Rising stars of the British rock scene, The Bad Flowers and Federal Charm join forces for a co-headline tour of epic proportions presented by Planet Rock Radio.

Welsh upstarts Those Damn Crows have also featured on the bill throughout this run, however, due to the illness of lead vocalist Shane Greenhall, the band had to, unfortunately, withdraw this evening.

Earlier this year Midland’s based trio The Bad Flowers released their critically acclaimed debut album Starting Gun. Since that time the band has been gaining momentum as well as touring relentlessly. This year has seen The Bad Flowers perform alongside the likes of Stone Broken and Jared James Nichols as well as hitting the festival circuit over the summer.

Throughout the course of their 60 minute set The Bad Flowers showcase their latest offering, with all but one track featuring in their performance. The three-piece immediately set to task with the heavy groove of their Planet Rock playlisted single “Hurricane” and the thunderous “Lion’s Blood”. The band approach tonight’s show with a no messing attitude and cram in thirteen tracks into their hour-long setlist.

For a three-piece, The Bad Flowers can make more noise than most bands with twice as many members. From the blistering fretwork and fierce vocal delivery of Tom Leighton, through to the impressive rhythm section of Karl Selickis (drums) and Dale Tonks (bass), The Bad Flowers come together seamlessly like a huge wall of sound.

The band slow things down momentarily with “Let’s Misbehave” before teasing the crowd with a new song in the shape of the incredible “I Ain’t Ready”. The Bad Flowers debut album was only released early this year, but the group has already got their sights set on the next chapter, and boy does it sound good.

The hard rocking trio brings their set to its explosive conclusion with their anthemic single “Thunderchild”, along with a crowd-pleasing rendition of “Rich Man” and fan favourite “City Lights”, which in turns leaves the crowd wanting more.

On the strength of tonight’s show, it’s fair to say that The Bad Flowers are set for the top. This band just seems to get better and better with each show that follows.

Things haven’t always been easy for Manchester’s Federal Charm in recent years. With a new and regrouped line-up and their third studio album in the bag, Federal Charm showed their nay-sayers that they’ve still got plenty left to prove.

As Federal Charm hit the stage, suited and booted, they waste no time in delving into their new album by launching into an emphatic rendition of “Swing Sinner” before pleasing their old school fans with “Guess What” from their sophomore album Across The Divide.

There are few bands who have lost their original frontman and managed to successfully carry on but try telling this to Federal Charm’s Tom Guyer, whose dynamic vocals coupled with the pounding rhythm of new drummer Josh Zahler have catalysed the North West based quartet’s harder, edgier sound.

Throughout the course of their hour-long, high energy set Federal Charm delivers the lion’s share of their new album, with nine of the eleven tracks on the album featured. There are many stand out songs from Passenger in the set including the likes of “Death Rattle” and “Choke”, to name but a few.

Passenger marks a new and exciting chapter for Federal Charm, and arguably their best studio album to date. Each of these new tracks sounds good on record but truly come to life when performed live.

Despite the line-up changes Federal Charm are still proud of their roots and crowd-pleasing performances of classics such as “Silhouette” are a testament to this. Likewise, Federal Charm closes their set and the evening by going back to the very start of the band with the opening track of their eponymous debut release with “Gotta Give It Up”.

It’s great to see Federal Charm back out on the road again; onwards and upwards for this hard rocking bunch of charmers.

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The Bad Flowers
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Federal Charm
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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.