BLACK STONE CHERRY
KENTUCKY ROCKERS SPREAD TWICE THE LOVE WITH TWO SETS IN NOTTINGHAM
■ TONIGHT, BLACK Stone Cherry perform to almost 1,000 more people than actually live in their hometown of Edmonton, Kentucky (population 1,582 as of the census of 2000 – it was 1,586 before the band got famous). Given their closeknit background, it’s not surprising that principles of loyalty, family and holding out for better days underpin their music, and tonight this manifesto is driven home beautifully.
But before the Southern-tinged guitars and chestswelling vocals commence, there’s the small matter of the support band.and tonight it’s… also Black Stone Cherry. Choosing to open for themselves with an acoustic set is a neat way of exploring the band’s more emotional side, which also gives frontman Chris Robertson a chance to invite people into his band’s world, openly asking them to experience the same feelings that inspired Things My Father Said and The Rambler.we’ve only had glimpses of this side of him previously, and stripped bare of electric enhancement it’s impossible to overlook its quality.
When the heavy set does start, it’s really heavy. Opener Devil’s Queen sets the pace, and it’s one the band maintain for almost all of what follows. Guitarist Ben Wells must cover the equivalent of a half-marathon onstage – a tiny, open-mouthed blonde blur of enthusiasm. there’ s plenty of fun from the band’s extrovert drummer John Fredyoung, too.at one point, mid-song, he hurls a stick all the way into the hands of someone on the balcony, while elsewhere, a stick is launched vertically and mysteriously doesn’t return, leaving him to complete Cheaper To Drink Alone with his fists.
After ‘shakin’ cages’, blaming things on the ‘boom boom’ and riding a Lonely Train, Black Stone Cherry depart with a muscular cover of Hendrix’svoodoo Child. It’s an aptly classic end and, next time, they may have to do four sets to better this.
“Hi, Nottingham Secret Agents? Yeah, we found the guy who stole your hats…”
Two members of BSC didn’t get the memo about the acoustic set