Both bands were support for Uriah Heep.
Von Hertzen Brothers
Just as well we got in early (unlike most gigs where we are in the pub beforehand) else we would have missed the rather fabulous Von Hertzen’s on the final leg of their ‘War is Over Pt 2’ tour encompassing 5 dates supporting Uriah Heep. They hit the stage at 19:00 and after 6 songs and 38 blistering mins left to a rousing reception and no doubt some new fans including my mate Simon and I.
So I’ve done some investigative work and blimey this Finnish band have been around since 2001 and have some 7 LPs to their name – I feel a Xmas pressie coming on! A great bunch of songs were played tonight mixing Rock and Prog effortlessly (hence a good fit supporting the mighty Heep) and definitely a couple of stadium anthems here namely ‘Sunday Child’ and ‘Jerusalem’. Given only 6 songs I’m guessing the VHB picked their ‘best of’ for the night and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The band consists of 3 brothers doing all the guitar stuff ably supported by keyboards and drums.
The engaging lead singer/guitarist Mikko certainly cuts it as eye candy for the girls (it was the first thing our LA girl friends on Twitter said when they saw the pictures!) and draws your attention throughout – he can play guitar as well 😊. Kie the lead guitarist cuts an interesting figure in his hat and round glasses whilst playing a mean guitar and Jonne is your archetypal bassist sticking to his bit of the stage and just playing. Sami holds it all together on drums.
During ‘Sunday Child’ Mikko and Jonne watch from the wings as Kie and the keyboard player Rob embellish the songs middle passage to great effect with layered sounds. The sound is crisp and clear and all parts of the band work perfectly together. They look like they are really into the songs and the joy comes through in their performance. Catchy assed riffs with souring prog dynamics = man and songs in perfect harmony, a very powerful band.
- The Arsonist – (War is Over, 2017)
- Jerusalem – (War is Over, 2017)
- Coming Home – (Nine Lives, 2013)
- Kiss a Wish – (Approach, 2006)
- Sunday Child – (New Day Rising, 2015)
- New Day Rising – (New Day Rising, 2015)
A very enjoyable set, thank you, and I’ll definitely be catching up with you guys next time you’re in London. I’m sure these guys would be fun to have a few pints with!
Scottish rockers Gun arrive all guns blasting (excuse the pun) at 20:10 and look like they are ready to “take on the world”. I guess they were running late as they only had time for 7 songs so didn’t play ‘Fight for Your Right to Party’ as their planned last song, pity. So, the tempo went up a notch to hard rock with riffs and solo’s abound, Giuliano and Tommy trading lead slots. ‘She Knows’ kicked off a rocking short showcase setlist with the band in full assault mode throughout their 35 min slot.
It would appear that Dante might have had a few too many sherbets backstage as he somewhat blurred his speech in between songs – he’d obviously had a rather good time backstage listening to Lee Kerslake’s tales! Luckily, he remained quite focused on the singing and remembered all the words whilst leaping and bounding around the stage.
Is it me or is Giuliano looking more like Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick every time I see them? As always ‘Word Up’ gets the crowd singing along and bopping but for me the highlight was ‘Steal Your Fire’. The twin guitars of Giuliano and Tommy impressed throughout with Tommy’s having the main solo activity probably as he’s more technical.
Setlist (20:10 – 20:45)
- She Knows – (Favourite Pleasures, 2017)
- Don’t Say it’s Over – (Swagger, 1994)
- Better Days – (Taking On the World, 1989)
- Take Me Down – (Favourite Pleasures, 2017)
- Word Up – (Swagger, 1994)
- Favourite Pleasures – (Favourite Pleasures, 2017)
- Steal Your Fire – (Gallus, 1992)
- Shame on You – (Taking on the World, 1989)
Eight songs, crash bang wallop and they were gone to party hard😊. It certainly blew the cobwebs off the crowd who responded in kind with great applause.
Reviewed by Marko [16 Dec 2018]