Gig Review – W.M.D @ Route 44 with support from Tear It Down and Rai Kah Mercury


Aran Grant of W.M.D – Photo Courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography

This is the first gig I’ve attended for the Rock Asylum this year, and as I am a strong supporter of W.M.D, a great bunch of lads from Burntwood in Staffordshire. I got really excited when I saw this advertised, and I was eager to attend, firstly because I wanted to see the guys perform their recently released tracks, and secondly because of the awesome line up this gig was offering.


route 44 pic


Route 44 is a great venue, easy to access, and with the pub being open prior to the gig starting, its a great place to have a few pre gig drinks whilst waiting for the doors to open.


Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography

So first in the line up were Tear It Down from Wolverhampton, with their newly recruited bass player Matt Ratcliffe added to the mix. These lads have bags of confidence which clearly shows throughout their performances. Their set was a good strong collection of tracks, performed well, with extravagant displays from guitar player Jesse Taylor. Lead singer Blade Edwards kept us entertained throughout, with his strong vocals and passionate stage presence, he kept it together even when things didn’t go to plan. Rhys Jones as usual got on with the job without any issues, and was more involved in the set than I’ve seen at previous performances.

Unfortunately, whilst I was out of the room, the guitar got dropped which made the rest of their set quite interesting, which included a great little treat from drummer Jamie Roberts, who entertained us whilst techs were trying to sort things out.

Overall a good set from Tear It Down.


Rhys Jones of Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography


Matt Ratcliff of Tear It Down – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


Jesse Taylor of Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography


Blade Edwards of Tear It Down – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography


Rai Kah Mercury – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography

Next up were the lads from Rai Kah Mercury from Burton on Trent. Something a little different with a softer, more alternative edge to it. Since I last saw them perform, they’ve grown in confidence and once again they put on a fantastic set for us. My attention was drawn particularly to the drummer Joshua Anthony Lowe who came into his own. I could see he was really working flat out and enjoying being there, which is an essential quality required from anyone who is in the entertainment business.

Some of the tracks they performed had a more ‘rock’ influence, but I would like to see these lads really let loose with something more rough round the edges. With only a handful of gigs behind them, I’m sure as their confidence builds, their performances will become amazing. They have bags of talent and charisma, the rest will come as they grow into this fantastic band they’ve created. Well done guys.


Tomas Crean of RKM – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


Reece Schaefer of RKM – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


Joshua Anthony Lowe of RKM – Photo courtesy of Dave Briggs Photography


W.M.D @ Route 44 – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography

Then, we were onto the headline act W.M.D. These guys always put their heart and soul into their work, and this gig was no exception.

Exceptional guitar work from all three guitarists, even though Simon Wood tends not to steal the limelight, his talent should not be taken lightly. At one point I found myself shouting ‘more Mike’ as I really enjoy bass player Mike Wood‘s work, both vocally and on the bass, and as you will see from my videos, it adds variety to the set. Not many bands have a bass player that will perform a solo piece of this calibre. Jack Revill blasted out an energetic performance as always, and Aran Grant performed well throughout the night, putting in a solid, heartfelt performance.

Well done guys, and thanks for asking me down, me and the rest of the crew really enjoyed it.


Aran Grant from W.M.D – Photo credit Dave Briggs Photography




Jack Revill of W.M.D



Simon Wood and Mike Wood of W.M.D


Simon and Mike of W.M.D


Jack Revill of W.M.D

I have to say that the drummers of each band really stood out for me during the gig. Each one of them took the opportunity to show off their talents at some point during their set, which I really enjoyed.

The drummers always tend to be left at the back of stage and pretty much ‘forgotten’. Photographers have a real fight on their hands to get photos of them too.

There’s nothing more entertaining than a great drummer engaging with the audience and showcasing their talents. These bands are still progressing, however each band found a place for their drummers to be at the forefront of their performance at some point during the night, albeit for Tear It Down it was accidental. Jamie Roberts is a great little drummer to look out for, with his face appearing full of rage he soon rips into the drums given the opportunity.

A great night full of fun and fab music. Not without technical issues, but these things happen. Well done to all of the bands who performed, in particular to the headline act W.M.D who put on a great show.

4.5 Stars



Thanks to Dave Briggs Photography for supplying the photos for this review. If you would like to see more of his work, why not visit his facebook page here