Jayler start their set with “Let There Be Rock.” If the quartet has a mission statement, then that is it. The young Midlanders have been generating a lot of buzz, and it’s easy to see why, given the obvious talent they possess. James Bartholemew is a frontman in the classic mould, and he throws himself into the role. Meanwhile, Tyler Arrowsmith is a guitar hero in waiting; the way he plays “Dazed And Confused” with a violin bow channels some Jimmy Page vibes, and their take on “Sweet Emotion” has them jamming together seamlessly. However, it is the trio of new tunes they perform that suggests you’ll be seeing a lot more of Jayler.
The Soundgarden-ish strains of “The Acid Rain” and the closing epic sound of “Piece In Our Time” are excellent. Still, it’s the yet-to-be-released tune, “No Woman,” that truly convinces that you’re going to see a lot more of Jayler. Youthful and skilful, they have a real presence, and as they continue to progress, they could become a mighty force indeed.
Joel Peters probably knows he’s on a loser before he starts. “Who here likes slow songs?” inquires the frontman for Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. One punter cheers. “Who here likes fast songs?” he asks. Cue rapturous applause. “Well, fuck you,” he smiles. “We’re doing a slow song for the bloke there,” and off they go with “Dark Days.” Now, it stays much in line with the ethos of PCATBS that this isn’t really “slow”; it’s bluesy. But it’s blues that the local biker gang would approve of.
And it means that all is well in the world.
A couple of nights ago, Phil Campbell and the clan were opening for a little-known band by the name of Guns N Roses. Tonight, they’re in Warwickshire, tomorrow up in the North East, and playing a huge festival on Sunday. This is one of the hardest working bands you’ll find. Doing it old school, no image, no gimmicks. Just proper rock ‘n’ roll tunes. And lots of them.
Their anthem, “We’re The Bastards,” as ever, kicks off. “Bite My Tongue” and “Freak Show” make the opening trio typical of their skill, but that name Campbell? That means they can say “who’s ready for a Motorhead song?” (And let’s face it, the answer to that question is always yes, surely?) And then rip out “Iron Fist.”
And that’s pretty much how it goes. Their own songs – and in the case of “Schizophrenia,” a brand new one, heavy, almost Metallica-tinged – some Motorhead – and who can resist “Born To Raise Hell?” – and some covers, notably “God Save The Queen.”
“Old Boots,” one of the songs on Phil’s most recent solo record, is always welcome when it puts in an appearance, as is “Ace Of Spades” (which is preceded by Tyla Campbell explaining that Barclays have stopped his card before he takes it out on his bass).
“Ringleader” is as fast as they’d offered at the crowd before a take on Bowie’s “Heroes,” which is new but excellent.
The encore continues the split between “theirs and Motorhead” if you will. “Big Mouth” then a serious boogie on “Going To Brazil” tests Todd on guitar (now back after missing the shows with Black Star Riders earlier in the year), and one of the greatest songs ever made, “Killed By Death.”
That, perhaps, explains what they’re up against, the legacy they have to protect, perhaps, but to paraphrase one of the lyrics, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons do it real well.
Being hard-working, skilful, and looking like they love it, is enough, but add to it the quality of songs they can rifle through, both their own and others, and you’ve got a wonderful combination and a superb rock ‘n’ roll band.