Support: Pete K. Mally
Toby Jepson is a bit of a hero of mine. Fronting the Little Angels back in the late 80s and early 90s coincided with a burgeoning love of rock music for the 16 year old me. The group originated from Scarborough meaning they were a local band just up the road from my home town of Hull. That made them all the more exciting. Local lads doing what we all dreamt of. I so wanted to be like them, unfortunately I couldn't grow my hair, couldn't play an instrument and definitely couldn't sing. Thankfully in Jepson the Little Angels had a singer full of energy and a voice many would kill for. Unlike some of his peers he still looks and sounds the part three decades later...no ageing, strained rock singer voice on display here.
Their debut album (which entered the top 100 UK Album chart) proves they can rock with the best of them and this first headlining tour has been played to packed out sweaty rock venues...and it is no different in the O2 Academy tonight. It's loud, it's hot and yes it's sweaty as hell. Love it. The set tonight covers all of the Ghosts Of Yet To Come LP including the songs that made up the zombie film, two of which, Alive and Ghost open the show. The album as a whole is a cracker and the set absolutely flies by. It is wonderful to see Jepson back where he belongs doing his own thing and this time with a cracking band to boot. Wayward Sons are not just about Jepson though. The excellent Wastell on bass (he of Chrome Molly) is apparently the reason Toby is back making new music, Sam Wood has a permanent grin on his face all night (I've never seen a happier guitar player), drummer Martini (from the Down n' Outs) looks cool on drums (although the wife swears it is a wig sitting on top of his head...not sure how she knows...) and then there is the one and only Dave Kemp, resplendent in cap n all.
There is no let up. It really is 90 minutes of rocking out...no other way of saying it. The sound is great, it helps that the venue is made for these type of gigs but the band doesn't stand still for a second (not easy on a small stage) so I don't think it would matter where they played. Having said that the crowd is one of the best London ones i have experienced but that is no less than the band deserve. There is no filler (although Don't Wanna Go, Be Still, Something Wrong and main set closer Until The End are personal favs) which for a one album show is pretty bloody amazing.
As great as the Sons album is (and it really, really is), it is rather wonderful that we get to hear Kicking Up Dust (ah right that's where the band name comes from...) and Young Gods. Both songs still mean so much to this particular 90's rocker and the latter closes out the encore here with the addition of a little snippet of Bo Rhap. 'Anywhere the wind blows' indeed. Those on stage look knackered which is no surprise as they have given their absolute all.
It is a very good thing to support new bands and new music. The Sons with a rejuvenated singer up front can only go from strength to strength. I look forward to being with them every step of the way...(they apparently need to get a better van though). Rock 'n Roll is alive and well.
Ticket: April 25th 2018
Ticket Price: £12.50