Live Review: Rival Sons @ Scala

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

The Rival Sons is the kind of band that doesn’t need you to be an extreme fan or for you to have all their albums or know all the lyrics to succumb to their charming rock alchemy, blues, funky & soul. The Californian band has been on the road since 2009, bringing strong influences from blues rock from the 60’s-70’s, particularly Led Zeppelin, The Animals and Free.

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

It’s easy to compare vocalist Jay Buchanan with Jim Morrison. His sizzling and obscure performances and his incredible stage presence, are dramatised by a scene composed in  very low light and dry-ice. Guitarist and co-songwriter Scott Holiday makes no secret of his love for Led Zeppelin and his non stop riffs are mesmerising often using his Gibson Firebird 99.

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

With six shows in England, two of them in major festivals, Download and Isle of Wight, London was indeed rewarded. On the same day of their fourth album titled Great Western Valkyrie been released fans had the opportunity to attend a free pocket show in the HMV record store in Oxford Circus.

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

The band is well adept to the face-to-face relationship with their audience whenever they are, and in London, they did the same last year and in 2001, performing at a charity event at St Pancras train station.

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

The band’s sold out gig at the Scala, venue in Kings Cross, London, was literally hot. At first glance the audience seemed contained and contented not to move around but the truth is that the audience of 1,000 people barely had room to dance. The deal was just trying to dance with arms glued to body and neck, in languid and sinuous movements, orchestrated by Jay Buchanan’s hypnotic body moves .

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

The Californian quartet started the moist and misty night with the brand new swing and retro beats of Electric Man, pushing everyone’s bodies to react involuntarily to the soul beats, and the lyrics: “Electric man how you shine bright, How you shine bright, You are so electric man!” Left no one standing still even in the limited space.

From the fifteen songs presented in London, nine were from their new album Great Western Valkyrie but we couldn’t leave out mentioning the ‘pinch’ of Led Zeppelin in the shape of the gut busting Nobody’s Fault But Mine.

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)

Rival Sons (Thanira Rates)


Electric Man (Great Western Valkyrie)
Good Luck (Great Western Valkyrie)
Secret (Great Western Valkyrie)
Play the Fool (Great Western Valkyrie)
Good Things (Great Western Valkyrie)
Torture (Heart Pressure & Time)
Nobody’s Fault But Mine (Led Zeppelin <trecho>)
Gypsy (Heart Pressure & Time)
Jordan (Head Down)
Rich and the Poor (Great Western Valkyrie)
Open My Eyes (Great Western Valkyrie)

Manifest Destiny, Part 1 (Head Down)
Pressure and Time (Heart Pressure & Time)
Drums solo
Keep On Swinging (Head Down)
Face of Light (Heart Pressure & Time)

More information about the band and tour in the official website:
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Rival Sons at the Scala, London, 9/06/14

Review by Stella Bruk and Thanira Rates.  Photos by Thanira Rates

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