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 Nightvision (Final Gig)/Exit State - Live Review

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Reign In Metal
Reign In Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostNightvision (Final Gig)/Exit State - Live Review

Nightvision (Final Gig)/Exit State
The Venue, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK 28th September 2013

If you are aware of what has happened to Nightvision in the past year then you'll understand why I found this a difficult gig to attend and also why this review has been tough to write. For those that do not know, Dean Hocking, Nightvision bassist and brother of drummer Daryl Hocking was tragically killed in a car accident last Christmas. Dean was an exceptionally gifted player and the bond he shared with his brother as a rhythm partnership was very special. With changing circumstances and the band realising that they couldn't really carry on without Dean, who was an integral part of the band, Nightvision have decided to call it a day and move onto different things. I cannot imagine how difficult this decision has been for them, however, they wanted to go out with one final gig to say thanks to all the people who have followed them since 2006 and to celebrate Dean's life! 'The Venue', in my hometown of Sleaford, was a regular homecoming gig for Nightvision, who live in the same area, and it was fitting that their final gig should be held there. Rocksector Records labelmates and friends Exit State were there to support and it would also mean double duty for Exit State bassist Phil Ireland who had agreed to step in and cover Dean's parts for Nightvision!

Exit State

Upon arriving one thing was clear, 'The Venue' was rammed to the rafters with people wanting to say goodbye and with my hugs, handshakes and hello's to many familiar and not so familiar faces out of the way Exit State hit the stage. With three albums released, all of which have received glowing praise Exit State are a great band but this was to be my first time watching them live and they didn't disappoint. In the last couple of years they've toured with the likes of Michael Schenker, Black Spiders, Reckless Love, Blaze Bayley & Marseille and regular gigging has really honed their performance into something very tight. It also proves what a diverse sounding band they are with a very definite crossover appeal. Vocalist/guitarist Roy Bright is a joy to watch and listen to, Matt Harris cranks out some great guitar work and the rhythm section of Phil Ireland and drummer Peat Hicks is absolutely spot on. It must have been pretty difficult for Exit State to play this gig but they did the right thing and really went for it, after all this was a celebration and not a wake. They played a superb gig, got the crowd singing along and thoroughly warmed everyone up. Judging by the laughter and smiles from band and crowd after their set was testament to that fact and it was lovely to be part of!


As the lights dimmed for the beginning of Nightvision's set we were treated to an introduction tape of excerpts from several radio interviews that the band had done, obviously focussing on Dean and his answers. His wonderful sense of humour came across beautifully and for a brief moment it almost felt like he was in the room with us. It was a very touching way to start the gig and there were more than a few tears shed in the crowd. Then BANG!! Nightvision were all systems go and considering they hadn't played a gig for about a year and of course had very few rehearsals with Phil learning the set, this was nothing short of a master performance. How they managed it I do not know, it must have been especially difficult for Daryl. To lose a band mate is bad enough, but to lose your brother as well...!

Song after song passed with Nightvision firing on all cylinders. They released two great albums with Rocksector Records 'As The Lights Go Down' (2009) and 'Consequence Of Sin (2011) and we heard a good many tracks from both those albums. They are another band whose classic rock/metal with a modern twist appealed to a good cross section of people. We were even treated to a quite fantastic version of Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets' which they had occasionally played earlier in their career. Dave McKee's vocals were brilliant all evening, guitarist 'Bolda' appeared to be note perfect and I know all too well what a talented drummer Daryl is, after all Nightvision have toured with Diamond Head, Tygers of Pan Tang and Fozzy. As for Phil, well he did a magnificent job covering bass in very difficult circumstances! All too quickly though it was finished and Nightvision received some thunderous applause from the packed crowd. Considering they had family and close friends present as well it was also very poignant and many people got up on stage to give the guys a hug and congratulate them on a job well done. They looked genuinely shocked at the response they received but also very tired which is more than understandable. I imagine it would have taken a few days for everything to sink in properly!

Whether we see them together on stage again or turning up in other bands remains to be seen. All of them work full time jobs and it's not easy to combine the two in this day and age. Whatever happens, this gig was special for lots of reasons and if Dean was watching from above he would have had a huge smile on his face. R.I.P.

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley

Photos by Helen Tilley

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