Tax The Heat at The Lexington, London - live review

West Country rockers bring sharp suits and even sharper tunes to London

Crowd Shot

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“I want your jacket!” one punter bellows enthusiastically. Okay, so it’s not quite “I want your babies!” but it’s in the right direction.

Tax The Heat might look like a young, clean-living tribute to the mod era, but there’s nothing tame or watered-down about their performance. And yes, they’re West Country boys who definitely didn’t see their 60s/70s heroes ‘back in the day’, but there’s still a serious amount of soul and bona fide grit in their sound – not least in frontman Alex Veale’s commanding vocals.

Having cleaned up a little initial sound imbalance, it’s all fierce, fist-punching action at this Saturday headline show. They’ve spent much of the last couple of years (surrounding the release of 2016’s excellent Fed To The Lions album) hitting big stages via support slots. Accordingly, they’re not short of well-oiled bangers. From the riotous Animals (think QOTSA with a 70s makeover) to a deliciously beefy yet sassy Lost Our Way and new track Money In The Bank, the quality is consistently, confidently high.

It’s the kind of ferocious, riffy hard rock you could dance to quite happily. Flavours of The Who and The Hives are streamlined into one heavy, all-guns-blazing but note-perfect package, wrapped up with emphatic statement of intent Highway Home. Bloody well done.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.