Walkway Make A Triumphant Second Visit To The Rock Den

Walkway

Although the Sun now bows to the Moon and we walk into Autumn, there was certainly no fall in The Rock Den’s standards last month as three more top bands, Isolation, Still Remains UK and Walkway, took to the stage.

Now, Cheltenham, a regency spa town on the edge of the Cotswolds, is probably best known as an area of outstanding natural beauty and for its affiliation with jazz, science, Literature, music and food and drink festivals, not to mention horse racing’s Gold Cup.

But it has a dark secret. Oh yes. A portal to Hell, from which, it spews hard-hitting Metallers Isolation. Replete with prison boiler suits, strait jackets, chain saw, Hannibal mask and a whole aisle of face paints from the local dressing-up shop, Alan Hale (vocals), Mawg and Will (guitars) Nat (bass) and Paul on drums unleash their brand of face-melting Metal in a set including ‘Deadset’, ‘Screaming Into The Dark’, ‘Bury My Head’, ‘Calm After The Storm’, ‘The Raven’, ‘Sweet William (A Darkness From Within)’, ‘Worlds Fallen Down (Lockdown)’ as well as covers ‘Breakin’ The Law’, ‘Rebel Yell’ and more recent tracks ‘Suburban Heat’, ‘Say Just Words’ and ‘Screamager’.

Isolation

A high-energy performance designed, one assumes, to take our souls and tear them apart. Did they? Yes, pretty much. We weren’t allowed to leave the lights on for a start. The Den regulars though are a tough bunch and having embraced the fact that Hell was being unleashed on them, wanted more.

They wanted blood and guts spraying in their faces and more chain saw action. We probably need to get out more.
Isolation

A high-energy performance designed, one assumes, to take our souls and tear them apart. Did they? Yes, pretty much. We weren’t allowed to leave the lights on for a start. The Den regulars though are a tough bunch and having embraced the fact that Hell was being unleashed on them, wanted more.

They wanted blood and guts spraying in their faces and more chain saw action. We probably need to get out more.

Having said that, it was a great in-your-face set from a band that has shared the stage with bands such as 3 Inches Of Blood, Biomechanical, The Bezerker, Blaze Bayley, Onslaught and Grim Reaper. I for one would love to see them back at the Den with their full-on laser, smoke and strobe lights set and most definitely more get-among-the-crowd chainsaw action. Make us bleed guys, we can take it and we promise not to run away and hide under the covers! Nice one.

Still Remains

​Next up, the excellent Still Remains UK. Formed in 1993 and hailing from Northampton, which as far as we know doesn’t have a portal to Hell – they just look like that anyway. This four-piece band of Metal Gods, once again, did not disappoint. Led by Andy Green (guitar/vocals), Andy Pace (bass/backing vocals), Miles ‘we’re jealous of his hair and good looks’ Goodman (guitar) and Ethan D on drums, they did what they do best – deliver a great set including ‘Redeemer’ and the superb, rifftastic, mind-busting guitar-solo laden ‘Long Time Dead (Lead The Blind)’, Liar’, ‘Still Remains’, ‘Lord Above’, ‘The Fight’ and equally superb ‘Can You Hear Me Now’.

Sadly, despite our pleas, they didn’t let Mr Pace loose on a couple of Motörhead specials. They like to leave you wanting more, the teasers. What they do give though is a great old-fashion Metal show of top-quality musicianship and are more than happy to be barracked and jeered. Great stuff.

Still Remains

So, onto the headliners, now in their 11th year, one of Norfolk’s finest, the hard working (100+ shows per year) and exceptionally talented, Walkway. Their second time at the Den and not a moment too soon.

The Ready brothers, Chris (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), ‘Odd Socks’ James (lead guitar/backing vocals) are ably backed by Mik Skiba (bass) and Andy Burlace on drums and they have deservedly earned a reputation as one of the UK’s brightest up and coming rock bands.

As usual, they delivered a quality set including tracks from all three of their albums, ‘All I Want’, ‘Overrated’, ‘Rise’ and ‘One Touch Too Much’ (‘Top Shelf Content’, 2016), ‘Step One’ and ‘Streetwise’ (‘Streetwise’, 2015) and ‘Stutter’, ‘Best I Ever Had’, ‘Kiss Me Hard’ and ‘Leap Of Faith’ (‘WWIII’, 2017) as well as covers of ‘Baba O’ Riley and ‘The Spirit Of Radio’ and their tribute to Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt, the excellent, ‘Rain’, which, on the ‘WWIII’ album features Quo’s original drummer John Coghlan.

Walkway

Moreover, they have opened for Status Quo (electric and acoustic), The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry, Slade, Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake), Eric Martin (Mr Big), Graham Bonnet (Rainbow) as well as having airplay on BBC Radio 2. This experience is evident in their performance and comes through in spades and they are as professional and tight as any band out there. Always a pleasure to watch these guys. Top stuff.

All-in-all another excellent night’s entertainment at The Den. Three top bands giving their all and an equally appreciative crowd. So, thanks to Deano and all the staff for their efforts in keeping music live and loud. Short of having my face buried in a plateful of ribs while being read stories about bacon in a sexy voice, nothing beats it.

Next up, The Handsome Beasts doing a two-hour special with support to be announced. That promises to be another banger, so get down to The Den and bring some sweeties.

Walkway

Sleeve Notes

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