The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

SNAKEBITE

A TRIBUTE TO WHITESNAKE

THE CIVIC HOTEL

11TH FEBRUARY 2012

 

 

 

 

Having first seen the mighty Whitesnake on the ‘Come And Get It’ tour and having had their music as a constant companion ever since it’s wonderful to see some of Perth’s best rock musicians getting together to put on this one off tribute show to David Coverdale and co. The Civic may not be everyone’s first choice of venue, being annoyingly distant from just about everywhere, but the sound in the room tonight is pretty much spot on and shows the strength of the venue.

 

 

 

 

Openers Lady Zeppelin put on a great show tonight to warm up the crowd, buoyed along by Perth’s own local guitar hero Graeme Green.  The set itself is pretty nice (despite starting a little obscurely for some in attendance) and they are soon into their stride. To be honest with a catalogue like Zeppelin’s you can’t go too far wrong!  As Zeppelin cover bands go, and I’ve seen a good few over the years, these guys are pretty much up there with the best, and it’s probably only Dyna Shirasaki’s ‘Hammer of The Broads’ in LA, who put on a bit more of a Zeppelin show that I’ve enjoyed more recently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But of course we’re really here to see The Snakebite show for its first and, who knows, maybe only appearance (though after tonight we doubt it). With guitars supplied by two of Perth’s younger masters – Leon Todd (of Ragdoll) and Chris Gibbs (of The Chris Gibbs Trio) you know that the guys are going to be nailing it. The question is with a night and a band like this how will the setlist stack up to scrutiny?

 

 

Drawing mainly from Whitesnake’s most famous album ‘1987’ is quite understandable under the circumstances but the band manages to evoke a real flavour of Whitesnake’s bluesier roots on some of the older numbers and throw in a few earlier Coverdale gems for good measure. To see the guys interact on stage, while still a little rough around the edges with their stagecraft, (understandably as this is their first run out) is a joy to watch.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s great to see a band that looks like it is enjoying itself as much as the crowd, who are beckoned to the stage early on by the real revelation of the show – Ryan Rafferty (also of Ragdoll) – performing for the very first time ever in any of his bands without either a guitar or bass to hide behind. Ryan is a star with a golden voice that is perfect for the material, indeed Ragdoll has been known to throw in the odd Whitesnake cover into their set at times. After a few songs where he looks a little unsure of what to do Ryan is soon into the swing of things and a natural front man is born sans instrument.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a night with many highlights it’s epics like a beautifully realised ‘Judgement Day’ that steal the show along with 1987’s classics: ‘Here I Go Again’; ‘Still of The Night’ and ‘Give Me Al Your Love’. But it’s not only the guitarists and singer putting in sparkling performances on the night Matt Ferguson (drums); Kim Sirigusa (Keys and looking every inch a rather dapper Jon Lord character) and the brains behind it all:  Gareth Hughes (bass) all shine.

 

 

The feeling you are left with at the end of it all is elation tinged with sadness that Gareth is about to head over to the UK.  It’s a one off, a wonderful night and I certainly wouldn’t put any money on it not happening again!

 

 

 

Words by Jo Rockpit | Images by Mark Diggins