LIVE REVIEW! Rival Sons, O2 Academy, Birmingham

February 12, 2019

It’s fair to say that over their relatively short ten-year career, Rival Sons net value has sky rocketed. Their work ethic is second to none, in between nonstop touring over the last decade they have also managed to produce six studio albums. Their recorded work of such a quality it’s brought them both critical and fan acclaim alike. Riding high on the crest of that wave, the band have sold out a string of dates across the U.K., and tonight the tour rolls into Birmingham. The o2 Academy the setting for tonight’s frivolities.


Opening the evening are Canadians, The Sheepdogs, hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the rural heart of the country. They make quite the first impression on the British crowd. Entering the stage in sequinned polyester flared suits (and a bassist adorned in double denim) it looks as though they have walked in straight out of 1972. With their logo up in lights high above the stage they bring 1970’s rock and roll back to the mainstream. 


You can hear a heavy influence of the Allman Brothers in their guitar driven melodic rock and roll. With a hint of country in their vocals they go down a well with the amassed Rival Sons fans. Pure rock and roll fun that cannot fail to bring a smile to your face.


By 9pm the stage is set as we await the arrival of the headline act. The lights dim, and bird song rings out across the arena, a skeletal image of a dog projected onto the back of the stage and said dogs heart beat slowly pounds, growing faster and louder as we wait in anticipation.


The Feral Roots tour is here, and straight into new track ‘Back In The Woods’ they launch. As you would expect, in support of their new album, the set focuses on their new material, with a total of nine of the eleven tracks on the album getting an airing tonight. A sign, if anyone was in any doubt, that the band are incredibly proud of their latest opus.


The live performance is driven by the majestic vocals of frontman Jay Buchanan, a stage presence on par with Steven Tyler and a voice to match. Scott Holiday’s raucous guitar steers the Son’s ship through an hour and a half of twists and turns. New meets old as the nine new tunes are mixed with the hits of old. ‘Pressure and Time’ and ‘Electric Man’ slotting perfectly amongst the more recent ‘Sugar on the Bone’, ‘Too Bad’ and ‘Feral Roots’.


Ultimately Rival Sons put on an outstanding performance befitting of a modern-day rock and roll act. 70’s styling, and grooves meet with modern day charisma to produce a show like no other. Long live the new kings of rock and roll.

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