On a cold and rainy night in Paris, hidden away is a circus big-top, swathed in red velvet drapes withÂ a lengthyÂ queue at the door of fans eager to warm up withÂ some good old fashioned rock and roll.
Toseland open the show with a set packed full of catchy melodic rock. The band are fronted by the very charismatic James Toseland (former Superbike champion), and backed by a superb group of musicians with an extensive pedigree in the UK rock scene.
New songs, “Puppet On A Chain” and “Too Close To Call,” kept the energy levels high, with guitarist Ed Bramford and bassist Roger Davis to the fore.
The firstÂ ToselandÂ album,Â Renegade,Â was more of a solo effort and has just been released in Europe. Â Their new record, Cradle of Rage, is finished and scheduled for release in March.
The title track forÂ Cradle of RageÂ was a cracker and ran into “Fingers Burned,” featuring JT on keyboards. “Renegade” followed, and is a slice of quality rock, with a great solo from Zurab Melua on guitars and some powerhouse drumming from Joe Yoshida.
ToselandÂ closed with “Singer In A Band,” a song written for Little Angels frontman Toby Jepson. The band received an enthusiastic response from the sizeable crowd, most of whom would have no idea who ToselandÂ was and may still think they saw Theory of a Deadman, who were billed to support on this tour.
Black Stone Cherry came out to a smaller stage than they might be used to. They opened with “Me and Mary Jane,” “Rain Wizard,” and “Blind Man,” raising the temperature several degrees and the interacting with an engaged, enthusiastic crowd.Â Â Guitarist Ben Wells was all over the place, throwing himself and the guitar around the stage.
The band relaxed and kicked off “In My Blood” with an intro of “Roadhouse Blues,” including some tasty Thin Lizzy-esque dual harmony guitar work.Â Their new song, “Violator Girl,” sent the crowd into a frenzy, before the blues standard, “Yeah Man” and “Holding On… Letting Go,” rolled into a monumental version of “Soul Creek.”Â “Things My Father Said” brought a bit of soulfulness to the proceedings before the band kicked in to deliver a slice of classic southern blues rock.
“In Our Dreams” was followed by a drum solo, before playing “The Rambler.” Black Stone Cherry played a sensational version of “Peace Is Free,” which they dedicated to the events at Le Bataclan last year. Their set finished with blistering versions of “White Trash Millionaire” and the classic “Blame It On The Boom Boom.”
The band’s performanceÂ was not over as an enthusiastic crowd dragged the guys back out for a rousing “Lonely Train” to finish up.
Not totally done, we got a rousing cry of “We are Black Stone Cherry, and we play rock and roll,” before launching into a crushing version of “Ace of Spades” dedicated to the late great Lemmy Kilmeister.
The comparison of seeingÂ Black Stone Cherry play on the large stage atÂ Wembley the previous week to this intimate show atÂ Cabaret Sauvage in Paris is quite the contrast. This show offered the excitement and thrill of seeing a great band in a small, intimate venue. It is an experience that all fans in attendance will remember!
All photos and words: Peter Coates / Inside Edge Photography