The Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton, the cavern of the greats, so many a giant name has graced its stage over the years on the way to superstardom. Now open just a few short months of the year whilst it gets fully refurbished, it’s a great feeling to be walk-in back through its doors and onto this hallowed ground.
The occasion tonight, is every hard rock fans wet dream, a stellar line up that features Mr. Big, The Answer and the legendary glam rockers Faster Pussycat. Openers ‘Pussycat, names themselves after the cult Russ Meyer film of the same name from back in the day (if you haven’t seen it, make sure you do!). 33 plus years on they are still going strong and it’s somewhat on an injustice their stage time is so early. Their short half hour set features slow ballads, fast angst ridden glam rock anthems and is highlighted by the crowd sing alone during House of Pain.
In complete contrast to them The Answer, from Northern Ireland, are industry favourites whose career is just fifteen short years in span. Given a slightly lengthier forty-five-minute set they come out to a slow, atmospheric build-up of bass and drums. Cheers grow louder for each member as they appear from the side of stage darkness.
A sound dripping in an influence of many blues greats with a hard rock twist, front man Neeson’s vocals are a mix of gritty realism and harmonic perfection, whilst Mahon’s guitars add a punchy flair that hooks the fans throughout. Their set rounded out with a cover of Rose Tattoo’s Rock and Roll Outlaw with help from members of the previous band.
But the real reason 1200 fans have filled the hall tonight is Mr. Big. The American super-group formed in the late 1980’s with members of various well known and high profile acts. The band have over two hours to shine and the fans are waiting patiently in anticipation.
Opening with Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy they blow the roof of the place, Bobby Sheehan’s technical expertise driving the sound as Paul Gilbert’s eccentricity comes through when he takes a power drill to his guitar strings.
The voice of Eric Martin really is on another level and his rapport with the fans builds the atmosphere and draws everyone into their world. Powering through American Beauty and Undertow the band are on a roll, not a note dropped or a fan disappointed. There are places within the two-hour set for everyone to shine, Paul Gilbert’s mesmerizing guitar solo an hour in, followed not long afterwards by Bobby Sheehan displaying why he really is the top bassists in the world.
A cover of Cat Steven’s Wild World slotting nicely into place in the set before the evening is rounded out by 1992, Colorado Bulldog and the magical Defying Gravity. The band may be nearing their 30th anniversary but they show no signs of slowing down, and from the evidence tonight the fans won’t let them either!
They return to these shores in 2018 for an appearance at the Bloodstock Festival and what a show that promises to be!