SOMETIMES the gigs you expect the least from are the most enjoyable, maybe the low expectations mean that you enjoy them because the expectations are so low: other times they are enjoyable are because they are just good...
Such was the case when Derwin and co welcomed Cheap Thrill to the Diamond Rock Club last Thursday night (17th April).
Made up from members of Cinderella, White Lion and the Gibbs Brothers Cheap Thrill seemed on the face of it to be another heritage band making hay while the classic rock revival stays strong - but that is to undersell them.
However, before such an act can take to the stage the spirits of the 80s have to be invoked from the ether. And there is no finer group to do that than Maverick.
The ten-legged monster of classic rock and metal have evolved and grown in front of the eyes of Northern Ireland audiences. Now as they prepare for the release of their début album their time is coming...fast!
Already their tracks seem like old friends, choruses riotous sing-alongs and solos and riffs flying from all corners and stage moves well rehearsed and well executed.
Saints and Sinners, Top Heavy etc etc - if you haven't caught the Maverick bug you need to get infected as soon as possible.
With a couple of covers thrown in to raise the party mood (although they have enough strong material of their own not to bother...) the Diamond was ready to rock for Cheap Thrill.
As it was the first show of their European tour there were a few kinks to be knocked out, not least some ropey backing vocals but otherwise everything was good in Ahoghill Rock City.
With the expected Gypsy Rose and other fan favourites rolled out the reception was raucous, and the band seemed to be enjoying playing and bantering.
Some unexpected cover versions (a slowed down Billy Jean and closing with Imagine) kept the momentum throughout, but ironically it was the new track 'Hero' that was the strongest of the night.
Cheap Thrill should be an ailing act rolling through the years for older fans. However, there is something very, very exciting bubbling here. Get the fans to roll in for the 'classic' tracks and produce new tracks like Hero could be a recipe for endurance and if they return to the Diamond we hope that they are prepared to air some more 'new' songs.