Lostprophets - Blackpool Empress Ballroom - 15.7.06

The last time I saw Lostprophets was in 2004 at the Carling Festival in Leeds. Although they sounded too American for my tastes (strange considering they're Welsh) I enjoyed the strong melodies, the pop rock choruses and the commercial radio friendly songs, which is no bad thing. Two years on and Lostprophets have become massive. Their current tour sold out, their album "Liberation Transmission" went straight to number one and at the Empress Ballroom, over excited kids are bouncing around with wild abandon as their parents look on bemused which is all the more worrying due to the fact that it's a good ten minutes before the band make their entrance.

"Everyday Combat" has Ilan Rubin who's filling in for Mike Chiplin who left the band last year on drums, whose virtuoso drum solo at the start of this song is utterly captivating. The harmonies, fast and frantic pace and guitar solo from Lee Gaze is spell binding in the extreme. Lyrically dark but sonically euphoric this is Lostprophets at their very best, firing on all cylinders. "4am Forever" gives the moshers a well deserved break on this power ballad which although has a feel of a Bon Jovi album track is genuinely moving, about the death of a dear friend.

As you can imagine Ian watkins is very proud of his small town roots and his speech about being successful from such humble beginnings is inspirational for everyone here tonight. The hit single "Rooftops" sees many of the audience go into manic overdrive, but an even more enthusiastic response (if that's possible) is given when Lostprophets perform "Last Train Home", a forrmer top ten single from a few years ago.

Finishing off with "Burn Burn", Lostprophets leave everyone drenched in sweat, elated and gagging for more which unfortunately we don't get. Considering the performance lasted just over an hour, would it have been too much to ask for a few more songs from their impressive body of work? Apparently so because seconds after the house lights come on and everyone leaves not exactly disappointed, but a little surprised that a show stopping encore didn't materialize

Nicholas Paul Godkin
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest www.shirlainephotos.co.uk

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