MASSIVE / THE ROCKET DOLLS / MOUTH IN THE SOUTH - Gullivers, Manchester 11.10.18

Anne Estella
(Photo Credits: Shannon Landers Photography)

Two days before the Aussie macho-rock machine MASSIVE were due to play with THE ROCKET DOLLS at Manchester’s Gullivers NQ, their local support act had to pull out and ballsy classic rockers MOUTH IN THE SOUTH were asked to step in. Undeterred by the fact that their brand new drummer Otis Rimmer had so far only played one gig with the band, their response was an emphatic “Hell yeah!” and in the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll they unflinchingly stepped up to the plate.

 

The band chose ‘Live To Rock’, the first track from their latest EP ‘Aftershock’, to open with. The rousing hard-hitting anthem was an ideal choice to get the party started and in my opinion, a modern classic that no contemporary rock collection should be without. Newbie Rimmer may have been nervous but he needn’t have been and as the first song drew to a close, the look of sheer relief and elation on his face was heart-warming to see.

 

Meanwhile, frontman Piers Gebbia, with his guitar held high, stood perfectly still as his vocals did acrobatics. His vocal range is capable of climbing to dizzying heights – not only reaching those stratospheric notes but holding onto them too. At either side of him, six-stringer Ashli Thorne and Chidi Slater on bass mingled like best buddies – Slater frequently reminded me of an excitable young pup as he joyfully bounded over to Thorne to play. There was good chemistry between Slater and Rimmer too and they both appeared to be revelling in the camaraderie.

 

The rest of the set comprised songs from ‘Aftershock’, with the addition of ‘Scream My Name’ from the band’s debut EP ‘Four Play’. The ending of ‘No Shame’ was given a new twist, building up to a faster tempo and a more energetic pace at the end, as the main riff changed into a progression of chords which sounded great.

The set closed out with the band’s self-titled track ‘Mouth In The South’ and Slater came out into the crowd to play in our midst, which is something I always enjoy seeing in these smaller venues. Friendly and unassuming, Gebbia proudly introduced his bandmates, giving Rimmer the opportunity to indulge in a storming drum solo. Everyone was rooting for him and he did himself and the band proud.

 

Mouth In The South are:

Piers Gebbia - Vocals & Guitar
Ashli Thorne - Guitar
Chidi Slater - Bass
Otis Rimmer - Drums

 

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/mouthinthesouthband/

https://twitter.com/m0uthinthes0uth

https://www.instagram.com/mouthinthesouthband/

https://soundcloud.com/mouthinthesouth

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

THE ROCKET DOLLS are a band that I’ve wanted to see for some time, and finally, my chance had come. The Brighton-based Post Grunge, Punk-tinged Hard Rock trio played an assortment of songs from their 2014 album ‘Eyes’ and from this year’s stellar new release ‘DeaDHead’, starting with ‘I Can’t Go Back’ and were momentarily plunged into complete darkness mid-song as the stage lights went out. For a second I thought it was a power cut, but as the set went on, atmospheric lighting was consistently used with dramatic effect, complimenting the heavy, chugging, riff-driven onslaught that flooded our ears.

 

Charismatic and instantly likeable frontman Nikki Smash made an immediate impression, confidently beaming at members of the audience, pulling an array of facial expressions and occasionally sticking his tongue out to reveal a perfect set of gnashers. Flexing the full force of their substantial musical muscle, each member shone; Joe Constable looked and sounded mean and moody on bass while Benji Knopfler was a monster on the drums. The powerful hook-laden single ‘None Of This Is Right’ was a show-stopping highlight and the passion was palpable in Smash’s intense and sincere delivery. Three things became glaringly apparent during tonight’s performance: THE ROCKET DOLLS are big sound, big voice and are set to make BIG waves!

 

The Rocket Dolls are:

Nikki Smash - Vocals & Lead Guitar

Joe Constable - Bass & Backing Vocals

Benji Knopfler - Drums & Backing Vocals

 

Links:

https://therocketdolls.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/therocketdolls/

https://twitter.com/therocketdolls

https://www.instagram.com/therocketdolls/

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

And speaking of big… MASSIVE really don’t need any introduction. The fun-loving four-pieces’ frontman Brad Marr is a compact bundle of cinder-raw energy ready to explode! He came across as a vibrant character with a super-sized personality and a voice made for high voltage rock ‘n’ roll. The adrenaline-fueled set featured songs from the albums ‘Full Throttle’ and ‘Destination Somewhere’, while the band also road-tested some of the new tracks from their forthcoming album, which is due to land in February.

 

These guys definitely know how to drink, party and have a good time and the chemistry between bandmates, especially the banter between Marr and guitarist Ben Laguda, was contagious. Marr dedicated ‘Long Time Coming’ to Laguda’s “food baby” (expected at any minute) and as the heat on-stage rose, an endless stream of beers arrived, which mainly ended up in the hands, and sometimes down the front, of Laguda.

 

For most of the set I didn’t actually see bassist Alex Carmichael’s face, in spite of being stood right in front of him, due to his curtain of coarse, blond, shoulder-length hair, a little reminiscent of Garth from Wayne’s World, although when his face was fleetingly revealed it was obvious that the resemblance ended there. Marr jokingly berated him for wearing a sky blue AC/DC T-shirt, saying “Didn’t you get the memo that black T-shirts were cool?!”

 

Andrew Greentree is exactly the kind of drummer I love to watch. He has all the tricks up his sleeves, including mesmerizing drumstick spinning and even drumstick tossing (could that be a sport?!) and occasionally played standing up, all the while giving a thunderous performance. And then came ‘the chip incident’… I’ve never heard of a band ordering a takeaway, let alone attempting to eat one while performing, but from out of nowhere appeared a delivery of chips (which I suspect belonged to Greentree as they were sat on his drumkit), and as soon as Laguda got hold of them they were scattered amongst the crowd, much to everyone’s amusement. Marr yelled “We used to be a serious band, now we’re just a tribute to ourselves”!

 

The band played new song ‘Bullet’, which has an awesome riff that afforded Laguda a bit of a Slash moment with a standout solo. ‘Big Trend Setter’ provided another stomping highlight that was just too damn catchy for the audience to resist. As the set drew to a close, Laguda stood up and balanced on the bass drum (which was quite an impressive feat in itself, considering) and he and Marr had fun playing their guitars behind their heads while the rhythm section remained relatively grounded.

 

The final song saw Marr replace his guitar with a glass of beer as he covered the anarchic fist-pumper ‘Highway To Hell’, which was a fitting end to a volatile set that was brimming with unabashed, testosterone-soaked rock ‘n’ roll goodness, neatly reaffirming the potency of the international rock scene. And if rocking out with these party animals sounds like your idea of a good time, make sure you catch MASSIVE when they return to the UK for Manchester’s SOS Festival next July, as they’ve just been announced as the Sunday night headliners!

 

Massive are:

Brad Marr – Vocals & Guitar

Ben Laguda - Guitar

Alex Carmichael - Bass

Andrew Greentree - Drums

 

Links:

https://www.wreckingcrewtouring.com/massive

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveOz/

https://twitter.com/massiveoz/

https://www.instagram.com/MassiveOz/

https://www.youtube.com/user/massiverock1

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

Print Print | Sitemap
Down The Front Media ©2018 Unauthorised use and / or duplication of this material without express permission from this site's author and / or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Down The Front Media with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.