Live | Baby Killed The Roses [& Kelvin Zhero] – De Bosuil – Weert [NL]

1 March 2024

After having released a handful of albums under the name BloYaTop, the three gentlemen gringo’s Ferguson (guitar), Huge (drums) and Fox (bass, vocals) decided in 2022 that the time was right to give their musical career a new impulse. After having survived the Covid years, the BloYaTop moniker was exchanged for Baby Killed The Roses and their original birth names were reclaimed. Ferguson and Huge became Vergoossen and Heuts again but little changed for Fox because who simply remained the sly fox. With the passing of BloYaTop, the associations with ZZ Top also got buried in the past, a factor that must have played part in the decision-making process. 


Baby Killed The Roses

BloYaTop once started as a ZZ Top tribute act but saw its’ repertoire of originals quickly take on different colors and shapes, especially since the entrance of Ferguson, apologies, Vergoossen back in 2009. The four albums the trio released since then had main focus on groove and atmosphere, gradually pushing back the compelling ZZ Top influenced boogies. Their latest and current body of work, simply called `Baby Killed The Roses’ sounds more upbeat, a bit more melodic but a lot catchier. The energy level went up a few nudges and as individual musicians they are able to shine more; there is more virtuosity on display which shifts towards a more American-style hard rock.


Eric Fox

Old acquaintances, a new name, a revitalized style and ultimately a new album. That kinda summons it up. Baby Killed The Roses is a new adventure and tonight marks the album’s release party. Producer Mario Goossens (from Triggerfinger fame) who endorsed the band with a strong live vibe and sense of urgency is present in the flesh. Fred Kevorkian who mastered the album (and in the past worked with greats like Iggy Pop and Maroon 5) is not, which makes total sense since he lives in New York. With all of this taken into account is goes without saying that ‘Baby Killed The Roses’ is the trio‘s most ambitious work to date, which is underlined by the fact that the record is marketed and distributed by Suburban Records.


Vince Vanderloo

Before the veterans take possession of the stage however, it is up to local Kelvin Zhero to warm up the outstanding concert room, which is nicely filled with somewhere around 250 visitors. Kelvin Zhero also operates in a trio format and it does so in style. Kelvin Zhero is the brainchild of guitarist/singer Vince Vanderloo and this cat is no stranger in the Dutch hard rock scene. In the nineties he was one of the driving forces behind the thrash metal formation Form for instance. The music he creates with Kelvin Zhero however is completely different and far from thrash metal; absolutely guitar-oriented still but within the framework of pure, emotionally drenched heavy rock.

Eddie Claessens

Vanderloo showcases himself as an excellent guitarist, clearly one from the old school, blessed with a surplus of feel, capable in picking the right notes without exaggerating on fussy pedals or technical tricks. His playing and sound comes out very natural and so does his passionate singing. In the little under an hour stage time the trio convinces strongly through a series of substanced compositions and an engaging performance. The unpretentious approach and Vanderloo’s tongue in cheek, rather humorous announcements result into a high audience liking.

Vince Vanderloo

Vanderloo had put his brainchild on hold for many years but hopefully the trio draws strength from tonight’s performance and response. Let’s wait and see if the formation will also surprise us with new music in the near future. The talent to do so appears to be there with Vanderloo being flanked with smooth drumming Eddie Claessens (former Vandale) and the enigmatic Alex Wurms on bass. At the moment everything seems to fall into place for Kelvin Zhero.


Mark Vergoossen

Given the high-profile nature of the show Baby Killed The Roses must have felt quite some pressure when entering the podium, but none of that is noticeable. The band takes possession with bravado and manages to take control in no time. While Kelvin Zhero’s stage act was on the static side, the Roses are in constant movement. Bombarded with such high level of energy the audience quickly gives in. Add to that the high-quality standard of the songs and little can go wrong.

Tonight, no less than six tracks from the new album are played; the catchy up-tempo rockers ,,Recipe For Destruction’’ and ,,Dead Man Rocking’’ at the beginning of the set and four others towards the end of the regular set. In between these new gems the band makes a strategic selection from the BloYaTop oeuvre, mixing up fierce rockers with more groovy pieces such as ,,Catch Me If You Can’’, ,,Groove Control’’ and ,,Speak Of The Witch’’.


Paul Heuts

It is Mark Vergoossen who draws most attention with his fiery solos and stunning technique. The man is clearly a master of his domain. Halfway through the set, Paul Heuts can also show his skills by means of a tasteful drum solo. The most constant force however is singer/bassist Eric Fox, the vital sixty plus years old who is clearly not affected by age at all. The man who has illustrious names like Avalon and Soylent Green on his CV appears to have lost none of his enthusiasm and manages to come out stronger than ever. His vocal range seems to have grown and his flexible bass parts set the right accents.

Eric Fox

Let’s hope that the album will be also picked up by the mainstream media this time around. These new feelgood tunes deserve to be heard. Time will tell. For the time being I recommend fans of melodic heavy rock to tap into the new album and catch Baby Killed The Roses live when you get the chance.

All photos by Raymond Helebrand



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