Live: Rival Sons / Blues Pills / Jameson

CR's Album Of The Year winners close 2014 with unrivalled rock'n'roll show.

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Rival Sons like to get along with a little help from their friends and old buddy Jameson is an astute choice as the stripped-down antithesis to the headline band’s ferociously energetic set. An intoxicating mix of blues-soaked Californian cool suggests this lone star can shine given time.

With the word on the street screaming Blues Pills are already heavy rock’s next big thing, it’s little surprise that the Academy is close to capacity by the time Dorian Sorriaux and Elin Larsson make their dreamy Newcastle debut. The Franco-Swedish axis of this 70s-inspired quartet is curiously captivating while standout song Pure Bliss is exactly that – the juxtaposition of youthful verve and retro-fuelled rhythm a rare live treat.

It’s not often that the bedazzling Jay Buchanan has the limelight brazenly stolen from right under his nose, but tonight the star of the show is the man sporting a perfectly coiffured moustache and slicked back hair.

Guitarist Scott Holiday’s stature as one of the world’s most compelling musicians has only increased following the release of Classic Rock’s Album Of The Year, Great Western Valkyrie. His fabulous fretwork on that record’s standout tracks – Good Things and Secret – is effortlessly emotive.

Ultimately the revivalist Sons sound more and more like rock’n’roll’s past, present and future.