Stone Broken with Special Guests Jared James Nichols and The Bad Flowers, February 2018, Islington Assembly Hall, London, United Kingdom

Stone Broken With Special Guests Jared James Nichols and The Bad Flowers

Saturday 24th February 2018

Islington Assembly Hall, Islington, London, United Kingdom 

Laurence Harvey 



It’s a cold night in North London and a throng of rock fans are outside the venue, awaiting completion of soundchecks and entry. The headline band are just back from dinner, heading back into the hall and responding to calls of greeting, the four walk straight over to the punters and happily pose for photographs and chat before going inside. It’s that kind of evening and that kind of tour. Three acts with fire in their bellies and their own take on rock music, taking minimum time for switchovers, spending time at the well-organised merchandise areas and each communicating with the followers on stage and off.

There’s always one act on a three-band bill that you haven’t seen yet and though we have out together a couple of nice pieces on The Bad Flowers trio from Cannock in the English Midlands, our first show by them leaves us impressed by three things – their musicality, especially the bass man’s canny use of chorus and fuzz here and there and the fact that he swings, the material as evidenced on their debut album Starting Gun and their stage presence which is confident but not cocky. The combination of thunderous drums, deft bass and that howling Les Paul make for a tight sound but Tom Leighton’s singing seems to get better and better as the set continues. Songs included the moody ‘Secrets, the exciting ‘Lion’s Blood’ and their first single ‘Thunder Child’ that had the crowd singing along. An intimate headline club tour beckons for this outfit on this form.

Our dear US friend Jared brings his black Les Paul-no FX thunderstorm style to the London crowd with his usual enthusiasm, matched by his low-slung-bass and crisp drum cohorts. At one point they even hit a loping Free-type groove, ever-expanding JJN’s Southern Rock core approach on ‘End Of Time’ which is taken from his new record ‘Black Magic’. The rhythm section of Dennis Holm (drums) and Gregg Cash (bass) laid down the grooves for ‘Baby Can You Feel It’ as Jared shouted ‘Do you wanna boogie London!’ Well we boogied alright and with not a Jools Holland in sight!

The trio ostensibly end with an old Mountain classic but then throw in some extra’s.

American no-gimmicks music just does not come finer than this, friends. We chat with Jared later and he enthuses about the other acts on the package. Been a long way from The Black Heart, buddy! And so very well deserved..

On then to the third act, with their twin stands for jumping on and off and impressive stage setting. We have seen Stone Broken before, memorably opening for Glenn Hughes in Reading on the wettest night ever. Their new songs are aired with power and pride and there is an unmistakable sense within the group that they are about to harvest from what they have worked upon for a long time. The better compositions include live favourite ‘All In Time’, the country rocking ‘The Only Thing I Need’ and the emotional (but not corny) ‘Home’.

The biting Strat solo’s could perhaps mix more tones amidst the frantic riffing, but they do add to the impact if the songs as delivered. Sturdy classic rock vocals are well-received by the crowd.

Don’t miss this tour when it comes near you – every act is raring to entertain and you will hear quite a range of tough rock music. We had a good crowd tonight, be part of yours.

Pete & Glenn Sargeant

(All Photos Credited to Laurence Harvey)

Stone Broken’s second album ‘Ain’t Always Easy’ is out now on Spinefarm Records.

For more information visit their official website here:

Jared James Nichols’s new album ‘Black Magic’ is out now on Listenable Records. You can read all of our articles on Jared including exclusive interviews here:

Fore more information visit his official Facebook page here:

The Bad Flowers debut album ‘Starting Gun’ is out now and released independently.

You can read all of our articles about The Bad Flowers including our album review and exclusive interview with Tom Leighton here:

For more information visit their official website here: