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LIVE – THE POOR with Emerald City, Rogue Sharks & Smooth Intentions, Fremantle WA, 20 May 2012

| 3 October 2012 | Reply


The Newport Hotel, Fremantle WA
By Shane Pinnegar | Photography by Awakening Vixen Photography

We caught the tail end of SMOOTH INTENTIONS’ Sunday evening set, which was easily enough to know that these young fellas have an exceedingly strong future ahead of them.

Guitarist/vocalist Luke Gallagher can play like a man twice his age (he’s not yet nineteen), shredding with a Van Halen/Alex Lifeson intensity, and his voice ain’t half bad either, especially on set closer Your Turn Now, where all the elements gel perfectly.

Ably supported by younger brother Josh who pounds the drums like a teenage Bonham, and Ian Chandler’s funky basslines which come straight from the Motown, Stax & Sun records of yore, this is one band who have an enormous amount of musical potential, and in Luke Gallagher have a frontman with style and presence enough to fast track them to the top of the “keep an eye on” list me.

Mick Adkins, a Raise The Flag stalwart, and his hard rockin’ ROGUE SHARKS hit the Newport stage running, pumping out no frills pub rock with style and power in the grand AC/DC/Angels tradition.

It ain’t fancy, man, but it never lets up rocking, and heads bounce and butts shimmy to the groove throughout, culminating in stone cold classic set closer Warhead (about “a rogue shark with fucken big teeth”!).

EMERALD CITY are next up and on the cusp of their fifth anniversary only sound tighter, more determined and heavier than in their early days.

Eschewing the glammier elements from their sound, the band have focussed on and accentuated their depth and only intensified their hard rockin’ groove. Drummer Frank LiCastro punishes his kit with machine like aggression while Simon Hallet gives his bass lines swing and groove whilst nailing down the rhythm.

Guitarists Joe Saba and Nick Rosetti don’t miss a trick, whilst singer Sal Abate is everything you want in a passionate, charismatic and energetic frontman, entertaining and in fine voice throughout.

THE POOR are as good a live band as I’ve ever seen – they’re tight as hell, they rock hard, and they should’ve been far bigger. Thank fark they reformed and have so far released two new albums of hard rockin’ Aussie prime rib rock!

Over 90 minutes they prove they have the riffs, the songs, the charisma and the sheer belligerence to have deserved a much bigger figure in Australian rock history.

Lead singer Skenie prowls from one side of the stage to the other, as restless as a panther on heat, whilst the rest of the band deliver some of the best, roughest, toughest hard rockin’ noise you’ll hear this side of Slash and The Cult!

Newer tracks Blood, Black & Blue, House, Piece Of You, Trouble & Poison fit seamlessly with their early 90’s oldies such as a ferocious Dirty Money, Ain’t On The Chain No More, Man Of War, Liar, Tell Someone Who Cares and their biggest tune More Wine Waiter Please.

Like Electric Mary, The Poor are fighting the good fight for dirty rock n’ roll, played at it’s best – loud, tight and relentless – and despite a smallish crowd, this killer show will be remembered by all in attendance for many years to come.

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Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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