BlackMax and the Pirates.

Charity event at Chipping Norton Town Hall.

Saturday 24th November 2012

Reviewed by She Wolf



Heading off into the hills for a charity event, with a horrendous night of weather in tow did at first seem like a crazy idea, but it was all for a good cause. The Helen & Douglas House in Chipping Norton, a hospice for terminally ill Children and young adults was raising much needed funds with a night of musical entertainment. 

The first act on were a very young local band (The Devils) who's appreciative family encouraged them and gave them a lot of support, they were really not bad even for musicians of their age. This was a four piece rock band (I think I was told that the dummer was only about 10 years old) but they played very well and had a unique sound of their own. They played a mix of Metal and Rock covers and also some of their own songs too. Their set was met with a much deserved applause and toe tapping!


Blackmax and the Pirates were up next; being the organisers of this event they had to give us a bit of a show. They are a six piece band that belted their way through a set of Ska and Punk  covers while adorned in their Pirate gear. Lead singer, Nicky reminded me somewhat of a younger version of the late Kirsty Macall, both in looks and sound. They were obviously, by the applause from a happy crowd, a very popular band. 

Another local band on next a band of rockers called The Ruling wowed the audience with their talent. This was a harder rock band made up of teenagers and again with own unique sound, which was pleasant to the ear. The lead singer had a surprisingly good voice and looked every inch a rocker. 

Rockabilly band Josie and the Outlaws set got the audience up and jumping around, they are a classy band and have a great singer. They stomped out Rock n Roll (Rockabilly style) 1950's sounding Rhythm and Blues, bringing many people to the dance floor. They gave me an insight to a 1950s dance hall type of band. 

Then it was time for the headline act! 

Greenfire..... Now. I should warn you that I shall endeavour to try to write this review to the best standard that I can, while also  trying not to sound too biased. This is because I am this bands manager and I don't think that I could have ever felt as proud of this band as I did this night. Not only had they driven all the way from Manchester (and beyond!) in the worst weather imaginable and then straight back on the road after the show, but they also played an absolutely cracking hour long show, belting through their impeccable set with Mark Destadler’s excellent riffs blending,  perfectly with Siren vocalist Jo Samuels’ pitch perfect voice Songs played were In my eyes, Wicked Ways (the new single), Carnival, Selling the Dream, Plantive, That’s The Way Life goes, Constant Rewind and City That Never Sleeps, and more. All of them were met with raucous approval from an audience that had somewhat dwindled due to the deteriorating bad weather outside. 

Greenfire (consisting of Mark DeStadtler, Jo Samuels, Steve Beharrell and John Harland) seemed to have been accepted in this town which isn't easy for a band such a long way outside of their territory. This is "Posh Rock” at its best and they certainly brought it to this little Cotswold town of Chipping Norton... and me? As I said, I really was one truly happy manager! A great night was enjoyed by every one who could come, with different genres of music to suit many different tastes and next year can only get better for this worthwhile charity!