On the back of their recent top ten record, which was given an ”album of the year contender” review in these very pages, Llanelli’s finest, Scarlet Rebels, finally got to take their See Through Blue album out on the road, having previously fallen victim to the Covid pandemic.
Scarlet Rebels – Black Heart, 8 April 2022
Words: Dave Bonney
Photography: Brad Beck-Hill
Tonight, the tour rocks ‘n’ rolls into the capital and given the subject matter of said album, maybe the perfect place for the gig might have been on the back of an articulated truck strategically parked outside the gates of 10 Downing Street, where Boris and his cronies were probably having a party anyway, or should that read, business lunch?
They might not have lasted the full set before being carted off by the old Bill, but it would surely have made news at ten. As a matter of fact, the gig was at the Black Heart, a venue not unfamiliar to the Rebels. Due to the success of the album, it is one venue surely to be confined to ”past tour dates” on the band’s website.
I’m so glad I decided to leave the cat at home tonight, as there was absolutely no room to swing it in a completely sold out upstairs room in Camden Town. Scarlet Rebels opened up with I’m Alive, one of seven tracks aired tonight off the new album. In fact, from a huge set list of sixteen songs, only two were from their previous V0iD incarnation, showing the strength and prowess of this band’s arsenal of songs.
Chris Jones opens the song with that big dirty, sweaty dive bar riff, somewhat in keeping with the environment, which sets the tone for the rest of the evening’s rock ‘n’ roll shenanigans. The buzz was electric as the first bars of Storm rang out, and when Wayne Doyle sang, “then we’ll take it and turn up the atmosphere,” they most certainly did. There was definitely a storm brewing tonight.
Scarlet Rebels have always been a well-oiled machine, and as they run through song after song, it’s pretty damn obvious these guys are on top of their game.
Take You Home is a rebel-rousing live favourite that found those in the crowd ”on point” with the lyrics, duly obliging to Doyle’s command of “raise your hands, and we’ll take you home.” The emotive Heal is enough to make a grown man cry, for the right reasons, obviously. This song is taken up a notch live and is a cauldron of impassioned soul searching, much like the room full of rebels hanging on to every heart-wrenching word.
It was that hot that the walls of the venue were actually dripping, or were they just weeping along, perhaps.
These Days raises the tempo up to set closer level, short and snappy with lyrics about ice-cold beers. It’s the perfect song to bring the evening to an end, and what an evening it’s been. On a personal level, I would have liked to have heard Leave A Light On, but there wasn’t room for one more slow burner in the set. What would they leave out? What a great problem to have! Maybe next time.
Scarlet Rebels are back, and the crowds are back with smiles on their faces. Never mind the three jabs the government have given us, this is the shot in the arm everyone needs, the Scarlet Rebels jab, guaranteed to blow away your lockdown blues and long may it continue.
It would be easy to say the band were preaching to the converted here tonight, but the sell-out is just another triumph amongst many lately that these guys seem to be taking effortlessly in their stride.
It would be fair to say the big stage beckons, and it’s coming sooner than you may think, with the band making a swift return to the capital on Saturday evening supporting Reef at the Forum on a stage more in keeping with their newly found status
It should go a long way to proving this band are made for the big time. I will be there, and so should you guys.
No One Else to Blame
Let Your Love Go
Part of Me
I Can’t Say
I Can Sleep Now
Take You Home
Say My Name
Not the One
You Take My Breath Away