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





Coming up …..Gig Review ………W.M.D with support from Third Angle Projection, Tear It Down and Rai Kah Mercury

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This cracking gig is on Friday 16th February at Route 44, Birmingham

The Rock Asylum and Dave Briggs Photography will be capturing the whole night on camera for those of you who can’t make it, but any locals why not head down there and come and say hi?

I’ve seen all of the support bands live, and can honestly say this will be well worth the trip, and as you know, I’m a huge fan of W.M.D who will no doubt be smashing it.

Hope to see you there!



Gig & Music Review including Band Feature – W.M.D

 DSC07838Words may differ or W.M.D for short, are a band formed in 2013 in the Midlands, an alternative group with blue and grungy undertones. After releasing their debut E.P “So Has The Faith” in 2015 , in mid 2017 original member and guitarist Dan Price and the band parted ways and ex White Rose guitarist Jack Revill filled the void to record the new single/ album teaser for 2018. They are now hard at work writing their debut album for a 2018 release.

2017 has seen W.M.D gigging locally and working hard to produce their new material, which will be ready for release next year, and after having seen this band play live, I have to say that its a very exciting prospect.

Gig Review – The Cottage of Content

W.M.D supported by Rai Kah Mercury

On arrival at The Cottage of Content, we were pleased to find a friendly atmosphere with pleasant staff. A little cold in the gig room, but things soon warmed up as more people arrived. The car park was smack on the front of the building so easy access, and I would describe the pub as no frills, but a warm and friendly atmosphere and kept clean, with a great atmosphere about the place.

Rai Kah Mercury kicked the night off. I’d never seen or heard them before but I was pleasantly surprised by these 3 lads Tomas Crean, Reece Shaefer, and Josh Lowe. They are very young and fresh on the scene, not many gigs under their belt, but they certainly pulled off a great set. They drew me in with the innocent and naïve appearance, and then socked it to me with a fantastic, fresh and captivating performance.

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For anyone wanting to find out more about this band here’s an extract from the band’s facebook page. Built around the multi talented singer, song writer, guitarist Tomas Crean, whose lyrics have a poetic quality, Rai Kah Mercury displays subtlety and intensity often in one song. Influences can be traced through Free, Crazy Horse, Joy Division to Radiohead, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The rhythm section of Reece Schaefer on bass, and Josh Lowe on drums empathises with the ebb and flow of Crean’s songs, in all their delicate and chaotic glory. Soulful, bluesy and downright heavy at times, when RKM lock horns into their signature jams adrenaline flows right off the stage to the audience.

I thought that Tomas Crean, although very fresh to the live music scene, was mesmerising, and with more experience under his belt, he is certainly one to watch. In fact, the whole band did a really great job of kicking this gig off, considering I was told they’ve only been gigging a few months. A big WELL DONE to you guys!

Take a look at this video footage, and if you like what you see, maybe go visit RKM on facebook, click here or Instagram here



Before W.M.D took the stage, I caught up with them for a chat. You’ll find the full interview published separately. Then, without further ado, they took the stage. Playing some of the older tunes as well as their new tracks which are due for release on a double A side single, they produced a set which the audience enjoyed immensely. Their unique blend of music, took the audience on a journey through dirty, grungy rock music, with detours into blues and progressive metal encounters which went down well.


DSC08025Guitarist Jack Revill demonstrated his prowess throughout the set, blasting out a strong, confident performance from start to finish.

Something about the way Jack performs sets him apart, giving an unusual edginess to the sound he produces.








Bassist Mike Wood soon got into his stride and as usual had the audience jigging along with him in no time.

He performed a great bass solo which was something a bit different too.

The thing I like about Mike is that he’s not a man of many words (not that I’ve heard anyway), but when he gets up on stage, his smile and body language tells you that he wants you to enjoy his performance. And the more you enjoy it, the more he gives!


I think there were issues with microphones throughout the night, but again, this was just a minor setback and didn’t spoil the performances in my opinion.




Simon Wood on guitar and lead vocals displayed confidence and great humour throughout the night, entertaining the crowd with a bit of stand up comedy as well as his brilliant vocals.

I did catch him coughing a few times during the night, but he did not let this spoil his performance at all, even when the audience beckoned for one more song at the end of the set, he came up with the goods.








DSC08010Drummer Aran Grant also put on a sturdy performance, even though it was difficult to catch him on video due to the set up of the stage. He’s as elusive on stage as I’m told he is to get to rehearsals. But the main thing is, he got there and he smashed it!



W.M.D gave a really sincere stage show, interacting with the audience making the night entertaining and memorable for all. There is an even presence from the band members, with each of them taking their turn in the spotlight. The set was given with seasoned skills and naturally effortless delivery. You can’t help but warm to them and there’s a genuine appreciation from the guys.

Having had the opportunity to review the new double A side single ‘Stepping Stone’, I have to say these guys are awesome. I found the digital versions of both tracks a real testament to the abilities W.M.D possess, and the tracks are worlds apart from each other, giving an extra flavour to the release, however, I loved the live performances too. Please take the time to check out the videos, the new releases are in there somewhere!

If you like what you’ve heard about W.M.D why not follow them on facebook or twitter
I am hoping that I will get the opportunity to meet with W.M.D again prior to the release of their album in 2018, and I’m sure this will knock your socks off!




*** Sincere apologies for any video/picture quality. The venue is fantastic to hold live events, however the lighting is not kind to the camera!***



Band Feature and Music Review – W.M.D

As already advertised, The Rock Asylum will be visiting The Cottage of Content in Burntwood on Friday night to review W.M.D in action, supported by Rai Kah Mercury.

received_10156107793933836172806161.jpegWhat you didn’t already know is that I’ve managed to get my hands on W.M.D’s new double A side single, which I will be reviewing and publishing along with a band feature including an interview and review of the gig, not to mention photos by my partner Dave Briggs.

Jack Revill told W.M.D followers ‘W.M.D are putting on our last show of the year the The Cottage of Content in Burntwood, with a relatively new band Rai Kah Mercury fresh from there debut gigs and already getting a solid following be sure to get down early to catch them then W.M.D take to the stage fresh out of the recording studio for our latest double A side single “Stepping Stone”. Not a gig to miss both bands will be all guns blazing! get your rocks off! Also the Rock Asylum Blog will be there to add to the party what is not to like about that!’

I have seen this band once before, and I have to say I’m pretty excited to be seeing them again!

Why not join us?