My first attendance (certainly not my last) at Rocklahoma Festival in Oklahoma USA brought about tons and tons of new band discoveries. I was constantly blown away again and again with the string of acts appearing on the Retrospect Records side stage at the festival. While I didn’t see every band on that stage, I dearly wish I would have because every performance that I did take in seemed better than the last. One of these new addictions was a band from the U.K. called Freeway Mad. I had seen a little of them during my YouTube festival preparations before heading out and had marked them down as a band to see on my schedule.
I also tend to have bad luck at times. One thing you can always seem to count on is that that damn Murphy and his law of “Whatever can go wrong probably will” tends to follow me around. As an example from Rocklahoma; they were out of festival armband bracelets when I went to check in and get mine. Not a big deal as there was just a short wait while they retrieved a new supply, just another daily blemish on the ole Meister. On Friday, May 27, I had a stroke of fortuitous good luck, brought on by my desire to also check out a band called Banshee on the Retrospect Stage. It turns out that Banshee was not in attendance at Rocklahoma (reasons unknown to me) and that Freeway Mad had jumped up in the roster by three hours to fill in the timeslot!
Fantastic young band from the UK with a 70’s swagger, fist pumping hard rock, and enough power riffs to clog your arteries, Freeway Mad formed in 2013 and features a line-up that consists of Tom Rampton (Lead Vocals), George Twydell (Lead/Rhythm Guitars), George “Ivesy” Ives (Bass Guitar) and Craig Carlaw (Drums). Right from the opener of “Speed Machine” I was hooked and I look forward to more from these dudes. Their set was filled with catchy original tracks including new material, unfortunately, I missed the names of most of them, that won the crowd over instantaneously. At one point vocalist Tom Rampton, I assume upon seeing the size of the audience that they had collected, shouted out that people back home when they were coming up had told them they’d “never succeed, never play an American festival. Well, fuck them”, he shouted, and rightly so.
I’m so glad that I caught the set (unlike Ron who missed the schedule change, but was able to capture the live video below) and I’ve been ripping the Dangerous EP (which even came with a t-shirt) that I picked up ever since I got home! I hear rumors that there is also an earlier EP release out there…time to search the internet and make a purchase!
As for Dangerous, it starts out with “Speed Machine”, a high energy rocker, a perfect album and concert opener. Just like the chorus shouts “Can’t take it away, I gotta have more”! “Throw it Away” is a low-end grinder, chugging and thumping through it’s near five minutes and “Dangerous” with its infectious chorus keeps the fist thrust high in the air. You can just feel the live action vibe that these four young men exude even through the recording. The bluesy boogie contained in “Still Alive” works well and EP closer of “My World” is a chunky slice of hard rock heaven.
CRAPPY CONCERT PHOTOS BY: Rich “The Meister” Dillon
LIVE VIDEO FILMED BY: “Rockin” Ron Runyon