With ticket sales getting further ahead of gigs there was plenty of time to get excited about Slash taking to the stage at the Manchester Apollo this month. We've been getting regular updates on the progress of the short UK tour and festival appearances via Slash's regular mobile posts and the tour has been impressively well recieved everywhere.
Slash is definitely on a roll briefly taking a break to add to the work on the new album which will feature the touring band who, I Am happy to report are just as slick as it's possible to be.
I was a little perturbed when Japanese Voyeurs opened the gig; sadly the sound system was doing them no favours drowning the vocals and lead guitar with heavily over driven speakers. Their set reminded me of many pub gigs where visiting bands crank it up beyond "too far" and lose out on the opportunity to show their talent to get that heavy beat rockers seem to thrive on.
After a brief change of stage crew and equipment and obligatory dash to the heaving bar for a cold one; Slash and the band opened the set with Snakepit favourite Been There Lately followed by selections from the Slash and Friends album, Velvet Revolver and Gn'R including my personal picks Ghost and Cali no problems with the sound there it was clearly very well produced.
Myles Kennedy really does give a hundred percent and you have to think if it wasn't for his commitment with Alterbridge he would be first choice to front Velvet Revolver.When they played songs like Slither it was as if the song was his own.
For Doctor Alibi, which you will recall featured Lemmy on the album, Myles handed over vocal duties to bass player extraordinaire Todd Kerns. Its a good choice as his voice has a similar dryness to Lemmy and he well mirrors that gunslinger style of playing Slash favours.
The whole performance was deeply satisfying and proves-( though it is not necessary as we can agree) Slash's playing does not rely upon electronic mixing desk trickery just an awesome dose of ability ,underlined heavily by his solo improv based around The Godfather theme music.
Finishing off the main performance with G n'R s Sweet Child of Mine and then Slither brought a huge roar of approval and after a short break returned to perform By the Sword, Mr Brownstone and Patience (which I am unfamiliar with TBH).
The final song of the encore was Paradise City backed by a huge pyrotechnic display as two mortars fired strips of coloured paper showering the fans.A great night!
Great news too he promises to be back next year doing a bigger UK tour, and by then the new album should be finished.
Derek Watts August 2011.