Panic Cell / Forever Never / Man Of The Hour
17 October 2007
Camden Underworld

Having arrived too late to catch openers Trigger 9, it was Scottish heavy metal heroes Man Of The Hour that were next to take to the Underworld stage. The Edinburgh five piece don’t do subtleties and come across like an unholy crash between 3 Inches Of Blood and Down. "This ones for werewolf fans", announced frontman Tommy Concrete as we were battered with the monster groove of Werewolf Lover. Red Nails and The Whirlpool Of Hades turned up the pace with Concrete switching between a forceful clean vocal and 3 Inches Of Blood like screams.

In an attempt to shift some of the bands cds, Concrete reasoned "Eight quid for an hours worth of metal, You can’t go wrong!" and it seemed not as the stoner groove of The Spores Of The Black Unicorn passed by with the frontman appearing with a guitar to take a solo. Wrapping things up, We Are Heavy Metal said it all.

Man Of The Hour set list:
I Only Give A Shit! / Destroy The Machines Of Slaughter / Werewolf Lover / Red Nails / The Whirlpools Of Hades / The Spores Of The Black Unicorn / We Are Heavy Metal

When Rockers Digest last caught Forever Never two years ago, supporting Stuck Mojo, I commented that the band’s debut album would be worth checking out and so it turned out to be. However, the step up in quality from that show to this was immense and I’ll say right now that Forever Never’s sophomore album will be definitely one to watch out for.

The band’s set was split 50/50 between songs from their Aporia album and new material, plus a somewhat surprising cover. When frontman Renny Carroll asks us if we’re Whitesnake fans it seemed like a joke, but Forever Never have recycled and modernized Coverdale’s Still Of The Night. It is the new songs that really impress though, with Carroll employing more clean vocals and less screaming. Carroll really does possess star quality with a soaring vocal. Between songs he’s an Essex motor-mouth with a chirpy confident presence.

The rest of the band are certainly no slouches and bound around the stage whilst maintaining a tight sound. Forever Never seriously impressed tonight and with the right breaks have bags of potential.

Forever Never set list:
Empty Promises / Aporia / Still Of The Night / As I Lie / Set Me Aside / Break The Trend / This World

With an excellent second album in the racks, Panic Cell have finally embarked on their first headline tour. They are probably the band Rockers Digest have covered more than any other, which is no surprise given the amount of road work the band have put in. Having seen them on twelve previous occasions, the real pleasure tonight was the prospect of hearing that new material live and it did not disappoint. Some of the riffing of Harjeet Virdee and Kelly Downes during opener Stare Into Oblivion borders on thrash, but is balanced by Luke Bell’s melodic vocal in the chorus.

Human Tarmac followed, as it does on the cd, with many in the crowd joining in with the "Aint’ no..." refrain. Meanwhile, Shallow took us back to the familiarity of the band’s debut album, with bassist Bobby Town as animated as ever, waving his bass around and contorting his face. Later, given that Panic Cell could stretch out a little tonight, Thousand Words made a rare appearance and served to add a break in the pace. This was only brief, as with Calm, which is anything but, Panic Cell shifted up to top gear then played their first album trump card Save Me.

With the bar running out of lager and crazily shut by 10.25pm, many were keen to take up Luke Bell’s offer of a swig of Jägermeister, as he careered around in the crowd with bottle in hand. Dead To Me brought us to the climax of the show, with Away From Here fittingly seeing the band off.

Panic Cell set list:
From Father To Son (Intro) / Stare Into Oblivion / Human Tarmac / Shallow / Fallen / Damn Self Pity / Walk Away / Thousand Words / Calm / Save Me / Dead To Me / Away From Here

Panic Cell
Forever Never
Man Of The Hour