Florence Black / A Hero’s Welcome From A Devoted Cardiff

Number 1 in the UK Rock and Metal Charts, an album that many are already talking about as an album of the year contender, and a run of sold-out headline shows across the UK. Florence Black are most definitely punching through to the next level.

Florence Black

Tramshed Cardiff – 10 February 2024

Words: Paul Hutchings

Photography: Georgia Brittain

Constant touring, along with killer songs that linger long in the memory, make for a heady combination. Cardiff’s Fuel Rock Club is full of the band’s fans hours before the doors open at nearby Tramshed for this final show on the band’s most successful tour to date.

Florence Black - The Tramshed, Cardiff - 10 February 2024
Florence Black – The Tramshed, Cardiff – 10 February 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

The combination of the England vs Wales rugby match and the sold-out sign posted many weeks ago provide high anticipation. Although England sneak the win, the mood in the long queue winding away from the venue is buoyant. This is home for the boys from Merthyr and, for many, the latest opportunity to continue their long-term relationship, which began way back in the early 2010s.

As the beers flow, the excitement intensifies. A brooding red light floods the stage, the roar intensifies, and Florence Black walks out to a hero’s welcome.

Florence Black - The Tramshed, Cardiff - 10 February 2024
Florence Black – The Tramshed, Cardiff – 10 February 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

There’s no complacency, but this is a gig that has triumph branded all through it. Wales loves their hard rock and Heavy Metal, and Tristan Thomas, Perry Davies, and Jordan Evans have crafted a style that beautifully straddles both.

Punishingly heavy at times but deeply melodic, the band’s latest album, Bed Of Nails, is a step up from 2021’s Weight Of The World. While the roots of the band stretch back to 2016’s debut EP, there’s now a swagger and maturity that makes them such an exciting live band.

They stick to the setlist they have played throughout this tour. “Let’s Go,” roars Thomas as the band begins the set with the title track from the new album. The place erupts, with feisty mosh pits and plenty of bouncing starting.

Florence Black - The Tramshed, Cardiff - 10 February 2024
Florence Black – The Tramshed, Cardiff – 10 February 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

It rarely ceases for the next 75 minutes. Start Again follows, the song I had assumed they would open with. But it proves to be an inspired choice, bringing even more urgency to complement the powerful opener. The place is in a frenzy already, and we are only two songs in.

The 17-strong setlist is stacked. Plenty from Bed Of Nails, which sees the Welsh crowd word perfect, even though the album’s only been out a week, along with choice cuts from Weight Of The World. The intensity is huge.

Thomas and Evans only stop moving when needed on the microphone, whilst Davies throws his head around as he drums, not missing a beat. He forms a formidable partnership with Evans, throwing his bass guitar around like a child having a tantrum. He’s back and fore, waving to the crowd, urging the effort to increase.

Florence Black - The Tramshed, Cardiff - 10 February 2024
Florence Black – The Tramshed, Cardiff – 10 February 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

It’s hard and heavy. Thomas can carve out the riff, deliver the vocals and shred like a monster. His lead work is exemplary. They power through the songs, anthem after anthem, seeing the partisan crowd in raptures. They are in full voice as Solid 9, and Taxman maintain the crunch.

And then Florence Black plays the ace. They drop the tempo with Warning Sign and Back To The End. It’s a masterstroke, as they briefly exit. The crowd get their second wind, and the band storms back.

Florence Black - The Tramshed, Cardiff - 10 February 2024
Florence Black – The Tramshed, Cardiff – 10 February 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

Black Cat kicks off the second part, a tempered intro to start before the explosive middle section. It doesn’t slow from here on in until we reach the finale of Sun & Moon. Can You Feel It, Rocking Ring, a blistering Breadfan, Bird On A Chain and the bruiser that is Zulu all burst eardrums, with their powerful delivery.

It’s here that Florence Black demonstrates their Heavy Metal credentials, with Thomas once more ripping out ferocious lead breaks with ease.

Florence Black - The Tramshed, Cardiff - 10 February 2024
Florence Black – The Tramshed, Cardiff – 10 February 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

It’s been a masterful show in front of a rabid audience that laps up every second. The perfect ending, Sun & Moon, has everyone singing for a final time before the band takes their last bow.

It’s been emotional. A rollercoaster ride for band and crowd. This was imperious performance by a band who are improving on every showing.

A certain former guitarist saw them recently and stated that Florence Black was possibly the best power trio of all time. They aren’t there yet, but the signs suggest that in a decade, they could certainly be in with a shout.

Florence Black - The Tramshed, Cardiff - 10 February 2024
Florence Black – The Tramshed, Cardiff – 10 February 2024. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

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