His Lordship, with guests Aircooled: The Prince Albert 15 April 2023
“A dose of helter-skelter outlaw energy from two of the best in the biz. Bursting out of the traps, it’s all colour, explosions, and light, His Lordship’s frenetic noise just about glued together with zesty melody.” – Clash Magazine
His Lordship announced their arrival in Brighton with a gloriously loud and fast set. Breathtaking! Support from the brilliant Aircooled.
Ok, gonna start this review like this – If you get the opportunity to see His Lordship, do not even think about it. Go grab a ticket and head for a set full of fire and vigour, a set packed with gut wrenching pure rock and roll! OK so there you have it, the end of the review at the start.
James Walbourne holds down present guitar roles for The Pretenders and The Pogues, he heads up this three piece delivering strong vocals and superb playing. They arrived on stage looking slick in smart black suits and black ties, topped off with crisp white shirts. Looking smart fellas! I had not seen these guys before, but had previewd a gig for them last year, and was so looking forward to seeing and hearing what His Majesty had to offer! Me, and the packed in matinee crowd waited with baited breath….
Opening up their set with a recent single release and lead track from their EP, All Cranked Up, there is no other way of putting it, an appropriate title that smashed into us! OK, so the scene was set very early. His Lordship showed us what they were about, and I just had the feeling that this was going to be one of those inspiring, heart stopping performances. I was right! It was one of those shows were you wished you had continued to play that electric guitar you had when you were younger. Hell, this was great and it was loud! Perfect mix.
Next up Joy Boy and Bored. The man at the back on drums, Kistoffer Sonne, had settled himself behind his kit. Adjusted his glasses and had a good look into the crowd, grabbed his sticks and proceeded to deliver a totally sharp, pin point set of powered hammering of his kit. Sonne has class, and he has drummed for Chrissie Hynde and Willie Nelson. The sticks, as the set proceeded, gradually whittled down in size as splinters flew off. The cool black dress jacket was soon removed as it was a warm afternoon at The Prince Albert.
The Way I Walk powered up, from the EP release (PLAY ROCK N ROLL PART ONE). A cover of the Jack Scott original and later covered by The Cramps. I gotta say this incendiary version is the best I have ever heard it played. Some damn fine guitar-twanging going on, some screaming high notes ripping into us from his Gibson. James licking his way through the lyrics and with a hip swinging bass riff deliciously topping off the sound.
The delicious latest single release Buzzkill was fired up, Pixelated Polly, Catcall and Amsterdam were in the set and fired at us in a staccato fashion.
There was no let up as His Lordship powered at us with so many delicious crunching guitar riffs and solos, thunderous smooth gut moving bass lines and at times, what can only be described as some maniacal drumming. So many cracking tunes, we were served up 15 songs, all of which were sheer quality. Walbourne dedicated an instrumental number to Jeff Beck. A beautifully delivered number.
Sonne broke away from the kit and took over vocal duties aided with a large bullhorn. Sonne also showed us some of the 101 things you can do with a microphone during a live gig. He had a good try to decapitate us in the front row whilst swinging his mic in a Daltrey style. He then jammed it into his bullhorn, and then climbed up onto the kit and appeared to swallow the mic.
Extraordinary does not cover it! The mic placed in front of the bullhorn as a “Blockbuster” siren sound filled the venue. He is a tour de force, powering powerful fills and some wonderful expressions.
Walbourne up front didn’t stop he delivered adrenaline fuelled guitar work and vocals. His hands flew across the neck of his guitar, it amazes me to think how the hell he did that without snapping at least one string! He is charismatic and engaging. A superb frontman.
In the crowd was Chrissie Hynde, as she had stopped in to watch her bandmates deliver their fired up set. I managed to grab a quick hello with her, which was fabulous.
It was weird, those 60 or so minutes flew by but it felt like His Majesty had only started when they left the stage! That set flew past. His Lordship thankfully returned to tear a new one into the Prince Albert with Red Hot, originally by William Robert Emerson or also known as Billy “The Kid” Emerson. His Lordship stamped their sound all over this, they owned it totally. And then…..they were gone.
I had a good catch up with His Lordship outside after the set. Had a natter about The Pretenders and Kistoffer said he was heading back home to Copenhagen as this was the last date on the UK tour.
That was a hell of a live set, and so, in case you missed what I said at the start…” If you get the opportunity to see His Lordship, do not even think about it. Go grab a ticket and head for a set full of fire and vigour, a set packed with gut wrenching pure rock and roll!”
His Lordship are on the WWW right here!
The band: Katharine Wallinger – ace bass who has played with all sorts, including Viv Albertine and The Wedding Present. Justin Welch – Justin really has played with everyone; Suede, Elastica, Lush and The Jesus And Mary Chain and many more. Along with Aircooled, he is the drummer for Piroshka and JAMC. Ollie Cherer – big beat dance music operator back in the 90s who has since followed his nose through the margins of ambient, electronic, folk & psychogeographic ghost music under a variety of noms de plume, occasionally even using his own. Riz Maslen has had an extraordinary career so far as Neotropic, and releasing work on a who’s who of independent labels including R&S/Apollo, Oxygen Music Works and Ninja Tune and the story of her involvement with Future Sound of London at the inception of acid house is well documented.
I love to see a visual outfit and experience the dynamics of music being performed live, Aircooled matched all of that and exceeded my expectations. Aircooled were recent support for Suede on part of their tour!
I had missed the start of this super cool set from this super cool outfit Aircooled, thanks so much British Rail! This was a matinee show, a precursor to the gig later that afternoon. If anyone was worried about how many people were going to be there, on a Saturday afternoon, worry not! It was pretty much jam-packed!
This was a chance to show off their skills following the release of their debut album. And those of us lucky to catch this set seemed to love it from the opening song on the set. The musicians who were on stage were all excellent, and each got a chance to “step out” and do their own thing.
The set: Airports, Roadrunner, Tommys strut, Hyperproduktiv and Supamotodisco. I think I got into the venue half way through the first song – it was massive! Lasting some 16 minutes and then some. Quite different from the set we were due to experience with His Lordship. Their material ranged from around 5 minutes to 16! The songs were mainly all taken from their debut album “St Leopards” and are broken down into sections.It was fascinating to hear the changes and made for a really engaging session.
Aircooled are bristling with talent, and are all virtuoso musicians and I just love the way Ollie played every note on his guitar, he threw everything into his performance. All brilliantly performed by all!
Ollie is upfront on guitar (superb playing), Keys and some vocals, there was no real chat with the audience or banter from him. It was heads down for him and his bandmates to let the sounds and music do the talking. Moreover, they did it really well and impressed the hell out of me! Almost a prog rock, early ELP sound mixed in with some nice garage rock vibes. An incredible afternoon set for all of us. A nice set if I may say so guys and hope to catch more of what you do next time you are in town.
Aircooled are on the WWW here, and have a listen on bandcamp here!
Thanks to His Lordship, Aircooled and also to Sonic PR.
Words and photos by Ian Bourn
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