To be totally honest with you, one week ago I didn't really give a rats arse
about Bigelf. I had yet to hear a song, but they were revered in Classic Rock
Mag, so what. Then came last Friday at The Manchester Apollo - The Progressive
Nation Tour 09 Euro Version (Dream Theater/ Opeth / Bigelf / Unexpect). I was
not expecting the best of shows I must admit, but their own brand of 70's prog
rock was awesome. After seeing Bigelf perform it's opened another chapter for me personally. One thing about attending lots of gigs (hardly any of them via the site) you get thrown a curve ball every now and then. In Bigelf's case it was one huge curve ball. Blown away by this LA quartet's pomposity and progressive tendencies, I was very pleased to hear that they would be back in Manchester a mere four days later playing their first ever English headline gig. I just had to witness more for myself...

Firstly, where the fuck were you Manchester for the Greatest Show On Earth?
Unfortunately a mere handful of people attended the Club Academy. I expected
many, many more considering the response they got last Friday. But Damon and the guys rose to the challenge and it became one intimate gig also proving that they had a great sense of humour, mostly taken at their own expense.

So who are Bigelf? Well folks they are the most pomp-tastic, overblown,
progressive rock band plying their trade, this or any side of the Pond. Think of them like a Rock Family Tree, drawing in their musical influences from early
pioneers like Sabbath, Yes, Pink Floyd, Mott, Deep Purple and so on. Throw in a
bit of Rainbow, Grand Funk, and The Beatles for good measure and you sort of get my drift, if not, get your arse down to see them before it's too late.

Opener 'The Evils of Rock and Roll' is an absolute belter of a track. Damon
(with Yoda for some spiritual Jedi guidance) plays to the crowd with ease. He is a showman of the higher order - they all are. Ace Mark wrings every last note out of his SG. It's clear to see his influence is a certain Mr Iommi, even down to the shiny cross being worn (just don't go the whole hog and cut the tips off your fingers ). Duffy on bass along with Froth (drums) keep the groove flowing perfectly. 'Gravest Show On Earth' highlights Bigelf's talents -the groove of Grand Funk with the power of MkII Purple, a fine mix indeed. 'Madhatter' (appropriately named by the way) is straight out of Sabbaths early period, from the opening line of 'I'm the Madhatter' sounding uncannily like Ozzy's cry of 'All aboard!' before wading into a War Pigs influenced tour de force. My other fave 'Disappear' followed next, which starts with a 70's mellow Floyd groove before morphing into a Purple-esque/Rainbow Dio era masterpiece.

More superbness followed from 'Money! It's Pure Evil' to the pounding
'Superstar'. Bigelf have the market cornered in their progressive brand of
music. They have it in spades. Despite the poor audience turnout, Bigelf still
performed as if it were the Apollo or Wembley as they had just a few nights
earlier. Only without the fun and laughs that we had. Bigelf are gonna be huge - fuckin' HUGE! If it's any other way I'm going to eat Damon's rather large hat.

Thankfully there was no shiny satin crotch shenanigans going on tonight (you had to be there). Future audiences - be warned!!

Evils Of Rock & Roll
Neuropsychopathic Eye
Pain Killers
Gravest Show On Earth
Bats In The Belfry I
Money, It's Pure Evil
Money Machine

Have A Cigar