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30 November 2004: Rachel Stamp - The Victoria Inn, Derby, England, UK

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The last time I saw Rachel Stamp was at Bradford Rios a while back now so I was looking forward to seeing them a little nearer home and in one of my favourite small venues. The Vic in Derby is a really friendly venue, there's something about having your hand stamped with an undecipherable smudge that makes you feel like it's a "proper" gig. It was good to find that the venue was pretty busy, the crowd at Bradford was a bit disappointing, and on arrival I made straight for the merchandise stand to get my copy of the new single "Honey/Queen of the Universe". Having made said purchase it was off to the bar for a beer and to get ready for the support, which was tonight, provide by Ariel-X.

A right motley looking crew took to the stage and began a set which consisted of big riffs and some really well worked tracks. Warning if you go to see these guys they are loud and I mean really LOUD!!!! I've been very impressed by some of the support acts I've had the fortune (and the foresight to turn up to the venue in time) to see just recently and Ariel-x were another to add to the list and another CD to add to the collection. If you like it loud then this could be the band for you.

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I have been a keen follower of Rachel Stamp for quite a few years now; they are one of the few bands that I can say I have almost there entire back catalogue (all apart from a couple of the very early singles) and I always try to catch at least one gig on every tour. Since the departure of long term drummer Robin Guy it seems that the Stamp have decided to remain a three piece and just use session drummers, this is OK but Robin was an exceptionally good drummer and all-round funny man that you do notice the difference since he left (if anybody knows what he's up to know please e-mail the webmaster.) That said they are still producing some really good music, they performed the tracks from the new single and they certainly live up to the quality of the previous releases. Apart from the new single the set was made up of some of the best loved tracks the Stamp have to offer, "Black Cherry", "Witches of Aneglholm", "Superstars of Heartache", "I Wanna Be Your Doll" to name but a few. This coupled with the Wills crashing guitar solos, sultry keyboards from Sheena Dax and of course the pouting Mr Ryder-Prangly all add up to that unique experience which is Rachel Stamp.

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© Simon, livemusicreview.co.uk

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