I’d been looking forward to this one for some time. The management at the Tivoli are always willing to give newer bands a shot and it was great to see that they’d booked Beth Blade and her band for this legendary venue, a rock ‘n’ roller steeped in the old school although yet to hit her mid-twenties herself. I keep seeing Beth at other bands’ gigs, she’s as dedicated a fan as she is a performer but this was the first time I would see her tread a stage with a guitar.
It was a three band bill, and as usual with my busy schedule I got there in time to miss openers Marble Parlour. Apologies to them, especially since I was reliably informed they are a fine band worth checking out, so maybe next time. I did see local band Violets Leap, who were a decent hard rock act with a particularly good guitarist in ‘Gavin’ (they don’t appear to believe in surnames!) Vocalist ‘Jonathan’ asked the attendees were they ready for ‘The Blade’, which prompted a bit of ribbing from his bandmates!
After quite a bit of setting up, Beth and her Disasters plugged it in and rocked it out! They have a new album recently released (‘Show Me Your Teeth’) and they gave us several numbers from that, but also quite a lot from first offering ‘Bad Habit’. One thing I spotted straight away was that there was just the one microphone on the stage, no backing vocals required here! ‘The Blade’ carried it all off herself, even for songs such as ‘You and I’ which on record do have backing vocal, it was just the one voice delivering it live. One big voice! Beth is often compared to Lzzy Hale, and on this evidence it’s easy to see why. She was reminiscent of early Lzzy, she has that same power in her delivery. Sporting a Paul Stanley signature Ibanez guitar, she is also a mean rhythm guitarist providing plenty of wallop, and alongside drummer Sam Brain and bassist Dan Rowe (I’m not sure whether he is a full-time member; they have been performing with stand-in bassists for some time now, Beth herself played bass on the recent album) they gave the ideal platform for guitarist Luke Strickland Gilmore to do his best Doug Aldrich on the lead. Midway through, she performed ‘Poster Girl For Pain’ solo, before which she admitted to a few nerves. Needlessly, as it turned out!
As a frontwoman, Beth exudes confidence, striding to the front and getting those who were hovering near the bar to come closer to the stage. Aware of the significance of playing a venue which has seen (among countless others) the likes of Thunder, the Quireboys and going back really far – Slade – tread these boards, she was quick to praise manager Rokib Miah (rockin’ Rokib, as she called him) for booking this date. My only slight quibble was that they didn’t perform ‘1974’, the nostalgia-flavoured song on the current album which namechecks numerous classic bands. Make sure to include that next time, Beth!
She’s been a gig buddy at previous shows I’ve attended but from now on I’m a fan, and I look forward to catching ‘The Lancashire Lzzy’ and her boys at another gig very soon.