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






Smooth Set 1. Ramblin' Man 2. Take Your Chances 3. Don't Look Back 4. Gero Love Song 5. Lost


Rock Set 1. Speed Racer 2. Sister 3. Northern Lights 4. Sold Me Out 5. Skeletons 6. Tied To Stone 7. Epic 8. Tomorrow Never Comes 9. Transparent


Encore 10. Kings Of Time 11. Living for the Sunshine





Some bands just know how to put on a show, and others like Stone Circle seem incapable of putting on anything but a real spectacle. Over the last few years we’ve seen this hometown band musically go from strength to strength on record but ‘live’ they always seem to want to take things one step further with their productions and launches.


Tonight an enthusiastic crowd at The Charles Hotel saw the launch of not just Stone Circle’s debut video: ‘Transparent’ but also the launch of their brand new website.  Now some bands might have been content at that, but not Stone Circle: after all if you’re going to do something why not turn up the volume a bit and throw in a couple of curve-balls. But that all came later…


The evening started with a low key set from Stone Circle vocalist Jeremy ‘Harry’ Harris, casually attired, armed only with a guitar and charming the crowd with a series of songs and stories in a short set which culminated with  a great rendition of U2’s ‘With or Without You’.



Taking the stage after a brief break the Black Ink guys from Rockingham, were a band I’d somehow always managed to miss previously but I was so glad to actually catch them finally as they produced a powerful set  pinioned at least initially on a nice heavy bass with an almost Chillis-like groove and intensity. This was great driving classic hard rock, with a touch of Sabbath in there, that at times mellowed into a tight yet laid back seventies vibe that perfecty showcased some great vocals.



The cover of Soundgarden’s ‘Rhinosaur’ from the ‘Down on the Upside’ album (played for the first time tonight) just added a Cornell-like depth to the overall mix. A great set and fittingly ending with one of their best songs ‘Bodies’, Definitely a band to add to the ‘must see’ list next time around.





What you might not have expected from Stone Circle is for them to start off with a touch of jazz, but jazz it was to start the show proper; giving some of their old favourites an entirely new and unexpectedly fresh make-over. As the Jazz set in, Harris replete in a rather sharp suit, tie and hat strode onto the stage, to join equally sharply dressed, white-tied bassist/keyboardist Craig Skelton. Their sartorial splendour was only offset by the casually attired Derrin Key on drums, brandishing his brushes like a jazz tiger and Scott Howe in his Jimmy Page-inspired silk jacket.


Musically it just worked with Howe laying down a big fat blues groove and some tasty licks, at times it took on an almost early Aerosmith-like groove especially on opener ‘Ramblin’ Man’. Ever the promoter Harry made us aware of the brand new stubby holder on sale between songs with Craig pondering why all the ‘Mofos’ in the crowd kept letting them get away with stuff like this!


‘Don’t look Back’ was probably the song that best translated before the ‘string tritet’ (OK trio but tritet sounds better) took to the stage to add yet another angle to the performance. After a brief issue with the foldback ‘Gero Love Song’ augmented by some beautifully balanced strings elevated proceedings to an entirely new level before ‘ Lost’ underlined the absolute triumph of the concept. The only disappointment was the brevity of that part of proceedings as the screen came down for the next phase of the evening the launch of the ‘Transparent’ video. (Now available for viewing on the splendid newly revamped website:




The reimagining of hard rock album tracks doesn’t always work as planned but tonight Stone Circle proved that with the right mindset and the will you can achieve something pretty special and the audience seemed to agree. As the video for ‘Transparent’ kicked in, giving the band time to regroup and reconfigure the stage for their electric set there was a buzz of anticipation, I won’t spoil it for you but the locally produced video is well worth checking out.





The final set of the night took us back to what Stone Circle does best; and in truth the ‘Electric set’ saw the guys sounding better than they perhaps ever have as the dry ice kicked in. The level of energy seemed to be fuelled by the fact that the well laid plan had worked to a tee and more importantly the crowd had loved it.


Blasting through old favourites like ‘Speed Racer’; ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Epic’ before ending with new video track ‘Transparent’ had everyone up and engaged.  The encores ‘Kings Of Time’ and ‘Living for the Sunshine’ sealed the deal. If you want to see a local band unafraid to try something new, but solid as a rock Stone Circle is a band you have to see.





Mark Diggins August 2013





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