Live review: Phoenix Rising at The Handle Bar, Cradley Heath, West Midlands4th March 2022.
Phoenix Rising are a rock band from the West Midlands who have had their share of ups and downs. But, like their name-sake, they are rising from the ashes once more. Better, stronger and more accomplished than we've ever seen them!
The four-piece have historically shyed away from doing covers but these days the band are mixing well known rock classics with their own original, excellent material. To be frank, their own music is at times superior to the covers but hey, that's what the public want these days.
They can easily do a full gig of their own stuff but are wisely throwing in covers to keep the public happy as they introduce them to Pheonix Rising songs if they haven't heard them already.
With their own classics like "Bad Company", "Voodoo" and newer song "Thrill of the Kill" and (sadly Cry No More wasn't on the set list tonight), the band can hold their own with any rock band in terms of song creation. Founder member Garry Bennett writes thoughtful lyrics that have meaning and depth and the band do seem to have evolved musically and as a unit they play well and with a cool ease that comes with experience. With such a great band behind him, however, Garry can't go wrong. There is such talent in his band and it shows in how easily they go from their own songs to covers with such a wide range as "Cocaine" and "Dakota". Their new guitarist, Julian is also brilliant and we're sure his confidence will grow as he matures. He certainly has some impressive licks! and looks!
They stuggled with the sound of the venue at times, The Handle Bar in Cradley Heath. The bar is narrow and long making the acoustics tricky for rock bands (we do think, however, that solo performers and acoustic players would be fine). They handled it with professsionalism however.
Review by Carrie-Anne Grove and Audrey Smith.