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Buckcherry, Kobra and the lotus & The Howling - Roadmender, Northampton - 23rd November 2012 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Buckcherry, Kobra and the lotus & The Howling - Roadmender, Northampton - 23rd November 2012



First up tonight were The Howling. They were on stage pretty soon after the doors opened thanks to the venue having an early curfew so they could run a club night after the gig. As a result the place was pretty deserted when they hit the stage, but filled up steadily during their set so by the time they finished, the venue was around half full. This young five piece band blend rock and punk and put in a suitably high energy performance. The bass levels seem excessively high though as you can feel it vibrating the floor and that does detract slightly from the quality of the sound. The singer drops or throws his microphone down regularly with a loud thud - presumably an attempt to show how "punk" he is but really just making him look like a clumsy fool. Musically I was impressed, but the synth programming they have just jarred - personally I felt it detracted from their sound rather than enhancing it - getting rid of the programmed sounds would be an improvement.

Next up were Kobra and the Lotus. As a metal band they aren't an obvious choice to support Buckcherry and that means winning the crowd over is going to be difficult. Having said that they don't let it worry them in the slightest and put in a great performance. Kobra's new long dreadlocks looks spectacular as she headbangs and tosses her head back throwing those dreads high into the air. Amazingly she manages to avoid either tangling them in a guitar neck or whipping a band member with them. Kobra is an excellent front-woman and does a great job of working the crowd and soon wins over quite a few fans. The rest of the band all look to be having a great time on stage. New guitarist Charlie Parra Del Riego looks perfectly at home and regularly moves around the stage to play alongside fellow guitarist Jasio Kulakowski or Bassist Pete Dimov. Like many Bass players, Pete Dimov is particularly active and looks to be having a lot of fun. As you'd expect, the setlist is based around their new album which was released in August (the self titled "Kobra and the Lotus").
While they may have been a metal band playing to a rock audience, the number of people visiting the merchandise stand after their set or at the end of the night suggests that they made some new fans tonight, so the gamble of playing on this bill has paid off as they reach a new audience.

Tonight's headliner Buckcherry take to the stage in front of a venue that's two thirds full. It's an odd time for them to tour as their album isnt due to be released till the spring, but perhaps the tour was booked before the dates for the album got delayed. Singer Josh Todd comes on stage in a leather jacket which soon comes off as a few songs later does his shirt, to reveal an extremely guant figure covered in tattoos. He puts in a very high energy performance, constantly leaping around the stage, while the rest of the band look far more chilled out and put in a low energy performance with only guitarist Stevie D showing much energy. Josh Todd did seem to ramble on between songs about subjects including cocaine, but during the songs was on fine form. The end of the set was a huge disappointment in my view - their biggest song, "Crazy bitch" should have been a superb ending to the set but to do the band introductions in the middle of it was madness as it killed the mood and energy stone dead - if they'd done the introductions earlier and done a straight version of Crazy Bitch the set would have ended on a real high. A two song encore ("Bliss" and Quest") brought their show to a close. It was a very disappointing length of set from Buckcherry - an hour for the main set and from start to finish including the encore it was barely an hour and a quarter. They can't even blame the early curfew as they've played an equally short set on the rest of the tour.

Kobra and the Lotus setlist:

Nayana (my eyes)
No rest for the wicked
Welcome to my funeral
Forever one
Heaven's veins
Wicker man
My life
50 shades of evil

Buckcherry setlist:

Rescue me
All night long
It's a party
Next 2 you
Dirty mind
Imminent bailout
Crazy bitch



Writer: Anthony May
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