THE combined talents of Derby’s LostAlone and Burton’s Max Raptor meant it was a cracking start to Christmas for music fans.
Both bands can look forward to 2014 with confidence; Max Raptor building on the momentum generated by the release of the autumn mini albim Mother’s Ruin and LostAlone having recorded their next offering ready for a spring release.
There was plenty of goodwill for both bands at Derby Assembly Rooms, for what has become a traditional home town Christmas gig for LostAlone.
Having just completed a mammoth tour supporting The Darkness and before joining The Black Out in the New Year, the Derby trio squeezed in this gig.
It was a full set from the band with tracks from their first two albums mixed with a few tasters from the forthcoming release - including The Bells! The Bells!, the introductory single.
LostAlone have plenty of killer songs at their disposal and know how to make them work live.
Frontman Steven Battelle quietened things down with a well-received solo acoustic version of Orchestra of Breathing - delivered from the floor of the hall after encouraging everyone to sit with him.
The band also distributed mince pies to the audience before their three-song encore, which included their rousing rendition of the the Home Alone 2 favourite All Alone at Christmas.
After a five-star Kerrang review for last year’s hometown Christmas show, LostAlone again delivered on home turf in front of some of their most ardent fans.
The four-band bill meant there was nearly four hours of music at the gig starting with Derby band Ghost Twins and continuing with a punchy, energetic set from the well-received Attention Thieves.
Then it was the turn of Max Raptor, to the delight of fans who made the short trip over from Burton.
It was a tight, exciting set from the four-piece band led by front-man, and former John Taylor pupil, Wil Ray, who quickly managed to get most of the crowd to ‘bounce’.
Max Raptor’s raucous, spiky, punkish anthems create a great wall of noise and Ray, who also has a dry humour, is always working the crowd to the band’s advantage.
The set also built momentum, leading towards the band’s best song to date – the thrilling anti-racist rant England Breathes.
The gig was a great showcase for the area’s top talent and, at just a tenner, fantastic value for money in an era of escalating prices for live music.
Hopefully, it’s a gig that can be repeated sooner, rather than later.