Alice In Chains / Ghost / Walking Papers

O2 Academy, Leeds on Sun 10th Nov 2013

If I had of known that Walking Papers were playing tonight, and that Walking Papers featured a certain Duff McKagan (GnR) on bass and Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) on guitar, I would have tried to get to the venue a little earlier! The doors time was 6.30pm, so I thought this would be an early gig. It wasn't, so each of the three bands on the bill had a fair old bit of time to showcase in.

The end of Walking Papers set that I caught was great, I think it was 'Two Tickets And A Room' that really made me notice them before I noticed the supergroup line up. Gruff vocals from Jeff Angell (The Missionary Position, backed by his fellow band mate Benjamin Anderson on keys) ride over the hard grungey blues rock of McKagan and Martin's rhythm section. I'm gutted I missed them otherwise I would have more to say…

I will mention the small fire upstairs in the venue (many could smell it, but no one knew anything about it. We were stood a bit too close to it, something plastic on the merch stall on the balcony was alight very briefly. Thought that would be the end of the gig, but it went pretty much unnoticed as security put it out. Just stunk a bit. Until the next band anyway...

Ghost B.C., on the other hand, for me should have played first on the bill. Maybe it's not fair to push someone forward because they are in bands who have sold millions of records, but these Swedish Metallers are more of a gimmick than a great band. The Slipknot of Satanic Swedish metal. The heavy songs are pretty awesome I must point out, with 5 hooded 'Nameless Ghouls' really creating a horrific metal insurgence sound, but the lighter songs are pretty pants. Papa Emeritus II, the Satanic Priest who looks like the dark twin of the Pope, comes complete with the smell of incense. I know Dave Grohl (Ghoul! Sorry…) helps this band out a lot, and as one of My Heroes (sorry!) I should give them a go, but I feel like I have. For me after a couple of songs this band's charm has worn off somewhat, though I do listen to many tracks like 'Year Zero' and 'Infestissumam' which are ok. Tight? Yes. Horrifying? Maybe. Perennial? No!

After that side step of music (Spooks sweet on Satan sandwiched between Seattle grunge legends?) Alice In Chains take to the stage. Framed with two video screens with amazing video visuals they mean business. Chants of "Jerry, Jerry!" (like on Jerry Springer) can be heard throughout the gig, along with "Yorkshire". I'm a Tyke and I don't get that... test the band, they should be able to say where they are without any clues! William DuVall makes a little reference to The Who. "AIC, Live in Leeds!"

It's a mix up of songs from the Seattle grungers, playing past hits and new tracks. 'Check My Brain' has been a favourite of mine since the band reformed with new singer William DuVall, who in my eyes is a fine frontman who delivers the balance between performing the hits we know as Layne Staley would have (minus the deep angst, but DuVall does not appear to have the angst of a poor Staley). After also losing Mike Starr only two years ago in similar circumstances it's a wonder Alice in Chains have the strength to push on. They do though and the result is some of the best gigs for a long time. The added touch of the illuminated initials 'LSMS' on the drums throughout the show shows their commitment to the memory of their fallen band brothers. If only people would leave off of Jerry's new short hair; it's his hair! He's not a trademark, he's a bloody awesome guitarist! Lerrit go!

Last album 'The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here' is well represented, with stand out tracks 'Hollow' and 'Stone', following the bands unique drawing harmonized vocals with heavy metal, more than grunge, guitars and solos. Jerry does his fair share of singing, like he used to do with co-founder Layne, and in turn DuVall takes his turns at shredding the guitar with excellent results. 'Your Decision', 'Acid Bubble' and 'Check My Brain' all from the heavy album and DuVall's debut 'Black Gives Way To Blue. The more muddy dark sounds of the self-titled album are represented with 'Grind' and 'Again, the first album 'Facelift' has hits 'We Die Young' and the hit 'Man In a Box' (complete with grey-washed videos of a man trapped in a cage. Take note Ghost, this was more scarey!). The main bulk though, apart from a lovely acoustic 'Nutshell' from 'Jar of Flies' is from hit album 'Dirt'. 'Them Bones', 'Down In A Hole', 'Angry Chair', 'Would?' and everyone's favourite set ender 'Rooster' are all here. I would have loved to hear 'No Excuses', 'Dam That River' and 'Rain When I Die', but that is just being greedy. A treat for the ears and eyes.

Set list:

Check My Brain
Them Bones
Your Decision
Phantom Limb
Got Me Wrong
We Die Young
Acid Bubble
Down In A Hole

Angry Chair Man In A Box

article by: Danielle Millea

published: 13/11/2013 10:15


sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.

more about Alice in Chains
more about Ghost
more about Walking Papers
more about O2 Academy (and Underground), Leeds