The Mag: Play: Slash Hits; VELVET REVOLVER Manchester Apollo

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL COLE

THERE is a moment during express train single Slither that you realise rock'n'roll is alive and well - certainly healthier than any of the guys in Velvet Revolver have any right to be.

Slash lets loose on an extended guitar solo that pushes all the right buttons, recalling the glory days of former band Guns N 'Roses and turning back the classic rock clock.

Not that they're strangers in a strange land. Up there on the Apollo stage with Stoke-born Slash are Guns bass player Duff McKagen and latter day drummer Matt Sorum.

Former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland and Wasted Youth guitarist Dave Kushner complete a line-up that not so long ago was a pharmacist's drug-drenched delight.

Where The Darkness spoof the excesses of rock, the Velvets have been there, done it and got the needle marks before cleaning up both physically and metaphorically. Their first gig on English soil opens with Sucker Train Blues, the hell for leather anthem that ushers in the Contraband album - a song so strong most others would save it for the encore.

Throughout the 80-minute set, the band play not only their new material but plunder their various back catalogues, including Pilots hallmarks Crackerman and Sex Type Thing. …