ULTRASOUND 2000, LAS VEGAS
Live Review, The Cutting Edge
Scotland’s not the first place I’d look for a killer rock band. The last one I can think of was Gizzi brothers/Mark Rankin’s Gun. But with Scotland, quality not quantity is the focus of the day. The Promise were, hands down, one of the GREAT acts on this years bill. When they launched into Let’s Talk About Love off last year’s Human Fire CD, all jaws dropped to the floor. What we’d been hearing most of the day was fairly heavy, so when The Promise lit up the stage with four vocals converging in unison over a slippery chorus, it was chilling. European magazine, Raw, called their brand of melodic rock/AOR “lipsmackin’ melodic eargasms” a perfect description of what was coming from the speakers. Band founders Gareth Davies and Nod Graham embarked on a perfect Thin Lizzy guitar suite that almost made you weep (Kiss Me And Kill Me, When Love Takes A Hand) and as a singer, Ian Benzie would rival anything on the FM dial. Taking his vocal chops from Toto, Night Ranger and Journey, he packs emotion and charisma into a sweeping climax. The Promise have a reputation of a turbo-charged live act and man, did they live up to it – the stage never stood still. Drummer Colin Fraser splits his time between Pallas and The Promise. His contribution is flared with style and finesse, making The Promise as perfect a package as you can get. For their first time in Vegas, these guys were having the time of their lives and it showed – absolutely amazing!
Live Review, Heavy Metal Resource
The Promise followed with what would be one of the highlights of the weekend. All of the way from Aberdeen, Scotland just to play Ultrasound 2000. This band showcased 9 great songs from their 2 albums. They held a meet and greet after and were a great bunch of guys.
Dave Palmer Live Review, Leapdog Music
All of the other bands were very good that day, but the surprise of the day, who left everyone’s jaws dropped on the floor, was The Promise. This band is out of Scotland and is a Power Pop/AOR Rock band who is simply one of the best bands I have ever seen. God only knows why these guys aren’t huge. They should fire their record label and PR firm, because before this day, no one had really heard of them, and they blew everyone’s doors off! Michelle and I were so impressed we went to their tale and bought both of their CD’s.
Live Review, Heavy Harmonies
The Promise. AOR. 10/10
Probably the act of the show for me. They sounded awesome! This Scottish group needs more exposure. They should be HUGE!
Dan HardingLive Review, Atomic Chaser
…….We witness some great performances by bands like, LEATHERWOLF, SMILEK and THE PROMISE, who came all the way from Scotland and put on an amazing performance! My hat is off to Gareth Davies and the rest of the band for a job well done!
THE GODS 99 – MAXIMES, WIGAN
Live Review, Powerplay Magazine
Now these guys, for me anyway, were definitely the best surprise package of the weekend. Facing real adversity in the form of the sudden departure of their keyboard player, “The Arsehole” (their words not mine), only two weeks ago, they came on and blitzed the place. Using sampled keys as and when required, the Scottish quartet delighted the very attentive audience with their brand of super smooth AOR, playing a tastily balanced set that had us all dancing and singing along (even our Big Ed was seen to have a little bop!). Speaking to Gez Da Loud 1 soon after, he mentioned that The Promise impressed the hell out of him, which is amazing ‘cos he’s a cynical old sod. My one and only criticism is that bassist/ vocalist Ian is a little too static – a little more effort wouldn’t go amiss. What a fine voice though. Guitarists ‘Nods’ and Gareth are a classic pairing, their twin attack putting smiles on faces all round the venue. What a great band. Surprise victors of the weekend? You bet!
THE GODS 95 – LONDON ASTORIA
Live Review, Frontiers Magazine
I’ve had enough of the waiting, the anticipation and the excitement. A superb day of quality rock performances lies ahead and I can’t f**king wait any longer! the pounding drum intro of The Promise’s storming opener ‘End of the Game’ is therefore sheer, unadulterated bliss to these ears and signals the start of Gods 95 in perfect fashion. The Promise’s self-titled first album is, without doubt, my debut of the year to date and boasts 10 great rock tracks infused with hooks and melody. Fillers? This band don’t know the meaning of the word. But do they rock on the live stage? Cor, not ‘arf mate!!Opening this event was never going to be a cinch for any band but for one which hadn’t played live for over two years you’d have thought nerves, trepidation and lots of brown stuff would have appeared during the set in vast quantities. Not so my old fruits, or if it did it was very well hidden (or they were wearing nappies!).
Opening number ‘End of the Game’ is one of the band’s rockier tracks but provides an early example of the bands strength in simply producing top notch melodies throughout verse, chorus and solos. Guitarists Nods Graham and Gareth Davies show early signs of living up to the band’s well documented ‘lively’ reputation on stage but to my disappointment it is only a quick wander behind vocalist/bassist Ian Benzie before they dash back to their mikes. The superb feelgood rhythm of ‘You Are The One’ sounds just as cheerful live as it does on CD and raises the same happy smile on my fizzog. Even at this early hour of the event the crowd is a reasonable size and the one-two punch of ‘Playing Dirty’ and ‘Restless’ draws a warm response. The harmony vocals are well executed throughout the set and Nods and Gareth’s guitar solos are expertly traded and delivered. As well as the band’s recent lack of live action they’ve had to cope with the departure of keyboard player, Deanne Munro, but her replacement, Steve Ransom, is doing a perfect job. He may not have the stunning looks of his predecessor (to some of the audience anyway!) but he certainly knows how to play her parts (oo-er-missus!). The melody overload of ‘Don’t Keep Me Waiting’ and the traditional Brit-Rock tinge of ‘Holding On’ continue to emphasise what a great opening job the band are doing. On stage movement and banter is kept to a minimum throughout the set although Gareth takes time to explain that the next track is about sexual preferences and “people who like it up the bum” before the band launch into Journey’s ‘Any Way You Want It’. The final two numbers, as expected, are ‘When It Rains’ and the monumental ‘Silver Lights’. Both tracks elicit a highly enthusiastic response from the crowd but, alas, they also signal the end of the band’s slot. Overall, the set seemed to be well appreciated by most fans and I thought the band did an excellent job. Yep, there was the odd mistake within the set and the band would probably be the first to admit them and I personally would like to have seen more of their lively on-stage behaviour. But considering the status of this event and the fact that they had not played live for so long, they did an incredible job. I hope the band manage to get some more live dates organised as I for one would take the time out to see them in action again. Now, that’s a f**king promise!