Airbourne + Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons + The Wild @ Roundhouse, London

Date: 13 November 2017
Review: Torbjørn ‘Toby’ Jørstad

Aussie rockers AIRBOURNE returned to London after two shows in a row in November last year. The venue upgrade from last time’s Electric Ballroom to the larger Roundhouse served them well, as they attracted a large crowd of rock ‘n roll fans that chilly November night. Support came from ex-Motörhead guitarist PHIL CAMPBELL‘s family band, THE BASTARD SONS and from Canadian rock band THE WILD.

Hailing from British Columbia in the cold of Canada, the rockers in The Wild had the honor of opening that night. Led by frontman Dylan Villain, the four piece did what they could to entertain the dedicated few that showed up for their set. Modern rock seems a hard genre to master, but the Canadians did a remarkably good job at delivering the goods that night. Everything, from the denim vest uniforms to the energetic stage show, contributed to a fun, yet short (and sweet) set.

Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons are a band on the rise. Consisting of ex-Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell, with his sons Todd (guitar), Dane (drums) and Tyla (bass) as well as vocalist Neil Starr, the UK rockers have a self-titled EP under their belt, as well as an upcoming full-length next year, entitled Age of Absurdity. The Welsh rockers put on a good show in the spirit of Campbell’s old band. “Ace of Spades” makes the crowd go wild, and up until that point it seemed only a question of ‘when?’ a Motörhead cover would come. Absolutely a worthy opening band for the night’s headliner.

Airbourne, still promoting their fourth album Breakin’ Outta Hell, take the stage with a bang, commencing their set with the re-recorded version of their EP classic “Ready to Rock”. The energetic, led by the always shirtless Joel O’Keeffe, are in full control from start till finish. A hit parade of both new and old songs is what we were served, with some highlights being the fan favorite “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast”, the tribute to the ladies – “Girls in Black”, and the lesser played song “Bottom of the Well” (the song from which the new album got it’s title).

The audience seemed to love to show from start till finish, with a giant mosh pit dominating the ground floor of the venue. Airbourne’s catchy, almost radio friendly tracks in the style of giants such as AC/DC and Rose Tattoo seem to bring out quite a diverse audience wherever they go, and that night was no different. The sound is good throughout the whole set, and the guys seem to clearly be enjoying themselves up on stage, pounding out hit after hit.

“It’s All for Rock ‘n’ Roll” is dedicated to Lemmy himself (R.I.P.), with frontman Joel serving Jack and Cokes, Lemmy’s favorite, from a bar on wheels. Although we are served a good dose of rock ‘n’ roll from their early days, I can’t help but miss songs like “Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women”, “Diamond in the Rough” and “Born to Kill”… hopefully songs that will return to the setlist eventually.

“Live It Up” commences their encore set with its usual air raid siren, giving drummer Ryan O’Keeffe his moment in the spotlight. “Raise the Flag” from No Guts, No Glory is a great addition to see in the setlist again, and unsurprisingly, “Runnin’ Wild” off their debut ends the night with a bang. Having both successfully conquered the Roundhouse, one can wonder where in the capital Airbourne will lay siege next time.

Main Title from “Terminator 2” (tape)
1. Ready to Rock
2. I’m Going to Hell for This
3. Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
4. Down on You
5. Rivalry
6. Girls in Black
7. Bottom of the Well
8. Breakin’ Outta Hell
9. It’s All for Rock ‘n’ Roll
10. Stand Up for Rock ‘n’ Roll
11. Live It Up
12. Raise the Flag
13. Runnin’ Wild