ACEY SLADE (+ Ruby And The Knights)
Grimsby might not be the first town you'd expect to be on a list alongside usual stops such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Sheffield, but Acey Slade has made sure he drops by on his low-key acoustic tour. The Brooklyn, NY musician famous for being a part of acts such as Dope, Murderdolls, Wednseday 13, Amen, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts as well as his own bands Trashlight Vision and Acey Slade & The Dark Party gets as stripped back as possible on this tour. It's just him, a semi-acoustic guitar and electro-acoustic accompaniment from Billy Liar. It's different... maybe even a bit of a gamble for someone known for raucous rock 'n' roll, but it pays off.
Kicking things off is local act Ruby And The Knights. Playing a serviceable blend of classic rock and metal sent through a deathrock filter with their classic goth aesthetic creating a nice visual hook. The songs are in places a bit generic pub rock, but the band display some great songwriting in places and their performance is solid throughout their set. The only real criticism is that despite the strong vocals for front-woman Ruby, they do get a bit repetitive as she uses the classic rock wail a bit too much. Otherwise they look to be a promising local talent.
Yardbirds, if you haven't had the pleasure, is a small biker bar with a long history of putting on live bands. It looks and smells of rock 'n' roll and despite it's intimate dimensions it is a comfortable fit for the US rocker and his smaller than usual entourage.
The tag-line for this tour is “Playing hits and talking shit” and that's exactly what you get. Despite the acoustic set-up it is evident from the very start that Acey Slade has more punk rock in his little finger than most full bands could muster in their entire being. The performances from Acey and Billy liar are bristling with energy and full of life as he hurtles through his own hits as well as those from his time in Joan Jett's band as well as Murderdolls. Particular highlights included 'Allergic To You', 'Love At First Fright', 'Welcome To The Strange', 'Crimson And Clover', 'Radio', '197666', 'Black Apples' and the brief Bowie tribute in the form of 'Moonage Daydream'. There was even space for Billy Liar to take the microphone for a rendition of his song 'Pills'.
Between songs Slade told stories, made jokes and interacted with the crowd. It felt open and personal, like a homecoming show. It was a raw, honest and fun performance that showed off the power of his skills as a vocalist and performer in general. It was a gamble playing this kind of show but it works really well and more than payed off for Slade and co.