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Live Review & Photos: TAX THE HEAT at The Flapper, Birmingham on 21/04/19

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Currently in the midst of a UK tour in support of their recently released second album Change Your Position, the next stop on the tour schedule brought Tax The Heat to the legendary Flapper in Birmingham. Aptly supported by Naked Six and These Wicked Rivers, the three bands delivered a great night of British rock.

Kicking off the show were These Wicked Rivers, who did a fine job of setting the tone for the rest of the night. Their short but riff-heavy set managed to showcase exactly what they are all about, with the vocals of frontman John Hartwell a particular highlight. They are certainly a band to keep a close eye on and they were very well received by the crowd on the night.

Next up was Naked Six, who are supporting Tax The Heat on all of the UK tour dates. Hailing from York, the two-piece band of Seb Byford and Tom Witts deliver a highly energetic and passionate show. Their set seems to go by in a flash, with the band wasting no time in getting straight into the next track and each delivered with same uncompromising attitude as the one before. Their sound has definitely taken in influences from both rock and punk and that fusion has created an exciting sound they can call their own.

Following the conclusion of Naked Six’s set, it was time for Tax The Heat to hit the stage. By now the venue was at full capacity, as the band opened with “Money in the Bank”, which is also the opening track from the new album. This was quickly followed by “Animals” from their debut release, as the band settled into their grove. It was also already evident at this point that the extensive touring the band has undertaken is paying off, as many in the crowd were singing along to both the older and the new tracks.

In fact, it is a live act where Tax The Heat have built their reputation, with the band always striving to put together the best possible show they can. Their Birmingham show was no different and the band were clearly enjoying the opportunity to bring their new songs to the live environment, with over two-thirds of the set focusing on the new material. “Playing With Fire”, “Cut Your Chains” and “The Last Time” were just some of the new tracks to make the set and each was equally well received.

Watching the band live, it is clear that they have developed a sound that is their own and one that is not simple to label. They are in their own words a rock band and although accurate, that does not fully describe the niche within this genre that they have created. It is this sound which has brought them such a following and when coupled with some fantastic melodic choruses, it’s clear why the live shows work so well.

The night closed with the band playing the respective title tracks from the current two albums. First up was “Change Your Position”, which with its funky riff and catchy sing along lyrics really transfers well to the live arena. This was followed by a passionate performance of “Fed to the Lions” as the band brought the curtain down on a high-quality night of live music.


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