The Commoners – Live – Barrowland Ballroom – Noble pr

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Review By Darren McIntyre images By Barry Douglas

The Commoners are a 4 piece roots rock outfit from Toronto, Canada, the boys began their journey into the world of music around a decade ago listening to bands like The Black Crowes, Derek Trucks, Marcus King & The Allman Brothers. The boys are a real force of nature with their deep blues-filled riffs and powering vocals that really set them apart from the rest, they decided to bring in ‘in his own words ‘the most important member of the band’- Miles Evans – Branagh to fill the void that the Hammond style keys bring to this outfit. The boys are fast becoming a staple amongst us rockers here in the UK as they drop killer single after single and judging by their newest release Devil Teasin Me we are in for one hell of a ride as these boys drop killer track after killer track to heighten our excitement for what is to come.

Tonight the boys bring their rock n roll juggernaut to the heart of Glasgow to the world-famous Barrowland Ballroom, the place is filling up nicely for a band that is virtually unknown in these parts but that doesn’t matter as tonight it is all about these 5 guys from Toronto as they make their way to the stage to huge cheers.

The boys yell out hey Glasgow as we ready ourselves to be taken to the limit with their infectious brand of blues rock that is gonna take us on a journey tonight, we let the guys get ready as they launch into –

More Than Mistakes – Adam gets things off the ground as the slick gritty riffs fill the air and off we go with a foot-stomping edgy groove as the boys open the show with style. The basslines are dropping sweet full grooves on us as the boys really up their game and let us have it before Chris hits us with a real gravelly vocal tone that really fits this fantastic venue. The boys are smiling from ear to ear as the crowd really gives back in spades as we feel the funk element really fill the room and let these boys show us what they are made of, we get a slick snare drum beat that walks freely through the arrangement as Ross cuts loose and brings us slick clean licks that just let these boys express themselves as they really bring it tonight in Glasgow. We are getting these boys in all their glory as they deliver a polished groove that just lets us know that these boys have arrived, as we holler and cheer loudly the boys really thank us for the warm welcome and just can’t believe they are here in Scotland tonight, we roll into –

Shake You Off – A full-on shredding power-drenched riff erupts in front of us as the boys end the show in style as they bring the groove to this punchy rocking beast. The vocals are rolling through the track as the rhythm section really hits us with sweet-ended snare drum punches that let this beast do its thing, we are getting into these boys as they deliver a killer groove that just cements them into Barrowland’s long list of bands that have shaken this place to its very foundations. We get slick crisp guitar licks that just let this pounding rocker track kick in the doors and let us know that the boys came saw, kicked ass in Glasgow tonight and boy if you missed this killer show shame on you, as the boys take the applause they stand and look out at the swelling crowd that has come to pay homage to this rootin tootin raggle-taggle 5 piece outfit that is the gift that keeps on giving, we slip right into the classic –

Who Are You – Shredding power riffed lick pours from the stage as this punchy rocking beast erupts into life as we get a cool snare drum kick that brings bass kicks and cymbal snaps that really allow this track room to breathe. The killer vocals are just on the money as the boys test run this new material as a bonus for this excited Glasgow crowd which seems to be going down well, we feel the funk element work on us as Miles hits us with slick keys that get our feet moving with ease as this fantastic new track is proving to be a winner. The rhythm section is pounding away from the back of the room and commanding this track as the snare drum punches rain down on us and really let these boys brings the heat for sure as the gig is bubbling to the surface and warming us up nicely, we slip into awesome track –

Devil Teasin Me – Ross comes in as awesome slick cool guitar licks warm us up before Adam kicks in the doors with a fast and furious groove that lets this blues-filled rocker track come to life. The full-on bassline is handing us a real deep funk groove that fits this arrangement perfectly as the groove builds and builds as the boys give us more and more which is just incredible. The tinkering keys flow effortlessly through the intro and really let this track breathe as the riffs become tighter and more intense as the boys really let go and bring us a real doozie that is just on the money. The place is feeling the love from the boys as they really pack a punch and bring us cool funky beats that are wrapped in soulful melodic vocals that are letting Barrowlands  know that The Commoners are in town and kicking ass with all they have and boy it’s shows, we roll into –

Restless – (New Track) – This is a real soul-searching ballad that sees Ross bring the magic as he soars with ease through the Barrowlands and hits us with a searing solo that just stops us in our tracks. The musicality between Chris and the boys is just magical as we get to witness a real killer track that will be the title track from their forthcoming new album of the same name. We are just standing still and really taking these boys to our hearts as they deliver track after track of sheer mesmerising rock n roll blues with a twist of country thrown in for good measure, the crowd loves these boys and it’s easy to see why as they bring smiles to faces as the give us clean, crisp notes that are wrapped in exceptional vocals that just take us to another place, we rock into another newbie in the form of –

The Way I Am – (New Track) – We switch it up a notch as the boys give us a rocker track that is just magical in every way as we feel the energy, depth and rawness pouring from the stage tonight. The boys are really enjoying themselves tonight and it is easy to see why as we watch these boys go through their paces with slick tempos, pounding drums and cleverly presented keys that let Miles do his thing and really bring depth to this riveting rock n roll set tonight. There is real energy oozing from the boys as they drill their way through this awesome set at a rate and to coin Chris’s phrase it’s only been a minute, we catch our breath for a second as the boys really thank us for coming out and supporting them as they travel up and down the country delivering night after night and really telling their story, we roll into –

Fill My Cup –  A shredding power-riffed intro gets this bad boy on the move as killer keys flow effortlessly through the intro as soulful bluesy vocals deliver big time. The rhythm section is coming at us with solid snare drum punches that bring bass kicks that accompany us with cymbal crashes that just set this track on fire. Bass chords are handing us sweet deep plundering grooves that just wrap themselves around this colossal slab of pure blues rock that just separates the men from the boys as we are taken on a journey as the boys really give us all they have as slick clean guitar licks are pouring into this epic arrangement as the glossy riffs and astounding melodies really toake us to another place for sure. We have sensational backing vocals that really set this track apart right now as we really dig this impressive groove and husky gravelly vocals that are bringing this track kicking and screaming towards us. The last track is upon us in the form of –

Find A Better Way – Right out the gate we get a smooth soulful riff with killer keys that let this awesome track leave its mark as the boys continue where they left off. The whole arrangement is a cool thigh-slapping funk groove that just lights up the room as the boys come for us with sludgy riffs and soulful vocals that really let this track take us to another place, we have snare drum punches and cymbal snaps that let the rhythm section command the track from the back of the room. The killer twin guitar combo is just immense as the two six-string slingers really give it to us with both barrels Chris lets his vocals do the talking as we get a rasping gravelly soulful tone that just works so well through this punchy groove-laden piece that is letting these boys bring us a real killer beat that is just building and building. The night has just flown past and I cannot think of a better way to spend a Friday night in Glasgow than with my good buddies from Toronto.

The Commoners  –

                             Chris Medhurst  –  Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitar

                             Ross Hayes Citrullo  –  Lead Guitar

                             Ben Spiller  –  Bass

                             Miles Evans – Branagh  –  Keys

                             Adam Cannon  –  Drums / Percussion / BV

Setlist  –

            More Than Mistakes

            Shake You Off

            Who Are You

            Devil Teasin Me

            Restless – New Track

            The Way I Am – New Track

            Fill My Cup

            Find A Better Way

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