Review of Black Stone Cherry at The Ironworks,Inverness on the 23rd of March, 2012,by Mark Allison. Photos by Thomas Bisset Photography.

And so, after waiting what seemed a lifetime, Black Stone Cherry arrived at the Ironworks for their sold out show. Tickets were hot property tonight with a high demand placed on them on local social network sites.

Black Stone Cherry came blasting on stage with ‘Change’ from the latest album ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’. Singer and lead guitarist Chris Robertson (a Scottish name if I ever heard one!) looks like a school boy in his recently trimmed locks while ‘pin-up boy’ Ben Wells jumped, ran and swung around the stage like a kid let loose in a sweet shop after a month away from sugar! This is the cool guy that boys want to be and the cute guy girls want to (well you know!).

With a set full of catchy southern rock stomping tunes, it was impressive to see how well this local audience knew the words and could sing nearly every song back to the band which Chris took full advantage of resting his voice in the process.

The band have a repertoire full of songs that should be major hit singles, ‘White Trash Millionaire’, ‘In My Blood’,  ‘Blind Man’ and ‘Hell and High Water’ among many others.

The one point of the show that I personally could have done without was the obligatory drum solo, but on the plus side it led to a great acoustic change in the set where brief renditions of Oasis and Nirvana tracks were covered along with the very moving original ‘Things My Father said’. Ben took over conversing with the audience at this point. He engaged with the heavy rockers in the audience playing the bands heavy metal ‘acoustic’ tune, a very brief bit of moshing to prove it can be done on an acoustic!

‘Blame it on the Boom Boom’ had the best version I have ever heard of ‘Rehab’ by Amy Winehouse as an intro, not a fan of the song or the artist normally but this version kicked ass.

Black Stone Cherry

This led into the final two songs of the set; the big crowd chorused ‘Peace is Free’ followed by final track ‘Lonely Train’. The band took a bow, left the stage and the house lights went on. There was a bit of confusion throughout the room briefly with everyone looking at each other blankly thinking ‘no encore?’. Not sure what that was about, however researching other gigs, the band did do their full set with the last two songs being noted as the encore.

Anyway, that said, great gig, great band, and anyone who thinks that ‘Kings of Leon’ are the best southern US rock band out there, BSC are like the ‘Kings’ with a serious shot of adrenalin fired up their backside! YeeeHaaa, Rock on!

More photos can be seen here.

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Mark has played in various bands, firstly in the late 80s to early 90s then more recently with The Wildflowerz and now 'all the Colors'.He has a media background heavily involved in music that has seen him design album covers for Charlie Landsbourgh, write articles on bands like Big Country for newspapers such as the Inverness Courier to promoting the likes of Nik Kershaw on his Scottish tour.You can contact Mark at Mark@Invernessgigs.co.uk