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Amped: Is This The UK’s Next Big Rock Show?

The UK underground music scene is arguably the strongest it’s been in decades, even despite the pandemic. In order to highlight it, the amazing Anne Estrella put in a LOT of work to try and bring something special back to the fans – a format that hasn’t been around for a while in the genre to get some much needed exposure on the scene. Putting on a pilot for a TV show is a mammoth task – especially when that involves getting a film crew, a crowd AND three bands down to the same place at the same time and it all going off smoothly. I would say that they managed that and more.

Held in the awesome Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool, the Lemmy-obsessed establishment is the perfect venue for a rock show. With posters and gig memorabilia plastered across every wall in the place, as well as there being alcohol from the likes of Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Kiss all to hand, this is definitely the most suited venue for gig I’ve ever seen!

The night kicked off with a short speech from Anne and her co-host, the ever-charismatic Brad Marr, before the opening video above kicked us off. Then came the first of the three bands on that night (all of which were surprises to the audience, I might add), the awesome Gorilla Riot.

Photo by conbotherwayhill

The heavy blues-rock band swaggered onto the stage like the very spirit of rock’n’roll personified. Bringing a bottle of Jack on stage with them to share before launching into one hell of a set full of huge, chunky riffs, catchy vocals, and plenty of swearing and attitude. Oh, and pyro too – we had pyro at such a small venue! Scared the crap out of the crowd most times it went off, but boy was it awesome. The five of them (three guitarists for the optimal crunch, I’m sure) rocked through a short-ish set that was very well received by the crowd before the show hurried along to its next act… the always awesome Bastette!

Now, this is the FOURTH time I’m speaking about this band since the start of September, after first having seen them at Rockin’ The Bowl and then two sets at Hard Rock Hell. You’d think I’d have gotten bored of talking about them by now, but I have to say that they only seem to be getting better and better each time. I will stress that I have said countless times at this point that they are going to be the next big thing, and I feel like I have to say it here too. All of them have developed into more competent, charismatic and confident musicians in such a short space of time. I can’t even begin to imagine what level they will be at in a couple of years.

Photo by conbotherwayhill

Last up we got the awesome Stevie R Pearce and the Hooligans. The veteran punk rocker brought the thunder through his entire set, having the crowd in the palm of his hand throughout as he rattled off some of his biggest hits. He was another that oozed charisma, a great thing when this is hopefully ending up on TV!

Photo by conbotherwayhill

Outside of the music itself, we got to chat to a lot of the people involved, from Gorilla Riot and Bastette to Anne and Brad and even Revival Black, who were there supporting the show as fans. Keep an eye out on our socials for more Amped updates and some interesting behind-the-scenes content.

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