at The Blyth And Tyne, Blyth, U.K., March 19, 2014

It’s not every day that you can roll into a bar in a former mining town deep in the heart of Northumberland and hear a Number 1 smash hit single performed by the very person who took it to the top of the charts throughout the world. Robin Beck managed that feat on the back of her Coca Cola-fuelled “First Time” and she sang it perfectly live in the flesh.

Robin beck

Backed by her husband’s band, House of Lords, Beck proved that she was much more than a one hit wonder as she performed a string of punchy Melodic Rock classics from her latest album Underneath as well as her hugely acclaimed debut album Trouble or Nothin’, which is fast approaching its 25th anniversary. “Hide Your Heart”, penned by Kiss frontman Paul Stanley and “Hold Back The Night” written for her by Alice Cooper showed the high regard she was held in by her peers. It’s easy to see why. She may be petit in stature but is colossal in voice. In fact during the likes of “Tears In The Rain”, it’s hard to be believe such a powerful voice can emanate from such a delicate frame. Yet be warned, Beck can certainly look after herself as “Cat Fight”, a sure-fire hit if played on the radio, ably demonstrates.

Robin BeckWith a warm, charming and hugely witty stage presence combined with a killer voice and a collection of cracking hook laden Melodic Rock songs, Beck brought a real ray of sunshine to a cold Wednesday night in Blyth.

All was not finished, however, as House of Lords returned to the stage for their own headlining show. With their latest album, Precious Metal, being acclaimed as one of their best of their illustrious 25 year career, this performance in such an intimate setting promised to be something special.

Majestic by name and majestic by nature, House Of Lords were mighty impressive and with big, brooding, dramatic songs like “Sahara”, “Cartesian Dreams” and “Battle” to back them up, the Blyth and Tyne was treated to a stadium-sized performance up close and personal.

House of Lords

Lead singer James Christian’s voice has retained its power, punch and range in a way that many of his contemporaries haven’t. With Jimi Bell on lead guitar also shining brightly, the current line-up of the band has finally stepped out of the shadows cast by the original group formed all those years back by Gregg Giuffria out of the glowing embers of Angel. The band in 2014 is arguably bigger and stronger than ever.

House of LordsIt wasn’t all Hard Rocking, though, as the spine tingling Power Ballad “Love Don’t Lie” showed Christian’s class, while a stripped down acoustic “Can’t Find My Way Home” proved that even without all the bells and whistles, House of Lords still thrill.

You can’t get much for 15 quid these days, but if you’d been lucky enough to make the effort to head up to Blyth, then you’d have been richly rewarded with two imposing performances by two acts of genuine, gold-plated quality.


  • 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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