Capital FM Arena

Luke Seagrave – eGigs
Capital FM Arena (Ice Arena) on Sunday 30 October 2011

For those of you who still haven’t had the chance to see Vampires Rock, it is the classic vampire story-vampire looks for new wife, finds new wife, bites new wife etc, however this version is injected with classic rock anthems which at times are inserted into the show through some cheesy feed lines such as when Pandora asks the evil vampire Baron Von Rockula (Steve Steinman) who is he? He then replies with “allow me to introduce myself” as the band kicks into ‘Sympathy for the Devil‘.

It is all done tongue in cheek, and comes across as light hearted fun. However even though the story line is full of witty lines and cheesy feed lines to lead into each song, the music is taken extremely seriously and it is this that seems to keep the fans turning up year after year.

The 2011 version of vampires rock was billed as ‘Carnival Du Vampires Rock‘ and sure enough it had fire eating ladies and high flying acrobatic stunts to bring something new to a show that has been going for quite a few years now.

Once again the show opened with ‘Welcome to the Jungle‘ which got the audience singing and head banging along. Whilst looking around the audience it was a great sight to see the effort that some people had gone to dress up as zombies and other Halloween related characters.

Lead vocalist Steve Steinman and his band (The Lost Boys) wasted no time in kicking into the next song ‘Highway to Hell‘ delivered with such killer precision that even AC/DC would have been proud.

Unfortunately things came to an unexpected halt during their third song when one of the characters ‘Bossley the Janitor’ (John Evans) is told that he is not allowed to sing by evil Baron Von Rockula. Bossley flows into ‘Killer Queen‘ but due to an amp blowing, the vocals cut out, which created one of those train crash moments that can quite easily destroy bands forever. Even though there was no sound coming from the microphone, Bossley broke character and started to make witty comments to the audience that were near the front.

Thankfully after about ten minutes one of the guitarists (Henry Bird) came to the front and started to sing ‘Don’t Stop Believing‘ which gave the audience something to take their mind of the current situation of there being no show.

After that brief sing-a-long the power was back and the band restarted with ‘Killer Queen‘ however the microphone cut out once again. The band and Bossley tried to take it in good humour and luckily the audience didn’t become impatient.

Once the technical hitch was sorted, the show continued at full steam with no further problems.

The cast for this years Vampires Rock has altered slightly from previous tours, firstly Toyah Wilcox is no longer with the show, and there is a new female vocalist (Hayley Russell) who seems to have managed to have nailed all of the songs without too much trouble as well as playing the part of Pandora with ease. Some of the biggest rock anthems such as ‘Since You’ve Been Gone‘ and ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine‘ and ‘Poison‘ were belted out with incredible energy and infectious passion which rubbed off onto the audience and throughout the night the audience were jumping around and generally in a party mood.

One of the highlights in this show is when Bossley the Janitor is allowed to sing and he belts out ‘The Final Countdown‘ and Van Halen’s ‘Jump‘. It is worth paying the ticket price just to see Bossley’s costume for these two songs.

Steve Steinman and the Lost Boys (Henry Bird, Jordan Bracewell, Arthur Bird and Chris Reed) as well as the bass player Mary ‘Garcia’ Garner all deserve a mention as they are the backbone of the show and without their musical expertise the show wouldn’t be half as good.

The backing dancers (Shereen Barlow, Zelda Saint-Wilde and Chloe Bass) along with Hayley Russell gave the show a sexy dimension.

Naturally Steve Steinman is the star of this production but as talented as he is, without the incredible musicians and dancers the show would lack that killer bite which makes it so enjoyable.

The only criticism that I have is that the script could possibly do with a rewrite as it has been the same for the last seven or so years. Apart from that, this show is a packed full of entertainment and it is the one show that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face for the evening.

Great music, Great entertainment, what more could you ask for?

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