LA rockers Vigil of War makes their eagerly anticipated UK debut as the quartet arrives at Trillian’s in Newcastle.

A packed out crowd is in attendance at the city’s most beloved rock bar as for one night only the North East of England joins forces with the West Coast of the USA.

Local rockers Wild Thorn first encountered Vigil of War at the famed Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood back in 2018. On their return to the UK, the band planted the seed that eventually came to fruition with a DIY tour for LA-based outfit. Almost a year to the date and Vigil of War finally made their maiden transatlantic voyage as part of a weeklong UK tour.

Wild Thorn open the proceedings early in the evening as they take the crowd through an explosive set that centres on original material from their forthcoming album Rockin’ n Rollin’, the Full Throttle EP along with covers from a whole raft of classic rock greats. The band’s take on Guns N Roses “Night Train” is the perfect precursor for tonight’s Hollywood themed proceedings.

Likewise, local favourites Fallen Mafia raise the bar high early in the evening with a set which largely showcases their original compositions. The band’s set ebbs and flows from the emphatic “Dirty”, the heavy groove of “Burn”, through to the hard-hitting “Breathe” and the beautiful ballad “How The Story Ends”. A cover of “Cry Little Sister” from the Lost Boys soundtrack is the cherry on the top of an impressive opening set.

Having honed their craft on the Sunset Strip this evening Vigil of War brings a touch of Hollywood glamour to the North East of England as they give the Trillian’s masses a taste of what they are all about.

Taking to the stage each wearing a black leather jacket bearing the band’s logo, the four-piece kicks off the proceedings by giving a nod to British sleaze rockers The Darkness with “Black Shuck” before featuring the first track from their debut five-track EP with the frantic “Live Wire”. The song’s infectious melody, bass-heavy groove, crunchy guitar riffs and catchy hooks certainly hit the spot at the top of the set.

A last minute line-up change before the band departed from LA see’s Alicia Vigil’s former She Demons bandmate Kiki Wongo replacing London Stacey on guitar for this tour. Despite having only had a few weeks to prepare Kiki seems to have integrated into the band with ease and her energetic performance and blistering fretwork is a joy to watch this evening.

Tonight’s 35-minute set largely centres on the Bite The Bullet EP with all five tracks from the release featuring. This includes the gritty “War Inside My Mind”, the emphatic “Shallow Grave” along with the intoxicating “Stitch Me Up”. The latter of which being one of the highlights of the set.

Lead vocalist Alicia Vigil sings with such passion, intensity and authority, she captivates the audience from the off.  Vigil also forms part of a formidable rhythm section alongside former Good Charlotte drummer Chris Wilson. Founding guitarist Shane Taylor, who is playing lead guitar on this run rounds out the band’s devastating line-up.

Despite the emphasis on Vigil of War’s debut EP, there is also room for a couple of covers in the set. The quartet goes punk rock as they take the crowd through their incredible take on Billy Idols timeless classic “White Wedding” along with The Ramones “Strength To Endure”. The latter of which being a song which Vigil and Wongo played together in their former group She Demons.

As the band race towards the finish line they break into their latest single “Choke” before taking things full circle with an explosive airing of “Bite The Bullet” during which the band propel themselves off the front of the stage as they get caught up in the action with their fans at the front. Vigil of War’s short but sweet set leaves the crowd wanting more.

Tonight may well have been Vigil of War’s first appearance in the North East of England but based upon the strength of this performance we doubt it will be their last. Expect big things to come from this LA-based outfit in 2019.

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Event Date: 07-Feb-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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