Caught Live: Tax The Heat, Live Rooms Chester 22 April 2017

“You made the right choice”, said Tax The Heat frontman Alex Veale early into their set at the smaller L2 room at Chester’s Live Rooms. “We’re a real band, not a tribute!”
He was referring to the fact that there was another gig that night at this place, as UK Foo Fighters were playing in the larger L1 room and, judging by a quick glance at the crowd in that part of the venue, had drawn a substantial crowd. The L2 room is basically the bar area with a tiny stage in the corner and to my surprise, hadn’t pulled that much of a crowd. Quite a surprise for a band that has got quite a ‘buzz’ going, and is currently enjoying radio airplay on Planet Rock. Nonetheless, as the foursome took to the stage, the first thing Veale did was beckon over the sparse crowd who were scattered around the floor. They launched into proceedings with ‘Stood On The Platform’, and if anything their heavy sound is harder still when delivered live. Much of the power behind their live sound is from Antonio Angotti’s distorted bass, with drummer Jack Taylor also thumping out a punchy rhythm.

Alex Veale made frequent reference to the crowd who had taken the punt on them instead of UK Foo Fighters, making a jokey promise on behalf of guitarist Jean-Paul ‘JP’ Jacyshyn. “JP is really good at remembering faces, and when we headline at Manchester Apollo he’ll buy you all a drink!”. The band cut a dash in their smart suits, though Veale soon ditched his jacket to reveal a natty pale blue paisley shirt. He provided most of the lead guitar solos in the songs; the bearded and bespectacled ‘JP’ locked in with the other guys to supply the rock-solid foundation for their frontman.
Their look is a little at odds with their sound, it is steeped in old-fashoned rhythm and blues but performed with a heaviness and intensity that put many ‘Metal’ bands to shame. Towards the end of their set, they threw in a Prince cover (it being close to the anniversary of his passing) but assured us that “it will still sound like Tax The Heat!” The song performed was ‘Bambi’ and it was indeed just as slamming as everything else they played.

This was one of those shows that I for one will certainly look back on as being fortunate to be at; this band should by rights take off within the year and will indeed be playing much bigger venues than this. As it was, it was a privilege to experience this band’s raw power up close and personal, before they make that step up to the Apollos of this world.

Set list:

  • Stood On The Platform
  • Animals
  • Under Watchful Eye
  • Devil’s Daughter
  • Caroline
  • Your Fool
  • Some Sympathy
  • Hit Me Hard
  • Money In The Bank
  • Learn To Drown (You’re Wrong)
  • Fed To The Lions
  • Taking The Hit
  • Bambi (Prince Cover)
  • Lost Our Way
  • Highway Home

5 – Delightful

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