Gig Review – W.M.D @ Route 44 with support from Tear It Down and Rai Kah Mercury


Aran Grant of W.M.D – Photo Courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography

This is the first gig I’ve attended for the Rock Asylum this year, and as I am a strong supporter of W.M.D, a great bunch of lads from Burntwood in Staffordshire. I got really excited when I saw this advertised, and I was eager to attend, firstly because I wanted to see the guys perform their recently released tracks, and secondly because of the awesome line up this gig was offering.


route 44 pic


Route 44 is a great venue, easy to access, and with the pub being open prior to the gig starting, its a great place to have a few pre gig drinks whilst waiting for the doors to open.


Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography

So first in the line up were Tear It Down from Wolverhampton, with their newly recruited bass player Matt Ratcliffe added to the mix. These lads have bags of confidence which clearly shows throughout their performances. Their set was a good strong collection of tracks, performed well, with extravagant displays from guitar player Jesse Taylor. Lead singer Blade Edwards kept us entertained throughout, with his strong vocals and passionate stage presence, he kept it together even when things didn’t go to plan. Rhys Jones as usual got on with the job without any issues, and was more involved in the set than I’ve seen at previous performances.

Unfortunately, whilst I was out of the room, the guitar got dropped which made the rest of their set quite interesting, which included a great little treat from drummer Jamie Roberts, who entertained us whilst techs were trying to sort things out.

Overall a good set from Tear It Down.


Rhys Jones of Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography


Matt Ratcliff of Tear It Down – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


Jesse Taylor of Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography


Blade Edwards of Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography


Rai Kah Mercury – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography

Next up were the lads from Rai Kah Mercury from Burton on Trent. Something a little different with a softer, more alternative edge to it. Since I last saw them perform, they’ve grown in confidence and once again they put on a fantastic set for us. My attention was drawn particularly to the drummer Joshua Anthony Lowe who came into his own. I could see he was really working flat out and enjoying being there, which is an essential quality required from anyone who is in the entertainment business.

Some of the tracks they performed had a more ‘rock’ influence, but I would like to see these lads really let loose with something more rough round the edges. With only a handful of gigs behind them, I’m sure as their confidence builds, their performances will become amazing. They have bags of talent and charisma, the rest will come as they grow into this fantastic band they’ve created. Well done guys.


Tomas Crean of RKM – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


Reece Schaefer of RKM – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


Joshua Anthony Lowe of RKM – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


W.M.D @ Route 44 – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography

Then, we were onto the headline act W.M.D. These guys always put their heart and soul into their work, and this gig was no exception.

Exceptional guitar work from all three guitarists, even though Simon Wood tends not to steal the limelight, his talent should not be taken lightly. At one point I found myself shouting ‘more Mike’ as I really enjoy bass player Mike Wood‘s work, both vocally and on the bass, and as you will see from my videos, it adds variety to the set. Not many bands have a bass player that will perform a solo piece of this calibre. Jack Revill blasted out an energetic performance as always, and Aran Grant performed well throughout the night, putting in a solid, heartfelt performance.

Well done guys, and thanks for asking me down, me and the rest of the crew really enjoyed it.


Aran Grant from W.M.D – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography




Jack Revill of W.M.D



Simon Wood and Mike Wood of W.M.D


Simon and Mike of W.M.D


Jack Revill of W.M.D

I have to say that the drummers of each band really stood out for me during the gig. Each one of them took the opportunity to show off their talents at some point during their set, which I really enjoyed.

The drummers always tend to be left at the back of stage and pretty much ‘forgotten’. Photographers have a real fight on their hands to get photos of them too.

There’s nothing more entertaining than a great drummer engaging with the audience and showcasing their talents. These bands are still progressing, however each band found a place for their drummers to be at the forefront of their performance at some point during the night, albeit for Tear It Down it was accidental. Jamie Roberts is a great little drummer to look out for, with his face appearing full of rage he soon rips into the drums given the opportunity.

A great night full of fun and fab music. Not without technical issues, but these things happen. Well done to all of the bands who performed, in particular to the headline act W.M.D who put on a great show.

4.5 Stars



Thanks to Dave Briggs Photography for supplying the photos for this review. If you would like to see more of his work, why not visit his facebook page here


Gig Review coming soon – W.M.D + support from Tear It Down and Rai Kah Mercury

My review of last night’s show at Route 44 Birmingham is nearly ready, including video footage of each of the bands as well as photos supplied by Dave Briggs.

Don’t miss it!



Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs



Tear It Down













DSC08833-Edit-1Rai Kah Mercury
















Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs





Gig Review – Without Grace

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The journey to Birmingham turned out to be quite a stressful time, what with traffic and other circumstances which were beyond my control. This resulted in arriving at the venue far too late, and missing out on the interview which had been planned. Once we were inside the venue though, it soon became clear that we were in for a good night.

Kicking off the night was Cenfora. All in all these guys did a great job, in particular the lead guitarist Jake Elwell who was a real showman. A great start to the gig. Next up were Tear It Down, who I have watched improve over the last few months, each performance looking more polished, and their confidence growing rapidly. An enjoyable set from Blade, Jesse, Jamie and Rhys.

Barbikan were oozing confidence and put on an impressive show. They seemed to have quite a following. This was the first time I’ve heard such a band, and it was overall quite enjoyable. I’m not sure that the ‘story telling’ type of material is my thing, but it seemed to fit them very well and the vocalist Greg Lisowski performed this very well. Slack Alice were a great band overall, giving an assortment of covers and their own material. The version of Smoke on the Water didn’t go so well, the vocalist seemed to forget words at one point, but he recovered by encouraging the audience to sing along. Slack Alice herself also got involved as you will see from the video.

Without Grace walked on stage giving the impression they were a shy bunch of lads……but then the music started and these guys smashed it with a high voltage performance. Every member of the band performed their hearts out, which made the night even more enjoyable. Great vocals from Dan Jones, and James West on bass was certainly one to watch throughout the set. TJ Weston put on an explosive performance which was supercharged from start to finish. I expect to see this young man go far. Lead guitarist Chris Jones also put on an excellent performance and showed off his talents in front of my camera. I’ve managed to pick up some excellent footage which I hope you will enjoy. This band is severely underrated in my opinion. They deserve to be getting bigger breaks with their gigs.

The evening turned out to be fantastic, with all of support acts stepping up to the plate and delivering a fairly strong start to the night. The strongest performances in my opinion were Without Grace (Obviously), Slack Alice and Tear it Down. I want to emphasize though, that all bands put on cracking performances, and there were no weak links.

Due to the pressure I’m under at the moment to deliver reviews for other media outlets as well as my blog, I am keeping this short and simple.

Venue Rating: 5/5

Value for money: 5/5

Gig Rating: 5/5

Many thanks to Without Grace for inviting us along.


Cenfora were confident and provided a great warm up for the evening, with guitarist Jake Elwell taking the limelight with his totally full on performance.


Second in the line up were Tear it Down, an awesome young 4 piece band from Willenhall.



Slack Alice

Without Grace