It’s the middle of the week and a sold out Hammersmith Apollo is waiting for Slash Feat Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators to rock the stage. Tickets went so fast for this show that they could have easily played an extra date in London, so it feels extra special to be part of such an eventful night. Last September they came out with a new electrifying album called Living The Dream which was critically acclaimed and also very well received from the fans. This is the third album for this eclectic band and even if it’s still quite new, surely the public was also excited for some of the latest tracks to be performed on stage tonight. Slash is accompanied by a stellar line-up with Myles Kennedy on vocal duties, Todd Kerns on bass, Brent Fitz on drums and Frank Sidoris on rhythm guitars. These guys haven’t stopped touring for months, hitting Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and now the UK. London is definitely welcoming them with open arms but first off is Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons.
Motorhead fans know that this band doesn’t need an introduction mainly because of Phil Campbell who since 1984 was best known as lead guitarist of the legendary rock group fronted by Lemmy. Phil looks happy to see his fans as he walks on stage with the rest of the band during the ‘Highway Star’ intro. “We are Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons” roars vocalist Neil Starr “And this song is called Big Mouth”. From then on Neil starts an endless series of fiery headbanging and jumping whilst holding on to his mic stand. He’s the only one who is not blood related in this powerful line-up but he looks so well integrated that he might as well be part of the family. Alongside Campbell’s three sons Todd (guitar), Dane (drums) and Tyla (bass) Neil is the one piece of the puzzle that keeps it all together. “Thank you London” intervenes Campbell before introducing ‘Freak Show’, a fierce and dynamic track from their latest album The Age Of Absurdity.
This band has got its own badass way to perform originals and covers without having to give up their uniqueness. “Please get your hands in the air” screams Neil and here comes ‘Born To Raise Hell’ which definitely lives up to its standards and the audience agrees judging from their reaction. ‘Get On Your Knees’ sees Neil making some extra effort in trying to involve the public and after a few attempts he finally gets the crowd to scream the title of the song louder and louder. Following a high-powered execution of ‘Ringleader’ and ‘Dark Days’ Phil Campbell dedicates the next song to Lemmy, a magnificent cover of ‘Ace Of Spades’ which undoubtedly fires up Hammersmith Apollo. Finally the band thank the headliners and salute their fans with ‘High Rule’, another ferocious track who leaves us convinced of the fact that this band is not just about great rendition of covers, on the contrary, it has got the whole package.
By this time Hammersmith is rammed with rockers of all ages who are eager to see the headliners perform on stage. Opening with ‘The Call Of The Wild’ these guys jump from a song to another without any chit-chat in the middle, and who needs that when the music speaks for itself. ‘Halo’, ‘Standing In The Sun’, ‘Ghost’ and ‘Back From Cali’ are all part of a great start and without a doubt the fans tonight feel enthusiastic and already warmed up.
“How we are tonight London? Make some noise for Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons” says Myles in a high-spirited yet selfless tone before proceeding with the next song ‘My Antitode’. It’s obvious that tonight it’s all about the music as the band seem keen to play as much as possible without many interruptions. Most of the times it’s inevitable for Slash to steal the spotlight. The man is the essence of rock ‘n roll and all the die hard fans can’t keep their eyes off of him. His solos and stage presence are majestic, nobody can do what he does and with the same expertise that he has. Every single note gives life and emotions, you can’t teach that. This is a tight-knit group who works perfectly well together as they are all seasoned musicians who know exactly how to engage with their fans. One of the many highlights of the night is the brilliant execution of ‘Shadow Life’ which spits fire and pure energy when performed live.
“This is my favourite part of the night. Make some noise for Todd Kerns” says Myles whilst giving up his frontman role to his bass player. Todd soon reveals to have all the skills and attributes necessary to be an amazing singer as he fronts the band with a relentless passion and confidence when playing ‘We Are All Gonna Die’ and ‘Doctor Alibi’. Myles comes back for the new and very catchy ‘Mind Your Manners’ followed by the tremendous hit ‘Driving Rain’. Unfortunately for some ‘Nightrain’ is the only Guns N’ Roses cover tonight which is also positive for the band as it shows they have a whole exclusive repertoire to rely on. “You guys are having a good time? We are gonna play a song written almost ten years ago” announces Myles before playing ‘Starlight’. Follows ‘You’re A Lie’ and ‘World On Fire’ – in the latter the band gets introduced by their frontman and each of them performs brief solos. The encore sees this incredible five-piece coming back on stage for ‘Avalon’ and ‘Anastasia‘. By the end of the show the audience is on fire, they applaude and cheer the band vigorously as these fantastic musicians take a well deserved bow. Slash has then stated on his Twitter page that this exhilarating night is also been captured on video, so if you missed it you’ll probably be able to catch it on DVD in the near future.
Rock 'n roll has always played a big role in my life. I’m a music addict and a freelance writer since 2015. Driven by a consistent passion and an assiduous hard working ethic, I’ve been lucky enough to meet and interview some of my favourite artists. Animals and girly stuff lover. For those about to rock, we salute you!