Opening this most enthralling billing with The Karma Effect and Austin Gold, were explosive acclaimed North-East quintet Thieves of Liberty. Comprising the affable James Boak on Vocals, the twin guitar attack of Kieran Wilson and Liam Lindsley, plus the rhythm section of Pete Kinmond and Tom Bushby, they have already been crowned the 2022 HRH Champions and this year the Battle of the Bands Winners at Firevolt
Thieves Of Liberty
The Giffard Arms – 14 October 2023
Words: Sophie James
Photography: Neil Jackson
With the weighty, melodic guitars combining in relentless synchronicity accompanied by raw, powerful vocals, they have taken the classic sound of decades past and modernised and embellished it to appeal to a new era and new generation.
Presently in the middle of a creative purple patch, only two of tonight’s setlist have been recorded and released.
Opener Cherry Queen was the first of the many newbies. The band leapt out of the traps, into your face and remained there for the next 30 minutes or so.
The slightly more restrained but no less impacting Shangri La preceded the 2022 single Calypso, where the intro reminded me of Scarlet Rebels before it veered elsewhere into the bottomless vaults of blues-influenced rock. Ever-engaging frontman James even got the crowd participating on the irresistible oh-oh-oohs of the chorus.
Sick Pup displayed shades of Mason Hill, while Until The End was only aired for the second time after its debut in Nottingham the previous evening. It commenced in power ballad style, loosely reminiscent of Kiss’ I Still Love You, but soon accelerated into a driving anthem, concluding in a G’n’R style thrash.
When James asked, “Do you guys understand me?”, “Whey Aye Man” was the instantly predictable response from one quick witted observer.
As with Austin Gold, time conspired against them, forcing the omission of the penultimate Luminescent Daydream (great song title). They concluded with the set’s only other recorded number, Smoke In The Air.
With such a delightful interplay between Kieran and Liam, this is a guitar partnership that has huge, huge potential if afforded the time to develop.
With each perched upon their own mini podiums, it was delightful to see a prop from the larger stages being used to project their presence in these small confines, shredding ‘n’ smiling as they revelled as the focus of audience attention.
Everything you could possibly wish to see from a young band. Talent, presence, energy, an ever-increasing songbook of quality tunes, plus an endearing engagement and humility.
One of those sets that was over seemingly no sooner than it had begun, with most of the early arrivals undoubtedly bowled over by what they had witnessed and no doubt wishing to repeat the enthralling experience.