At The Carling Academy 2, Newcastle U.K., October 12, 2007

MCQUEEN (Backstage at The Carling Academy 2, Newcastle U.K., October 12, 2007)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Support act Freshfabrik were something of an unknown quantity to the ears of many in attendance. Over the space of their short slot, their commercial brand of Korn/Faith No More-influenced Metal was enough to peak the interest of many in the crowd. Their set closer had an impressive Eastern-influenced riff that bodes well for the future, and they are a band well-worth checking out more closely.

Right, let’s get this out of the way NOW. McQueen are GIRLS and they play METAL! OK?? Great, now that’s done, it’s time to get down to the real deal … the music.

MCQUEEN (Live at The Carling Academy 2, Newcastle U.K., October 12, 2007)
Photo: Mick Burgess

McQueen must be one of the hardest working bands on the current circuit. This is their 3rd visit to Newcastle this year, as they have slogged across the UK as headliner and also as support to the likes of Wednesday 13 with a gig schedule that would make even the hardiest of roadies beg for mercy. Not so for McQueen. Their work, work, work ethic is paying dividends as larger crowds and ever more glowing reviews fly their way.

With a set built around their excellent debut album, Break The Silence, the show was short and sweet rather than long and drawn out as can be expected with a band with one album behind them.

MCQUEEN (Live at The Carling Academy 2, Newcastle U.K., October 12, 2007)
Photo: Mick Burgess

An air raid siren and the theme tune to The Great Escape paved the way for the opener “Dirt.” Lead singer Leah Duors is a Rockstar personified, swaggering onto the stage swigging from a bottle of J.D. before launching into the song. Throughout the show, she was a bundle of raw energy as she releases all the pent up fury from within and spitting her vitriol during the venomous “Bitch.”

Firing off a potent mix of Punk and Metal, McQueen have the songs to match. Highlights include the fantastic “Not For Sale” with its “iron fist in a velvet glove” delivery. A wonderfully melodic pre-chorus section paves the way for a manic chorus. Don’t mess with these guys!!

MCQUEEN (Live at The Carling Academy 2, Newcastle U.K., October 12, 2007)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Cat de Casanova pumps out the raw-edged riffs and kicks out a few tasty solos along the way. Hayley Cramer on the drums is a sheer powerhouse and new girl Kat Bax on bass played only her third gig with McQueen tonight and you simply could not tell. She slipped into the band seamlessly and will certainly be an asset for the band.

“Running Out Of Things To Say” and “Line Went Dead” boast of huge hooks, the likes of which a North Sea fisherman would be proud, while the frantic “Neurotic,” which closed the set, saw Leah Duors in full raging flight.

MCQUEEN (Live at The Carling Academy 2, Newcastle U.K., October 12, 2007)
Photo: Mick Burgess

As encore “Like I Care” closed the show, McQueen left the stage for the final time after around an hour of their short, sharp, and devastating brand of high power Rock ‘n’ Roll. They played with an unbridled energy and fire that’s not often seen these days, and their enthusiasm to their cause is infectious.

Great things lay ahead for McQueen, and 2008 may well be the year when they take a huge stride forward. For those weedy “Girlschool” comparisons, you may have read about … forget it! The only band McQueen sound like … are McQueen!!!


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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