Friday, June 14, 2024

Spread Eagle catch their prey in Manchester

On their first nationwide tour of the UK, Spread Eagle were eager to make a good impression in the North West of England and this time it was Manchester on their menu for prey.

Star Circus opened the evening and took the Rebellion back in time with a mixture of glam and AOR rock. Wearing shiny silver jewellery, cowboy boots, unbuttoned shirts, black spiky leather clothes and bandanas, all that was left was to start the sleaze party. With spacious sounding, crunchy guitars, contagious choruses, thundering drums and some cheeky organ melodies, the London group had brought the 80s to Manchester. What’s impressive about their sound is how they alternated between old school and modern hard rock vibes to add some contrast, not to sound repetitive. Many bands tend to spoil the roots of what was great back in the day when attempting to put a new spin on things to please younger audiences, but thankfully, Star Circus didn’t do that. While it was possible to tell that it sounded more like 21st-century music, the origins were still clear and didn’t diminish the quality of their songs.

Next up were Spread Eagle. Having never explored large parts of the UK, it was only a matter of time before easy meat would show up and Rebellion became their next target. Wings spread, claws sharpened and beaks at the ready, they showed their young (Manchester) how it’s done. Although hard rock is their main sound, they decided to spice things up by blending in blues and southern rock into their set which predominantly focused on Spread Eagle and Subway to the Stars. From the fast and aggressive ‘Sound of Speed’ to slowed down, wild west like ‘Devil’s Road’, they weren’t afraid to display their creativity when switching between subgenres.

Rik had a smile on his face all night and was really enjoying every beat he played on the drums with complete control of the music, allowing his soul to communicate with it. The fills had pin-point precision and he nailed the double kick notes, not to mention sheer management of dynamics. His concentration levels were higher than an acrobat juggling on a tightrope, in turn generating a great response from the crowd.

However, he had company as a fired-up Ray West also wanted a piece of the action. In an energetic mood, he covered every millimetre of the stage like private property that couldn’t be touched, whether with his ecstatic dancing or dominant stance in platform converses. With a skate cap and golden sunshades, he had the perfect rockstar look and performed just like one showing off his wide vocal range. Snarly screams, belting choruses and sometimes even coming close to whispering, versatility is something he surely wasn’t short of. 

The pair performed an outstanding drum solo with Rik playing the full kit while Ray only hit the floor tom drum, glueing the audience’s vision to the stage. Their partnership is like a match made in heaven as they orchestrated the evening from start to finish.

Despite the low turnout, Spread Eagle were unphased and played just as well as they would’ve done in a full house with noise levels and fans’ energy compensating for that. It was a solid performance from the NYC hard rockers who made a great first impression on their biggest UK tour determined to keep the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll alive and kicking which they did in style.

Pedro Felippe
Pedro Felippe
Metalhead since the stone age. Always bash the crap out of my drum kit and am an avid gig goer. I massively identify myself within the metal community as the sense of belonging is unrivalled.

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