The Virginmarys – HMVs Next Big Thing @ London Garage

Posted on 7 February 2012
By Lara Cullen
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Part of HMV’s “Next Big Thing” series The Virginmarys played one of their most significant shows to date in London’s Relentless Garage.

Maybe it’s the endless touring they’ve done, the recent appearance on BBC news, maybe it’s just word of mouth. Whatever it is it’s gathering steam and this band are hot property.

The first time Purple Revolver caught The Virginmarys they were supporting Slash on a brief UK tour a couple of years ago.

They played their set in near darkness, hiding behind long hair and shadows. Yet still they shone and managed to leave an indelible impression. Not an easy feat when warming up for one as epic as Slash but once you are treated to The Virginmarys live, no matter who comes next you won’t forget them.

As this particular show proved, they’ve developed an air of confidence now and there’s no more hiding in shadows, this band is on the cusp and it’s infectiously exciting to witness.

They have been busy recording ther debut album due for release in May and from the first moments of the set they treated eager fans to some of the new material. The first of the more familiar material to make an appearance was a kick ass version of “Just a Ride” which got the floor bouncing as the diehard Virginmarys fans sang along word for word.

The new songs immediately strike you and are notably heavier than their earlier releases. Live this band excels and they grow tighter each time we see them. As always animated drummer Danny Dolan was immense to watch as the force of his beats propell him out of his seat.

From behind his huge drumkit he manages to command more stage presence than many a frontman and is a sight to behold yet never drops a beat. They say the quiet ones are the ones to watch and elusive Bassist Matt Rose held the rythym section together incredibly, the honey and the glue binding the sound that makes The Virginmarys.

A sound that many have described as the new Led Zep or White Stripes but these are lazy descriptions and The Virginmarys have a fresh, relevant rock sound all of their own.

The tightness of the Virginmarys, the quality of the song writing and Ally’s effortless amazing guitar riffs while screaming hard rock vocals that get better and better are what stand out tonight above all else.

Firm favourites such as Bang Bang Bang, My Little Girl and the outstanding Portrait of Red made their way into the set list of course yet these too have been refined over time and sounded harder and tighter than ever.

As sweat dripped from the band and fans alike on an otherwise freezing cold February night, the only complaint is that the VMs flawless set seemed to end far too soon. To say this band are destined for big things feels like the understatement of 2012.

They are the best kept secret in rock right now but we suspect once that album hits and with a festival heavy summer (having just been confirmed for the Isle of Wight festival), they will not be a secret for too much longer.