The Think Tank, Newcastle Tuesday 31st October
Review and Photographs by Linda McDermott
What a way to spend Halloween. Two great bands, one stage and a room full of people singing their hearts out about nails in coffins, cold days in hell and death of the party, it was my idea of heaven!
South of Salem is playing an exhausting nine gigs in ten days on their first headline tour, selling out most venues within days of announcing it. They are a phenomenal band to see live, putting on a great show for all fans in their ‘coven’.
Support comes from another band on the rise She Burns Red and with the Thinktank in Newcastle nearly full to capacity and ready for a great night, it was time for She Burns Red to take to the stage. These guys are touring their debut album ‘Out of Darkness’ which was released in September and is one you should have in your collection. With influences coming from Foo Fighters, Danko Jones and The Deftones you know you are in for a brilliant night of heavy rock. With both Andy and James sharing the lead vocals it gives their songs an extra layer and depth that other bands don’t have, and this is one of the things that makes them stand out.
The guys taunted the crowd that other places on the tour had sung their songs back to them loud and clear and they were wondering if Newcastle could outdo them, well that was a given.
Playing eight of the nine songs on the album they belted them out with intensity to a crowd that was fully behind them, the loudest audience participation came for their last single ‘Crosshairs’ and their new single ‘Heavy is the Head’ both powerful songs with ample opportunities to warble as loud as you fancied. They slowed things down with ‘Run’, a song full of emotion and passion before picking you back up with the electrifying ‘Crack the Sky’ and finishing the set with the title track from the album.
All too quickly their set came to an end, but the appreciation from both the crowd and the band was palpable. If you’ve not heard of She Burns Red yet, in my opinion, you need to sort that out. They are touring all over the country in the next few months, from Grimsby to Bathgate and everything in between, so there’s no excuse not to catch them at a venue near you. Check out tour dates at http://sheburnsred.com/
She Burns Red are:
Andy – Guitar
Scott – drums
Naz – guitar
James – bass
Rise & Fall
Heavy is the Head
Crack the Sky
Out of Darkness
Heavy is the Head https://youtu.be/ErsFC4FfCgI?si=dBP3P0SymDf3GdDM
Out of Darkness https://youtu.be/wjEcmA6vtjI?si=Dola-nVGbBhkPc8Z
South of Salem
Headliners South of Salem are an amazing unsigned five-piece band from Bournemouth who work hard promoting themselves, touring up and down the country and gathering fans as they go. They have recently supported the likes of W.A.S.P. played to a 5000 crowd at the Stonedead festival and brought the house down at Rockwich. Their first album ‘The Sinner Takes It All’ is phenomenal from start to finish and with an eagerly awaited second album there’s no stopping them.
As soon as their intro music started there was a tangible shift in the crowd and the mobile phones were poised and ready for the band to appear. James (drums) appeared to rapturous cheers and was quickly followed by his band mates who ripped into ‘Let Us Prey’. This was followed by two more anthems before Joey introduced the title track from the new album which is due for release on the 19th of January 2024 with a launch show at the 02 Academy, Bournemouth on the 20th.
This went down a treat with the gathered crowd who by now were in full flow.
For those who hadn’t seen South of Salem before there was a cover version of ‘Rebel Yell’ for them to get their teeth into and make them feel part of the coven.
The songs keep on coming, each one feeling like it was a single released from the debut album, maybe because I’ve listened to the album a hundred times or more. I know the word anthemic is used a lot in rock music but there’s a reason for that, especially with these songs.
As always, a great night has to come to an end and with ‘No Plague Like Home’ finishing off the set it was over, well nearly. The crowd refused to accept that was it and with chants for “one more song” the guys gave in and came back out to sing ‘Cold Day in Hell’.
Joey thanked the fans for all their support and also said that if every one of them preordered the upcoming album they had a chance to get into the top 20 come its release and for an unsigned band that would be amazing. I for one think they thoroughly deserve to make it into the charts. You can preorder the album on their website https://www.southofsalem.com/
South of Salem are:
Joey – vocals
Kodi – guitar
Denis – guitar
Dee – bass
James – drums
Let us Prey
The Hate in Me
Death of the Party.
Made to Be Mine
Demons are Forever
Left for Dead.
Dead Hearts Don’t Break
Pretty Little Nightmare
No Plague Like Home
Cold Day in Hell
For tickets to the album launch party https://priority.o2.co.uk/tickets/653f79180257b45513c2fadc/south-of-salem
Left for Dead https://youtu.be/WZleCSso2G0?si=inwV53z32c1IvWYj
Pretty Little Nightmare https://youtu.be/0E8d4IBenxk?si=yv8bo5CJn8kveNWP