At The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., June 15, 2019

CANDLEBOX (Live at The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., June 15, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

The early ’90s was certainly a unique time for music in general and Seattle in particular. The chill winds of change were blowing through those bands who reigned supreme throughout the ’80s bringing in a new guard to lead the charge into the ’90s. Out went sky-scraping, backcombed hair and spandex to a back drop of parties and girls and in came beards and plaid shirts and tales of social woes.

While the likes of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden spearheaded the Grunge assault, following in their wake were a host of bands inspired by the new direction including Candlebox.

Just over 25 years ago Candlebox unleashed their self-titled debut album hitting pay dirt at the first attempt reaching the US Top Ten, selling 4 million copies and spawning a Top 20 hit single along the way. Although subsequent releases didn’t quite reach the same heights, there was still plenty to like over the years.

With band members coming and going, only original singer Kevin Martin remained from the line-up that cut that classic first album although former Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen is on his second stint with the band that dates back over 20 years.

With the 25th anniversary having just been passed and duly celebrated in The States it was the turn of the UK to join the party as Candlebox, up against a tight deadline performed a fair chunk of the debut album including Change and Don’t You as well as the ferocious Guns’ n’ Roses riffing of Arrow.

It wasn’t all about the debut album though as the super catchy Sweet Summertime, Sometimes and the Funky Supernova from three of their other albums showed the quality of their catalogue.

A riff heavy You and the tear stained Far Behind, dedicated to Mother Love Bone’s, Andrew Wood, one of the pioneers of the Seattle scene who was taken far too soon, brought the show to an emotional end.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • 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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