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HEAVENS BASEMENT/DEAR SUPERSTAR/SWORD TO OATH @ MANCHESTER ACADEMY 17/02/09 BY MEL

The weather forecast says “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” tonight, yea it's cold, frosty and slow going down the M6, the gritters are out in force. We are heading into Manchester, Oxford Road, Academy to see Heavens Basement/Dear Superstar/New Device tonight. It's almost the last leg of the tour; last stop is tomorrow in London. As we arrive at the venue, what we thought was New Device are blasting out at 100 miles an hour, a bit on the 'heavy' side for my liking, lots of macho posturing and aggressive overtones, this is a bit too Spinal Tap. It appeared New Device had cancelled and it was now a band called Sworn To Oath.

Dear Superstar, whilst still a smidgen of heavy metal, they possess a little more of the intense rock n roll element, and much needed eye candy in the form of lead singer Micky Satiar, this guy can rock out and then some. The band are bursting with energy, and wild abandon, but having seen them previously I would say this wasn't as technically good as the last time. Mickys vocals were a bit low and his voice a little drowned out by the music at times. I imagine many of their family are out in full force tonight as they're a local band.

They performed many tracks off their album ‘Heartless’, such as ‘Brink Of Destruction’, Brothers In Blood’ and even threw in a Kinks number 'Lola' of course given the Dear Superstar treatment. Micky explained "I love this song so much I had it tattooed on my chest", then came 'Live, Love, Lie' a big number, lots of classic guitar riffs. Micky ended the show with a parting of the waves, a big dive into the crowd at the front, coming up for air covered in sweat, greeted by fans as he walked backstage, with a quick hello to us before he departed. 

www.myspace.com/dearsuperstar

Heavens Basement, are the young guns of the rock world, aiming to shoot their full load tonight and executing the part to perfection. This is the real deal, tons of attitude, lean, mean and moody, lashings of eye liner, jewellery and skinny jeans. A cross between Motley Crue, Death Cult and Guns n Roses, a perfect formula for a loud, dirty, rock n roll band. On vocals we have Ritchie, a kind of modern rock, goth in appearance, last year the band supported Bon Jovi and Papa Roach, so are well versed in playing to crowds.

Photo: Ritchie & Sid and his.....guitar actions!

What struck me throughout the show was the amazing Sid ‘the Glove' on guitar, not only is he a delicious distraction (I wasn't alone in this opinion), he plays a mean guitar, wrapping it every which way known to man. The intensity of the bands performance is lively and electrifying, the lighting hitting the right spots, I was hooked. Sid, stripped to the waist as the performance got wild, took it upon himself to try 'an Iggy Pop' and climb upon the speakers, meanwhile the young women (and older ones) were held in raptures at his grimacing, wild actions. Never having seen this band perform previously, I was suitably impressed, they went down a storm with the crowd, who were a mixed bag of ages. The singer left the stage for one number and Jonny took over, looking like a young Ian Hunter, a tad New York Dolls minus the killer heels. The singer Ritchie thanked Manchester for always treating them the best. They took every inch of the stage and made it come alive; they’re also a photographers dream. Great show guys, I loved the wild strutting and posing; whilst others might bitch about that - it’s a performance for god sake! They drove the audience into a frenzied pitch leaving us wanting more. This is the real deal. Check out the video of this thunderous performance. Ears ringing, and deaf for 24 hours!!

www.myspace.com/heavensbasementofficial 

Photo: Ritchie works the crowd in the mosh pit.

Setlist: Tear Your Heart Out, Can't Let Go, Misunderstood, The Long Goodbye, Unbreakable, Such Is Life, 10 Mins, Paranoia, Mirrors, Best Without You, Reign On My Parade, Executioners Day.

Review/photos & video by Mel (more photos to be added)
Thanks to Jen @ Global Records