The Hard Rock café crowd well warmed-up after some impressive sets from Uproar and Manifold, frontman Mark Hawthorne and his band, Concrete Kingdoms take to the stage.
A year on from the last time I’d seen Concrete Kingdoms live, the energetic rockers have really grown in strength. Something I love about watching them play is seeing a band who are good friends as well as a tight musical team. They feed off their crowd’s enjoyment, and grin at each other onstage.
Whole Lotta Hype is their standout track for me, with its infectious groove and chorus, which puts Mark Hawthorne’s soaring vocals to good use.
Throughout the set I was impressed by the ambidextrous drumming and powerful, intricate tom grooves from Grant Duncan. Newest member of the band, Mark Faulds is stretching his wings on guitar with his trademark understated, yet visceral rhythm and lead work. Between Mark and equally versatile guitarist, Ben Fraser, rhythm and lead parts are swapped between songs with Dougie Fraser’s powerful bass always underpinning.
Covers of “Rocking in the free world” and “Rebel Yell” are tightly pulled off, but it’s Concrete Kingdom’s original songs which are most full of life and energy.
Although best seen live, I’m really looking forwards to some Concrete Kingdoms recordings which do justice to the live energy this band has with its new line-up.
If you like Rock, go see them!
Their next gig dates are:
24th May Trillians in Newcastle
25th Dreadnought Rock Bathgate
26th The Brickyard Carlisle.
Find them online at