Live Reviews

South Of Salem w/ She Burns Red – Manchester Rebellion: Live Review

South Of Salem reach the closing dates of their Samhain Supernova tour and deliver in imperious fashion on an unforgettable night in Manchester.

On heir first ever headline tour, South Of Salem have been turning heads with their brand of horror inspired hard rock. They’ve built their beast themselves and they are reaping the rewards of that graft as Manchester shows up for one of their biggest headline shows to date, alongside She Burns Red.


West Lothian quartet, She Burns Red, are a rock band that deal in punchy hard rock songs that swerve in different directions. With an album and a few EP’s and singles in the bag, the band sets about their chance in front of an already big crowd in Manchester with apllomb”

“Let’s go,” bawls frontman and bassist James McCulloch, clad in traditional Scottish wear and a fierce looking piece of war paint on his face. He shares vocal duties with guitarist Andy Moore. Their respective styles work well together, and with drummer Scott Hanlon offering backing vocals, the group have some solid vocal harmony work in their mix.

With a short slot, She Burns Red seize their chance. Their music moves from groove laden hard rock through shades of pop-punk and classic rock. They segue quickly between songs to pack in as much as possible. The tempo they uphold is quick and they deliver their music with passion and vigour. All three guitarists bound around the stage with energy. An already full Rebellion shows their appreciation for the band with plenty already decked out in their merch.

“Who’s gettin’ bevvied?” asks singer McCulloch holding his can of Thatcher’s Gold aloft. She Burns Red’s latest single is Heavy Is The Head. With more of this style of music, this band will start to creep up festival bills and are evidently already gathering their own loyal following. They are certainly a band we will be keeping an eye on.


South Of Salem have the perfect conditions to deliver a career best. The Manchester crowd is clearly hot, and the energy within the room is high.

John Carpenter’s Halloween Theme rings around as the lights go down. Kodi Kasper takes the stage and immediately goads the crowd into clapping along. The rest of the band bound on stage and the rapport is immediate. “Hell yeah, Manchester!” screams singer Joey Draper as the band rip into Let Us Prey. It is a bombastic opening that serves to be a highlight of a show choc full of highlights. The groove metal sound is superb; it is one reminiscent of Wednesday 13 both musically and vocally. It is full scream ahead, indeed.

Horror isn’t far from the front of the bands style. Sporting Stranger Things/Misfits/Type O Negative shirts, the band clearly wear their influences on their sleeves (and in Joey’s case; his killer Jack Nicholson Shining tattoo).

“You are so much louder than everyone on this tour,” remarks Draper. A potential cheap pop, but Manchester is definitely loud tonight. “We’re a little band from the South and I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t be playing gigs like this yet.” It’s an interesting statement; you get what you deserve and on this showing, South Of Salem definitely should be playing shows like this. The whole band thrive off the energy of the crowd standing tall at the front of the stage and hanging over the front rows seems perilous but there is a huge connection.

Pretty Little Nightmare and Made To Be Mine shine with the latter seeing the crowd bouncing along. South Of Salem have a great stage presence and are definitely going places. This ascension is all of their own doing too; no label, no manager…this is their baby and they are bringing it up perfectly. It is a real feather in the cap for the band who offer heartfelt thanks to all the people who have pre-ordered their new album (which isn’t out until January 2024).

Of the new album, South Of Salem showcase several cuts. New single Left For Dead is a juggernaut of a song that powers straight into the lugholes. Static (which will have a new video on November 7th), is a pulse pounding statement. Bad Habits (Die Hard) is received incredibly positively with the crowd picking up the chorus to sing it back.

South Of Salem already have some big hitters in their arsenal. No Plague Like Home has the crowd in full voice, and Pretty Little Nightmare sees guest guitarist Chloe taking centre stage on the six string.

If the night wasn’t already memorable enough; the band invited a fan onstage after her favourite song. This was a ruse for her partner to propose to her live on stage. A special moment, and one that only adds to the uniqueness of this show.

A more serene and sombre moment comes in the form o the heart wrenching personal cut, Demons Are Forever. “This is for anyone that has been alone with negative thoughts.” It is a sentiment that many can relate to. The solo from guitarist Kodi is killer.

Calling me, they’re haunting me.
My demons are forever.
Free is something I’ll never be.
My demons are forever.

With this being South Of Salem’s first headline tour, they get a longer set. In fleshing out the set, they chuck in a cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. It is the perfect cover for this band and they don’t half do it justice.

As the band return for an encore of Cold Day In Hell, the crowd in Manchester know that they have witnessed something special. The vibe in the room was off the chart, and this is one of those nights that you will be glad to say you were there, if you were lucky enough to be in that crowd. An amazing night all round for so many reasons. South Of Salem will be a name that everyone knows in the not to distant future if their trajectory up continues at this pace.

The forthcoming new album from South Of Salem can be pre-ordered HERE. Get a taster with the latest single, Left For Dead, below.

South Of Salem: Website / Facebook / Instagram

She Burns Red: Website / Facebook / Instagram

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