An absent bassist, missing cymbals, the joys of the Midlands motorway network and a curtailed set by the headline act on the face of it are not the ingredients you’re looking for when heading out for a fist-pumping feast of guitar-driven rock.

However, in the best traditions of all things heavy, Godsized still managed to win lots of new friends in Birmingham on the opening night of their ‘11th Hour Tour’.

Shebrew required a stand in bassist but the guy who answered the call certainly knew the ropes and they delivered a crushingly atmospheric set positively frothing at the edge with doom and darkness.

Swindon’s Eye for an Eye then turned in a raucous display exemplified by tracks such as Give It All You’ve Got, 50 Stone of Bone and the closing My Fire.

They pointed out that the drummer had somehow managed to forget his symbols the night before but they had obviously commandeered some from one of the other bands as everything was securely in place when the stixman took his stool for the opener Angel.

Eye For An Eye are not the kind of band to leave anything in the locker. The trio serve it all up and then some more with infectious enthusiasm and honesty that resonates well in front of a live crowd.

Four bands on a night at little more than a fiver is shockingly good value for the punter – although perhaps less so for the bands.

One downside is the turnaround between acts, with the bands pretty much having to set up and then take down their kit themselves things can sometimes overrun.

Unfortunately that’s what happened with headliners Godsized who apparently had suffered a pretty miserable journey in reaching the Second City.

Their southern-style balls out delivery works wonders live and the boys did not so much have the bull by the horns as in the palm of their hand. The riffs are of such seismic proportions that the even the Walls of Jericho would struggle to withstand them and frontman Glen Korner has a vocal range almost as wide as his magnificent beard.

Having opened with Phoney Tough and Brothers the new single Heavy Load, taken from the forthcoming album Time, came in for some serious treatment but with the set in full flow the evening sadly came to an abrupt end when ‘time-out’ was signaled by the management.

Whether the band knew about the 11pm curfew I’m not sure but they had to curtail the opening night of their UK tour by around half-an-hour, opting to crash through Head Heavy to close.

The Asylum crowd took the news with resignation and a few shouts of ‘more’ were never going to draw the required response with the band already pulling out the plugs while the final note was still buzzing in our ears.

The last time Godsized were in Brum it was a couple of years back supporting Black Label Society.

By my maths they still owe us a full set but hopefully it won’t be a two-year wait until they are back in the Midlands. [PAUL CASTLES]