam along and even hands vocal duty to his bassist Bobby, who wails on a cover of “Dirty Deeds”, that keeps the energy flowing, as they continue with the GnR staple of “It’s So Easy,” and this crowd elevates to new heights as the bond between stage and audience is now barrier free and this audience loving every minute. No sooner does the final note of “It’s So Easy” ring, the band rips straight into Clarke’s revolutionary single, “Cure Me…or Kill Me”, from his ‘Pawnshop Guitars’ album, that just gets a snarl of joy on this face.
Gilby’s love of the Blues is shared as he jams a little on his own, before taking the audience right to the pocket with the universal anthem of “Knockin’ on Heavens Door”. You’d swear the arena rock has not left this man, as he knows how to please the crowd and get them to carry the song with a solid sing along. Faces melt to the Snakepit classic, “Monkey Chow“, followed by “Dead Flowers“. The band is having a lot of fun. Wrapping up with a story entwined into the rockin’ “Tijuana Jail” about rock n roll reckless mayhem in Mexico, the band leave and return with a finale of “We Wont Get Fooled Again(The Who)”. Tonight’s class was a true rock experience. Rock will never die.
PHOTOS BY CHARLYN CAMERON