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Just witnessed your best live gig?..send us a review!

Stripes Bar,Brentford 12 August 2005

First off a rant - Despite handing out over 1,000 flyers at gigs by Styx, Kansas, Y & T and a local blues festival plus endless plugs on music and non-music websites, after football matches, listings magazines like ‘Time Out’ etc the turn out was still very low.

Okay Brentford isn’t Central London but then again it’s hardly the Scottish Highlands when it comes to public transport coverage! Apathy really is killing live rock music as even some big rock bands aren’t selling out at present. Go out and see a live gig is all I and many other bands/promoters ask. Right, rant over onto the music!

Tara’s Secret had travelled down from south Staffordshire and played a good mix of numbers of their debut release ‘Spectrum Wheel’. Sadly no ‘She Wears A Rainbow’ but perhaps that was to stop me saying they had hints of folk in that tune! Live they certainly pack a punch and fans of melodic hard rock would enjoy ‘Wild Frontier’ and the prog leanings on ‘Calmer Karma’.

They got a good reaction and Aussie vocalist John Trowbridge was gracious enough to keep very quite about the cricket score. He really does put his heart and soul into his singing perhaps a bit too much as he has a voice suited to melody rather than metal styled screams which occasionally happened in the set.

A fine set closed with my personal favourate track ‘Venice Of The North’ - a very Magnum styled number and even better live than on CD (not just because bass player Chris Tomlin has a groovy set of green lights flashing up and down his bass).

Sacred Heart played a blinding gig. They certainly get better each time I see them, concentrating on the music (there were plenty of fellow musos in the crowd who always form a sterner test than fans) and winning over the crowd with ease. With songs like ‘Lost’ (this would be a hit single if it ever got mainstream radio airplay) and the rifftastic ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Away’ you can’t go wrong. Some new numbers as well including ‘Promise’ which, pardon the pun, showed much promise.

Vocalist/guitarists Paul Stead has an easy manner on stage and thankfully like some other melodic rock bands steers clear of the stage clichés. (On a side note the best ever had to be Japanese rockers Vow Wow, who to be fair struggled with their ‘k’s’, when I saw them back in 1987 said proudly from the stage ‘We are ready to lick your ass Hanley’ - quite).

Sacred Heart are made for the live arena and with just one lucky break as a support to a name band could win more new fans they so richly deserve

I’d heartily recommend seeing any of these bands live. Okay you may not know the tunes before you see them but I’d be surprised if you don’t leave a gig with one of their CD’s and a convert to their music. Good to see UK melodic hard rock is still thriving, but only just so go out there buy the CD’s, attend the gigs and above all enjoy the music.

Review: Jason Ritchie

Artist website (Sacred Heart)

Artist website (Tara's Secret)

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