You know how it is. There's always a band that you 'really must see' The latest, greatest incarnation of one of the gods of rock on this planet. One of those bands who, when they are playing Wembley, you will tell your mates how you saw them at The Frog and Ferret for £1.50, and, of course, how much better they were back in the day.
I'm afraid Zenith might fall into this category, with a little proviso. If someone tells you that you 'need' to see this band - they're actually right. This is a live experience to savour. The sort of experience that makes you remember why watching live music can be so damn good.
So, to the stars of the show. Zenith are young, gifted and loud. They pump out the sort of metal music that you can actually enjoy. Magic ingredient number 1 is groove. Think chugging, Pantera-like riffs, think melody and heaviness in the same package.
It has to be said that Zenith's live experience totally eclipses the recorded material at this stage of their career. This is most probably due to magic ingredient number 2, singer Ben. A compact, pocket rocket of a front man, from the moment the band hits stage, he is in charge, exhorting the crowd to tear the place up. Rarely is this man still. Whether he's swinging from the rafters or moshing with the crowd, he is the focus of attention. This is not to demean the contribution of the rest of the band. Static they are not, but even occasional synchronised headbanging cannot compete with Ben.
Songs are delivered in quick succession, and even the mid week crowd's initial lethargy is driven out of them by this band's relentless assault. Highlights are the stomping "Can You Hear Us?" and the slightly more relaxed "Bleed For You"
Zenith are at the point where a national support slot is the next logical step to build their confidence and experience - pity the band that has to follow them every night when they get this break.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.