Monster Truck - UK Tour March 2017

John Pankhurst

 

Birmingham Institute 2 - Fri 17 Mar / Manchester Club Academy - Sat 18 Mar / London Electric Ballroom - Wed 22 Mar

 

Since hearing Seven Seas Blues in Sep 12 as part of the NHL 13 video game soundtrack and then seeing them when they were the first band on the 2nd stage on the Friday at Download 2013, I have been hooked.

 

They once described themselves as a beer and peanut band, i.e. they would happily play anywhere for a payment of beer and nuts, but having now toured extensively with Nickelback, Alice In Chains, Slash and Alterbridge to name but a few, their reputation of being a no nonsense rock band has been rapidly increasing. They are a band that are just as happy playing to 200 people as they are to 20,000.

 

And so to this 7 date UK headline tour, in support of the brilliant Sittin’ Heavy album. The venues being played are in the 600-1000 capacity range, so hot, sweaty and in your face places. As I have gone to three dates, this is a bit of a summing up of all three rather than individual show reviews.

 

This time around they are supported by The Picturebooks from Germany. They play with a big sound considering there are only 2 of them. Huge drumming from Philipp drives the sound (to be honest he beats the living daylights out of his symbol less kit) while Fynn stitches it all together with some superb guitar work. They are definitely worth checking out when they come back later in the year for their own headline tour.

 

The lights dim, the crowd cheers and Monster Truck hit the stage to Why Are You Not Rocking? Quite possibly the most stupid question of all time, these are Monster Truck shows after all, of course we are. Old Train then rattles through the station before they slam into Don’t Tell Me How To Live.

 

Wow, time to pause for breath now? No of course not.  “This song is about the great sport of hockey” cries Marv (Jon Harvey bass/vocals) and The Enforcer then repeatedly punches you in the face. She’s A Witch then just keeps the grooves coming.

 

Black Forest is the first chance for the crowd to truly calm down. This is a slower number that shows a different side of the frenetic show to this point. For The People then gives the show a 70’s funky feel before Things Get Better kicks in; yet another foot stomping, head shaker of a song.

 

Next up is another slow blues song, but don’t let that fool you. For The Sun is quite simply, sensational. Seven and half minutes of pure heaven and one of my favourite songs of all time, yes it is that good. The guitar work from Jeremy Widerman is soulful and it’s a rare thing to see him standing still, the man is perpetual motion throughout the gig. Brandon’s (Bliss) keys give the song warmth and Cool Steve (Kiely) effortlessly negotiates the kit. This really is a huge, lighters in the air, stadium filling song.

 

Up next is Seven Seas Blues, complete with lots of “wooo, wooo’s” from the masses. Big crowd favourite Sweet Mountain River and, with no let up at all, New Soul round off the set nicely. The encore sees the band return with big cheesy grins on their faces and Call It A Spade is dispatched in quick time and with the crowd screaming for more cue Righteous Smoke and yet more audience participation. Marv then announces that this is the last song as the intro to The Lion starts up. Then it really is the end of the show – 90 mins has flashed by.

 

The only changes to the set was Birmingham got the brooding To The Flame sandwiched between She’s A Witch and Black Forest, Manchester got treated to a song called Midnight, one that didn’t make the cut for the Sittin’ Heavy CD and like all Monster Truck songs it’s tight and punchy and could/should have been included and London got the James Brown classic I Got You (I Feel Good) as the first encore song.

 

When it comes to songs you can dance your arse off to, Monster truck have them in bucket loads. They will be huge, it is only a matter of time. The constant touring shows they have no signs of stopping their plan for world domination through superb riffs and instant sing-a-long classics. If you missed them this time round do yourself a favour and don’t miss the opportunity again, you will not regret it #DFWTT.

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