The 5th annual BroFest festival held in Newcastle, UK, took place from February 23rd to 25th and paid tribute to the classic rock genre, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. There were bands who were there the first time around, such as Saturday’s headliners Tokyo Blade, and newer bands who’s sound is steeped in the genre, such as Friday’s openers Toledo Steel.
There were, however, other bands who’s existence may owe a lot to the NWOBHM (I really wish someone would have come up with a better name) but where the sound is somewhat removed. Ghoul were a good example of this but I’ll leave it to others to give an opinion of these US thrashers.
Another band who’s sound is a few places removed from the NWOBHM but maintain its feel are High Spirits.
They were third on the bill on Saturday, the last night, and were an absolute highlight for me, the best act of the weekend. As the whole event was a marathon not a sprint it occasionally felt like a test of endurance but when High Spirits appeared such weak thoughts soon left my mind.
Captained by the indomitable Chris Black, the band produced a great set of high-energy, crowd-pleasing rock.
From the opener “Flying High”, off their latest release, Motivator, the crowd bought into the band completely. All of High Spirits‘ songs lend themselves naturally to crowd participation and we were all happy to oblige.
Whilst it is well known that Chris Black plays all the instruments on High Spirits records he ensures that his live work is very much a team effort. Maybe the fact that they were all dressed in white jeans and black tee-shirts stressed this point.
The band rattled through 8 songs of pure enjoyment, full of catchy riffs, power and singalong tunes. Not once did they let up then all of a sudden it ended with the crowd singing the chorus to “High Spirits” conducted by Mr Black himself. Whilst we were singing along, bassist Bob Scott, who was having the time of his life, decided to embark on some crowd surfing. Great finish.
I had to check my watch to make sure that they had fulfilled their 40-minute slot. I could swear they only did 20, it went that quickly.
If High Spirits play near you I urge you to pay them a visit, you won’t be disappointed.
- “Flying High”
- “I Need To Know”
- “Another Night In The City”
- “You Make Love Impossible”
- “Nights In Black”
- “Thank You”
- “High Spirits”