What does a rock fan do on a random Tuesday night? It’s too far from the rocking chaos of the weekend but too early in the week for any monster gigs (or even Karaoke!). This was one of the reasons I was intrigued by the invitation to go see a self-described group of sharply suited Belgian stoners in The 100 Club!
Although the band (Singer and guitarist Ruben Block, Bassist Paul Van Bruystegem and Drummer Mario Goossens) was formed in Belgium in 1998 and enjoyed support slots with big names from Muse to Clutch, Triggerfinger are still far from being a house-hold name, even in the world of Stoner and alt rock. Still a fair number of people have turned out to watch the band strut their stuff in such an intimate venue.
Opening with the “Upstairs Box” before “And There She Was Lying In Wait” I’m reminded of the type of dirty dancing and fuzzy, distorted playing of early Queens Of The Stone Age or even “Get Behind Me Satan” era White Stripes.
That said, like many “noise” bands, there are times where Paul Van Bruystegem’ bass simply overpowers the rest of the music to the point where I had to find a different place to stand to appreciate any sort of mix! “Too loud?” asks Ruben Block - “Well if everything is too loud that’s OK then”.
The all out distortion assault of “Black Panic” pushes the live sound almost too far into the red for my tastes but you can’t please everybody.
The catchy riffing of new song “Flesh Tight” is followed by the lumbering menace of “Perfect Match”. In the past Triggerfinger have done their share of cleverly selected cover songs (“Man Down” by Rihanna anyone?) but tonight they choose to stick to showcasing only their own songs, especially songs from their most recent album “Colossus”. The brilliant harsh and minimal build up and explosion of “My Baby’s Got A Gun” is a perfect example - mean but still captivating.
Another distorted bounce and swing comes with “Bring Me Back A Live One” and you can see a pattern emerge here. Ending their lean muscular set with psycho hop of “Colossus” sends the (now half deaf!) fans happily out for the night.
Although not exactly my cup of tea, Triggerfinger still played an impressively taut gig which I would recommend checking out if they’re ever playing near you ( just don’t forget your ear-plugs in case).