Skid Row
@ Leeds Rio’s

“One thing I love about England,” proclaims Skid Row singer Johnny Sollinger before a packed Rios, “is that you speak English! You can’t understand a word the French say and don’t get me started on the Welsh.”

Now before your inner bedwetting liberal kicks in, it’s worth nothing that Sollinger is a self-proclaimed redneck, so it’s perhaps best to take his comments with a pinch of salt. His right-on house may not be in order but his ROCK-ON house certainly is! It’s great to see a frontman simply enjoying his role, unconcerned by the fact that Skid Row’s arena-packing days are a distant memory. Frankly, to rob Sollinger of his ability to rock is to rob him of breathing!

Although there are a couple of nods to Skid Row’s more recent offerings (‘Disease’, ‘New Generation’), the set is dominated by the old favourites; ‘Youth Gone Wild’, ’18 & Life’, ‘Monkey Business’, you know the ones. Sollinger’s vocals are certainly much gruffer than those of his predecessor Sebastian Bach and, although they suit the heavier tracks like ‘Slave To The Grind’, he fails to reach the soaring high notes on lighter-waving power ballad, ‘I Remember You’.

Bassist Rachel Bolan performs ‘Psychotherapy’, his customary tribute to the Ramones (dedicated to our dearly departed brudders), which sets off a number of moshpits amongst more mature folk who should know better. Smooth-talkin’ Sollinger eloquently labels us “crazy Leeds motherf*****s” at regular intervals (or rather, between every song!), before enthusing further about his new favourite country,
“Another thing I love about England is that you stick with rock n’ roll. Because, in America, they turn their backs on rock n’ roll faster than they do with Britney Spears!”

Ear-splitting anthems, boozing, bad language and good times – trust Skid Row to provide the perfect Saturday night out.

Ross Halewood