THIEVES OF LIBERTY The Waterloo, Blackpool DATE – 28th September 2023

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Words and photographs – Graeme Wright

Additional photography – Nicola Warren

Thieves Of Liberty raised a few eyebrows when they won the Firevolt MCR Battle Of The Bands competition to win a spot at that festival. They were up against some stiff opposition and for such a young band to win one of only two available spaces at that event made it clear that they were a quality outfit to be reckoned with. Tonight they were first up at the Waterloo Bar in Blackpool, supporting Bad Touch. Thieves Of Liberty operate out of Sunderland but have attracted a healthy early crowd tonight, all of whom are keen to see what the fuss is about.

The band opens up with ‘Cherry Queen’ and it’s clear that these guys are all about guitar-driven, blues-influenced hard-edged Heavy Metal. James Boak is a young man with a really distinctive voice and it’s soon clear to me that all of the band are hugely talented musicians as well as full of confidence. ‘Shangri La’ is up next and it’s clear that the band have some big songs in their repertoire. ‘Calypso’ is the band’s latest release and sees them playing with a slightly harder edge than their other material, with ambitious breaks and complex arrangements supporting a song that has many in the audience dancing and head banging. ‘Sweet As Today’ and ‘Sick Pup’ are up next and keep the party mood in full swing. The banter is good and the singer now has his jacket off while the twin guitar attack is really effective.

‘Rabbit Hole’ is another fast-paced rocker while ‘Luminescent Daydream’ slows things down and is a proper big ballad emotionally sung in a different key from everything else on display tonight. ‘Smoke In The Air’ from the ‘Back Again’ E.P. closes the show and is an epic track to close with. Hard and heavy with a big hook it’s the best song from the E.P. and the band earns a huge round of applause as they leave the stage.

This was a great show from a hugely promising outfit. Full of confidence and charisma as well as being really talented musicians, this band has a really bright future.


James Boak – Vocals

Kieran Wilson – Guitar

Liam Lindsley – Guitar

Peter Kinmond – Bass

Tom Bushby – Drums


  1. Cherry Queen
  2. Shangri La
  3. Calypso
  4. Sweet As Today
  5. Sick Pup
  6. Rabbit Hole
  7. Luminescent Daydream
  8. Smoke In The Air

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