Kerrang! (UK) - - Contents - WORDS & PHO­TOS: LISA JOHNSON

“hey, guys, does any­one out there have any hot lemon and honey? my throat is killing me…”

LAST TIME Andy Biersack stood on this stage, it was 2010. Seven years on, much has changed – Andy’s name is no longer the Andy Six it was then; his band, Black Veil Brides, are now a con­sid­er­ably big­ger con­cern than this 700-ca­pac­ity venue would be likely to wel­come; and Andy’s solo ven­ture is show­ing a strange new side to the man we’d not seen be­fore. But one thing has stayed the same: the man is a gen­uinely mag­netic star, what­ever name he’s op­er­at­ing un­der. On the street out­side the venue, hun­dreds of die-hard fans wait for hours, queue­ing round the block to en­ter the venue for what will be the fi­nal night of his Home­com­ing Tour.and de­spite the strong line-up of co-con­spir­a­tors, there is no mis­tak­ing who the crowd is here for tonight: nearly ev­ery sin­gle per­son is sport­ing an Andy Black T-shirt. Whether with his main band or not, the man is never go­ing to be the brides­maid, clearly.

New­com­ers Palaye Royale have the thank­less task of go­ing on first.this trio of broth­ers and their gritty rock’n’roll are more than up to the chal­lenge, how­ever.think The Strokes meets Teenagers-era MCR at a New York fash­ion show held on a pirate ship and you’re nearly there.

Next up, the Neu­ro­man­tic Goth­fa­ther him­self (and a man Andy def­i­nitely owes a drink or two), Wil­liam Con­trol. His short set is brim­ming with dark treats such as Beau­ti­ful Loser, Strangers and I’m Only Hu­man Some­times, as well as new track Ana­log Flesh In A Dig­i­tal World, which prove his loyal fol­low­ing are just as pas­sion­ate about his meta­mor­pho­sis into a techno-gothic-dance king.

Andy has un­der­gone some­thing of a change, too, with this be­ing the softer more ro­man­tic side to the metal hat he wears in Black­veil Brides.the switchup from his day job to the syn­th­pop he deals in this evening is a seem­ingly seam­less tran­si­tion for the faith­ful gath­ered here tonight, how­ever, and screams of glee erupt as the first notes of Stay Alive hit. Up­lift­ing, fun and re­laxed, a good quarter of tonight’s set is spent with Andy talk­ing at length to the crowd and shar­ing per­sonal sto­ries be­tween num­bers, giv­ing the show an in­ti­mate, warm feel. Par­tic­u­larly dur­ing Louder Than Your Love, which he co-penned with Ger­ard Way, and the heart­felt Paint It Black. He apol­o­gises for still feel­ing the ef­fects of a pro­longed cold, but if he’s sick, ab­so­lutely no-one no­tices – they’re too busy go­ing nuts to a rau­cous cover of Billy Idol’s Danc­ing With My­self. If this is Andy Black when he’s fight­ing off a nasty virus, fir­ing on all cylin­ders must be ab­so­lute pan­de­mo­nium.

In the here and now, sur­rounded by all this doom and gloom, thank good­ness we have some­one like Andy Black walk­ing among us to ease the pain with a jolt of pos­i­tiv­ity. He sings,‘we don’t have to dance’, but after a show that’s as fun, wel­com­ing, highly-charged and loaded with star per­son­al­ity as this, you’ll never want to stop.

KKKKK = CLAS­SIC KKKK = EX­CEL­LENT KKK = GOOD KK = AV­ER­AGE K = POOR Andy re­ally needed the height on his walk­ing stick re­set­ting

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