Something old and something new as Tax The Heat return to Wolves

Tax The Heat are intent on having fun this Friday night in Wolverhampton. An odd juxtaposition, given the city and it’s inhabitants were recently voted as the most miserable in the UK. On the bright side, as a rather famous song once said, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere……

TTH are perhaps the men for this job too, because while they might be at pains to stress that they are a modern rock n roll band, nevertheless, there is something pleasingly old school about the West Country four piece.

The way they’ve gone about things has been methodical, with the aim on a long-term career rather than a short-term eye on Facebook likes and Twitter followers. They’ve toured and toured, they’ve supported, now they are on their biggest headline tour to date. The hard work, it seems, is paying off.

Affording themselves an hour here they play most of last years “Fed To The Lions” debut opus. It’s interesting to note just how confident they’ve become in playing these songs  – and also how tracks like “Animals” have morphed into slightly more belligerent beasts since the start.

“Under Watchful Eye” is another to add a genuine thump to its work, “Some Sympathy” has developed into a kind of anthem, and “Standing On The Platform To Leave” is augmented with a heads down freak out of the highest order, even guitarist JP Jacyshyn  – a man who has never evidently lost his cool – has his hair swirling raound for this one.

Eager perhaps to capitalise on the ground that “….Lions” gained them, TTH are ready with their new one. Three brand new songs are aired here. The first brings to mind Steppenwolf’s classic “Magic Carpet Ride”, the second is a tribute to Prince and is a strutting rocker that sees frontman Alex Veale find a falsetto range, and the last, “Cruel To Be Kind” is proof that whenever it does come, then album number two could see the band really leap forward.

An outfit that doesn’t feel the need to insult everyone’s intelligence with the pantomime of encores, Tax The Heat merely keep them coming and “Lost Our Way” and the singalong “Highway Home” are timely reminders of what they have in their armoury – and why people have been tipping them for years.

“Thanks for backing new rock n roll”, says Veale just before the end. What he probably can’t see is just next to MV there are three kids who greet the aforementioned “….Home” with all their passion their parents probably reserved for Bon Jovi thirty years ago. The future is just fine. You can pay this evening no higher compliment.

Except, perhaps this. Tonight Tax The Heat made Wolverhampton smile. That, apparently, isn’t easy to do.