DATE – 8th September 2023
Words and photographs – Graeme Wright
Heartbreak Remedy are one of those bands that have been around for a little while but for some reason, our paths had never crossed on the live show circuit prior to tonight. I had heard some tracks from ‘Momento Mori’ which was released in 2018 but I had yet to play their new album before tonight so didn’t really know what to expect from the band. They are a three-piece that was formed in Windermere in 2013 and their influences range from The Cult, The Almighty and AC-DC which was the first positive of the night for me. In reality, though they are a bit more difficult to pin down than that, as they have their own unique sound and for a three-piece they sure make some noise.
So, on an incredibly hot and sweaty night in Wigan, the band hit the stage as the support act to Sam Millar at his album release party. The band opens with ‘Working Man’s Blues’ from the new album ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ which is a blistering opening to the proceedings and immediately has myself and another writer colleague nodding our approval to what we are seeing and hearing. The band are really tight and the gruff yet melodic vocals are a perfect match for this style of song. The audience is quickly on board, and we are straight into ‘White Line Suicide’ which is a heavy and fast-paced rocker of the first order. It’s already clear to me that drummer Stephen Jackson is a musician of the highest quality and it’s no surprise when I discover the next day that he has also played with ex W.A.S.P man Chris Holmes and his band.
’21 Kings’ follows and suggests the band are also somewhat influenced by 70’s American punk. Singer Matty Penn has the attitude and style for this kind of music all day long and also plays the bass as well which is a tough act for most musicians but he pulls it off with no small amount of style. ‘Back To You’ takes us back to ‘Momento Mori’ and is a very different beast compared to the one the band laid down on vinyl back in 2018. It’s rough and ready with more than a touch of eighties Metal in its D.N.A. and it’s another quality tune. ‘Hair Of The Dog’ is from 2014 and has a touch of AC-DC about it as does ‘Rock Me’ from the new album. The band are incredibly confident and a wall of noise hits the audience in the basement of The Boulevard which has become a sweatbox since the band entered the stage.
‘Hurricanes And Hand Grenades’ starts almost like a ZZ Top record and is tight and entertaining, while ‘Keep Rollin’ is another stage favourite from the early days of the band I would suspect.
The set closes out with ‘Just A Disease’ which for me is the best track on the new record, catchy and immediate with a huge hook and chorus, this is an avenue I’d like to see the band travel down in the future as it’s pitch perfect and really suits these musicians.
So, another new band to me and another great show. These guys are clearly quality musicians and are very comfortable in the live arena. The biggest challenge they face, like many unsigned bands, is capturing the intensity of these live shows in the recording studio. The new album is a big step in the right direction and I suspect there is more to come from this band. Catch them live next time they are playing at a venue near you, you won’t regret it.
Matty Penn – Lead Vocals/Bass Guitar
Luke Blair – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Stephen Jackson – Drums/Backing Vocals
- Working Man Blues
- White Line Suicide
- 21 Kings
- Back To You
- Hair Of The Dog
- Rock Me
- Hurricanes And Hand Grenades
- Keep Rollin