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Buckcherry hit the stage with a blast of guitars and the full rock n roll retro sleaze image. Whilst only consisting of two original members, they all have the look of true Sunset strip rock stars. Indeed, credit must be given to the way singer Josh Todd has maintained his youthful looks - decked in sunglasses, bandanna and leather pants he looks like a skinny as hell Dennis Leary! In fact, for those who saw Rock of Ages it would not be too far removed to suggest that Tom Cruise based the image of Stacey Jacks on Josh Todd. Apart from the image, the main thing which grabs you is how great his vocals are. The whole band were very tight and you can see that they are playing songs that have been played and loved at numerous live shows.

The set began with some of their classic rock songs, where titles such as "Ridin" and "All Night Long" almost tell you all you need to know. These aren't songs to be played slowly or quietly, these are for blasting out at a rip roaring pace to a drunk crowd who are intent on having a good time (heck one of the songs played is even called "Its A Party" and starts off with the drums from "we will rock you").

However, Buckcherry have always had more about them than many of the near so rans of the late sleaze rock scene. This is actually best demonstrated in some of their slower numbers. Songs such as "Everything" and "From The Movies" show that they can also deliver anthemic sing along songs which never resort to cliched power ballads (ironically something one of the bands they obviously idolised, Aerosmith, have forgotten how to do!!)    

Their career has also been greatly assisted by having two genuinely brilliant songs which were a commercial success. The first one "Lit up" really launched the bands career. This was actually written in 97 but sounds as good today. We are told it was based on the fact Josh discovered "The magic of cocaine was it allowed you to drink more". This song really got the entire crowd jumping and singing along loudly to the chorus. This is the song which showed Buckcherry should really have inherited the sleaze rock crown from Guns N Roses. The second hit song was "Crazy Bitch" and this is probably the main reason the band are still around now. This song came out of nowhere to be a surprise hit on music channels a few years ago and provided a much needed amount of new exposure for the band. Starting with a funk/disco intro this again got the whole venue bouncing and singing.  Whilst perhaps not the most PC of songs it remains a no holds bar ode to the joys of a less salubrious life style. The only slight negative was the decision to use the mid song break to introduce the band members - whilst each band member was worthy of the recognition it was a shame to interrupt one of the songs most eagerly awaited by the crowd.

The only other disappointment of the gig was that the encore was only one song, where it was clear that the singer was indicating to the venue if they could do one or two. The band had impressively got a crowd on a wet,cold Birmingham night in the mood for rock n roll and they would have loved at least one more song. At the end the whole crowd must have been left with the desire to drink a bottle of JD, collect some more tattoos and keep partying all night long!!!

Review by Paul Hastings
Photo by Rob Lawrence -

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