Date: 22nd February 2019
Review by: Natalie Cherry Shaw
Photography by: Natalie Cherry Shaw
Let’s set the stage: it’s 6pm on a Friday night and I’ve just walked into a busy O2 Academy Islington full of fans raring to go. On tonight’s line up we have the great Stone Broken being supported by the equally amazing Those Damn Crows and Dead Man’s Whisky.
The 5-piece from London, Dead Man’s Whisky created a powerful mix of classic and modern rock. They began the show with loads of energy. You could tell playing in their home town meant a lot to them, and this fit in well with the whole theme of the night that Stone Broken were hoping for. They rocked a 25-minute set which included them playing their new single ‘Racing Bullet’ as well as tracks from their album ‘Under the Gun’. The lead singer, Nico Rogers, loved getting the crowd ready for the night ahead by getting them to repeat after him, teaching them how to sing their last song of the set.
Next up were the Welsh boys Those Damn Crows, with the mantra ‘To write great songs, play as many shows as possible and become another successful Welsh export’. I had a good feeling about their set, and they did not disappoint in any respect. It was clear that the band thrived on a stage as they kept hitting the fans with hard rock hits. You could clearly see each band member wanting everyone there to feel a connection with them; from the great interaction they were having with the photographers to them trying to make eye contact with as many fans as possible. They ended their 30-minute set with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Dead’, which had everyone on the floor moving, from the hardcore gig goers jumping along to those giving a simple head nod. No one could stop themselves from dancing along.
Finally, but by no means least in the slightest, we had the main guys themselves, Stone Broken. The hard rockers from the West Midlands in the UK kicked off the show with ‘Stay All Night’ and ‘Doesn’t Matter’. They made great use of the stage, from their four smoke machines that created an amazing atmosphere, to Robyn Haycock (their drummer) on a riser with her drum kit and her buddy Animal attached.
The crowd for this gig had a few youngsters watching in awe of each band. What better role model for the junior rockers than Robyn; from start to finish her energy didn’t falter for one second. Even when the rest of the band walked off to take a break, she hit us with a powerful drum solo that had everyone cheering her on wanting more. The rest of her band mates soon joined her back on stage to fall straight on from one song to the next, clearly wanting to make the most out of an early curfew.
Rich Moss started the penultimate track on his own, acoustically, asking the crowd, ‘Do you still have singing voices left? Be an honour if you sang this with me’, and they happily did. As the song drew to a close his fellow band mates accompanied him to finish it off and they headed straight into ‘Not Your Enemy’ to finish off the show. After the acoustic song before, it really felt like the song had so much more power behind it and was a fantastic way to end an incredible gig.