Having grown used to seeing Devildriver year after year at the much missed House Of Blues on Sunset, and just once on the main stage at Download festival, it comes as something of a surprise to see them elsewhere in front of a considerably smaller crowd. Not that that’s a bad thing, – especially if you prefer more intimate shows – and the place is still sold out, a decent crowd for a Wednesday night, but it’s nonetheless a little weird being able to get so close to the band without getting knocked around in the pit. Hell, you can almost reach across to the bar and order a drink without missing a beat.

But more to the point, Devildriver don’t miss a beat, which is kind of important given that this is the first night of the tour for an almost an entirely new line up. Granted, they’re not exactly new players, bassist Diego Ibarra having played for Static X, drummer Austin D’Amond formerly with Chimera, and guitarist Neal Tiemann appearing rather more comfortable here than backing some bloke off American Idol, but the fact it that they’re already a tight band, and you’d notice if they weren’t.

Tonight’s set opens with End Of The Line from their second album, The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hand, followed by Dead To Rights, from Beast, and does a decent job of taking in a little bit of everything from the band’s fourteen year career, not always relying on title tracks or obvious choices. It’s also surprising to hear Clouds Over California, given that the song was previously reserved for California shows, but it does give us some hope of hearing Another Night In London sometime, without having to fly 6,000 miles! And they’re not too self-indulgent with the new album, Trust No One, playing just two tracks (Daybreak and My Night Sky), which is cool, because it’s not out yet and no one’s familiar with it. Indeed, if there’s a complaint tonight, it’s that a few too many favourites are missing, but you get the feeling they’ll be changing up the setlist as this two month tour goes on.

To be absolutely honest, this isn’t the best Devildriver show I’ve ever seen, but then, I’ve never seen a bad one, or skipped a tour because the band have grown boring. If Devildriver are in town, I’ll be there. And so should you.

Having written for Kerrang! magazine since 1989, I started shooting for them, pretty much by accident, in the early 90’s when all their photographers refused to go on tour with my favourite punk band Poison Idea. With pretensions of being as good as Mark Leialoha and taller than Ross Halfin, I shot everyone from Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer and Slipknot to The Prodigy and was published all around the world (full-ish list in the ‘published in’ section) before stumbling into fetish and pin up photography in 2006 when I married Masuimi Max. I quit Kerrang! in 2008 and now shoot the rock stuff for Metal Hammer and Terrorizer.