Back in the Apollo after a year away, the supergroup of Guns and Roses and Stone Temple Pilots members have easily improved. Edging further away from their pasts to reveal a band entirely of their own, though it is hard to forget the same guys are responsible for classics such as 'Sweet Child O' Mine' and 'Plush'. Some say not many of Velvet Revolver's songs are a patch on these anthems, I'm sure they don't care as most of this spring tour is sold out.
Year Long Disaster are aiming for the dirty rock noise of VR, and are pretty damn good. Fronted by David Davies of The Kink's son Daniel and with the drumming skills of Brad Hargreaves of Third Eye Blind, you know the pedigree's there. They, along with bassist Rich Mullins, have lived the excess lifestyle similar to that of the big boys of VR, and their brand of heavy rock is not dissimilar to theirs.
Before Velvet Revolver hit the stage, drummer Matt Sorum appears on stage clasping a camera and asking the 5,000 plus crowd to say a statement for his new website. With the statement being about a TV channel, it all feels a bit cheesy, and after three attempts we are left in peace. A further five minutes later and the band are onstage and straight into 'Let It Roll'.
Scott Weiland is looking really well compared with past years. The addition of a beard has filled out his thin facial features, and the new teeth are dazzling! Slash, well do I need to say what he was wearing? (Leather pants and trademark hat for reference). Duff McKagan is looking really well, as is often overlooked guitarist Dave Kushner.
You can't help but feel that these guys are still mischievous, after all the years of sex, drugs and rock and roll they still have to cause grey hairs for their managers. Both Weiland and Slash ignore England's smoking laws and light up a few cigarettes between them. Good on 'em I say, though they can afford the fines.
With it being St. Paddy's Day an Irish flag makes it's way to the stage, first hitting Weiland in the face, but he reacts well and swings the material around in the air. There are a few problems with his mic, but at most times he fails to notice and continues singing, or using his megaphone to sing into the faulty equipment. There is a lull in the middle of the set, as many casual fans do not appear to know the STP song 'Vasoline' and other lesser known tracks from VR's two albums. When GnR classic 'Patience' leaps from the speakers it's all hands in the air, as it is for the now VR classic 'Fall To Pieces'.
After a bluesy guitar solo from the man who in a lot of people's eyes does it best, they leave the stage after 'Set Me Free'. The encore starts again with Slash under the spotlight playing Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Where Here' on a double necked guitar. Then it's time to delve again with GnR's 'Mr Brownstone' and a fast-paced cover of STP's 'Sex Type Thing'.
Of course it's down to hit 'Slither' to close the set, and this show (apart from the microphone hiccups) shows that the Hollywood band are still the kings of sleazy, dirty rock and roll, and are not ready to be replaced just yet.
Let It Roll
Sucker Train Blues
Do it All For The Kids
The Last Fight
Inner State Love Song
She Builds Quick Machines
Out the Door
Fall To Pieces
Set Me Free
Wish You Were Here
Sex Type Thing