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Carling Academy, Islington, London 5 November 2007

A bit like the proverbial bus, you wait 15 plus years for a Tesla show in London, and two come in quick succession.

Four months after their triumphant return at the Shepherds Bush Empire (which ironically I missed while holiday in America), the Sacramento rockers returned for a longer UK tour, and a healthy crowd were packed into the Islington Academy.

As always Cuminatcha Live was their call to arms for the evening and was archetypal Tesla with grinding riffs, the rasping vocals of the ever-lithe Jeff Keith, and a duelling guitar jam between Frank Hannon (who also handled a lot of the between song banter) and his able sidekick and recent addition Dave Rude.

Of the same generation as the hair metal bands, Tesla always owed more to the musicianship of the great hard rock acts of the 70's, who they have been paying tribute to on their Reel To Reel covers albums. This time, we only got a couple of covers in Joe Walsh's Walk Away two songs in, and a note perfect take on War Pigs (unfortunately UFO's Rock Bottom didn't make it this time).

It could have been the Marquee in 1987 again at times as the front of the crowd jumped around and punched the air to old favourites like Modern Day Cowboy, Rock Me to the Top and Heavens Trail with lashings of slide guitar, and Love Song's Spanish guitar intro and anthemic chorus.

However the breadth of the set list was a pleasant surprise - Song and Emotion, Freedom Slaves and Into the Now (the more contemporary sounding title track from their 2004 studio effort) among the choices and Paradise with its twin guitars and Frank's closing solo being a personal favourite.

Signs inevitably closed the set and the encores didn't disappoint either with the catchy hooks of Little Suzi and Edison's Medicine closing an hour and 50 minute masterclass in classic American hard rock.

Review by Andy Nathan

GRTR! Best of 2007

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