Live Review: Fury with support from Luke Appleton’s Power Trio at Billesley Rock Club, Birmingham on 22-12-22



Ending musical adventures for 2022 on a high!

There was a need to end this year’s live music adventure on a high and my friend, and photographer for the night, Lisa lined me up for the perfect conclusion; a night at the Billesley Rock Club. It was the ideal chance to meet lots of friends and exchange greetings for the season.

Situated in the large upstairs area of the Billesley Pub in the Moseley area of Birmingham, the locals sit downstairs drinking their Carling and Strongbow, staring aimlessly at the football on the big screens, all the while completely unaware of the musical equivalent of the finest craft ales that Nancy, Bear and the team have on tap upstairs. This is why I love coming back here.

They have converted this space into a superbly set up 200-250 capacity venue with an ample-sized stage and a sound quality many venues would be envious of. It doesn’t matter if you are up close to the stage or chilling at the back, the sound quality is fantastic and you can always get a good view. Pretty much every weekend they have something for a rock fan to enjoy, be it the very best of tribute bands or great ERB-worthy original bands. If you ever find yourself in the city over a weekend and want some quality live music, not far outside the city centre, then you could do a hell of a lot worse than check out the Billesley Rock Club.

The evening’s entertainment was kick started by Luke Appleton’s Power Trio. Luke’s day job would normally be stirring up a storm with Absolva and Blaze Bayley; he is a former member of Fury and Becky Baldwin’s partner, so I guess he made the perfect opening act for the evening.

His Power Trio was put together for this short run of Christmas shows, but if Luke had not mentioned that this was only their second show, you would never have known it. I guess that speaks volumes for the quality and professionalism of the man and his cohorts; Rishi on guitar and Adam on drums.

If you search out Luke Appleton on Spotify you will find that his releases there are acoustic versions of his songs but here, with his Power Trio, they were transformed into fire-breathing heavy and hard melodic rock monsters.

Medusa and A Thing Called Fate opened the set with Luke and Adam laying down some crunching rhythms which allowed Rishi to flow over the top, alternating between some really fuzzy and gritty riffs and cutting solos. It was no surprise but a real pleasure to have a couple of older Absolva classics in Rise Again and Never A Good Day To Die complement the set either side of Snake Eyes. All throughout there were some great vocal melodies adding the cream to the crunch.

To close out, Luke invited Gemma Lawler, vocalist from Birmingham band Dakesis, on stage for a brilliant version of Iron Maiden’s Wasted Years,with Rishi utterly nailing those complex guitar sounds.

Who knows whether this project has legs outside of Luke’s commitments with Absolva and Blaze Bayley, but it is certainly one that stand up on its own merit.

When you go to see Fury you know you are going to get great songs, amazing musicianship but also a big Christmas pudding-sized dollop of fun, and it was clear that the band was in mischievous mood on this night. Your scribe figured he would get out front in the reviewing stakes and take a picture of the set list on the stage upon arrival. A little while later when checking it out on my phone, I realised that it was all Iron Maiden song titles … yep, duly suckered!

Anyway, in the true spirit of adapt, improvise and overcome (or in this case, just ask Lisa) I got the list for what was a blistering 16 song set.

The band launched straight away in a furious assault on our musical senses with Julian and Tom’s twin guitars scorching their way through If You Get To Hell First and Hell of A Night.

Becky’s rumbling, rolling bass lines got the wheels smoking as she launched into Burnout. The needle was bought back below the red line as the stoner vibes issued in the mellow by comparison Who Are You? with Tom’s pounding double kick drum landing punches on those even stood at the back.

Robin Fox joined the band on keyboards for an epic and mesmerising Shadows and Dust before Julian remarked on how he loved how his 5-year-old self who loved cars and astronauts was still alive in the songs he writes, and this was no more evident on the homage to early Iron Maiden that is Lost In Space.

On every song, the golden thread that runs throughout is the astonishing voice of Nyah Ifill. She brings a flourish to the songs that veer from visceral, ethereal and just straight out raunch ‘n’ roll, but it is on Rock Lives In My Soul that all of this is bought front and centre, as she trades vocal riffs with Julian through a crushing rendition which leaves us breathless.

Embrace The Demons gave those assembled a relative breather but still demanded that you moved and danced along to Becky’s Run To The Hills-esque bass line. The let up was brief as necks were snapping and the air punched to the most apt of song titles, It’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, the riffs and rhythms leaving you in no doubt as to why all of us were there.

The main set closed out with Tom’s furious snare intro into Road Warrior and then finally Casino Soleil confirmed that Fury are one of the most visually, musically exciting and satisfying bands that you could see at the moment. If, like me you were a teenager in the ’80s, they remind you of some of the amazing bands of your youth, but with a laser sharp, modern edge.

With it being Christmas, the set had to close out with an appropriate couple of numbers, and Julian and Nyah played their parts perfectly on a wonderful Fairytale Of New York before they were joined by the Power Trio and Gemma for a huge sing-along I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.

Like their Greek deity namesakes, Fury unleashed their full power and passion on us mere mortals and set us up for Christmas with huge smiles on our faces, sore necks and ringing ears.


Photos by Lisa Billingham

Billibee Creative Studio


Billesley Rock Club



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