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Black Stone Cherry: Thank You: Livin’ Live

Kentucky hard rockers take 2014 Magic Mountain tour to Birmingham.

Black Stone Cherry excel at a tricky musical formula – proper hard rock that sells to big crowds. Magic Mountain cracked the UK top five, and their gig lists these days tend to read ‘X Arena’, ‘Y Arena’ and so on.

This live flashback sees them thump out of Birmingham like a Kentucky-fried sausage of Southern soul and heavy, metal-tinged groove-mongering. Old and new tunes are thrashed forth to within an inch of their lives – the bluesy, dirty likes of Soulcreek and White Trash Millionaire show BSC at their commanding best – allowing for sweetness in slices like Like I Roll.

Theirs is the appealing stance of a band genuinely excited by massive venues like this. ”Holy shit man!” breathes singer/guitarist Chris Robertson, after a ribcage-jarring Me And Mary Jane. “Thank you Jesus! Thank you Birmingham!” guitarist Ben Wells cries later. Amen…

It’s not flawless (audience singalongs and bouncy gusto reign supreme), but it’s a heartfelt snapshot of their step-up to the big league – wrapped up with smoke and big hugs.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.