CLUTCH / THE PICTUREBOOKS / THE INSPECTOR CLUZO - O2 Academy, Glasgow 19.12.18

CRAIG COOPER

PHOTO CREDITS: PLAN9NINE PHOTOGRAPHY

The O2 Academy in Glasgow is a former cinema and bingo hall. It sits on the South side of the river in Glasgow and is set over 3 levels on the ground floor and a balcony. Tonight the headliners are CLUTCH who judging by the size of the crowd have sold out the venue with a few extra squeezed in for good measure being Christmas and all that.

Tonight's openers, THE INSPECTOR CLUZO,  take to the stage to some quizzical looks from the already healthy crowd. What seems to me by the way they are dressed could be some sort of Sparks tribute band, but how wrong was I. Guitarist and Vocalist Tic Cluzo and drummer Miguel who, as it soon becomes apparent, are French farmers and musicians and extremely outspoken ones at that. The music, however, is phenomenal, a word I don’t use lightly by any matter of means.

They are currently promoting their album “We the People of the Soil” with the title track the standout song of the night. The musical ability of both members is outstanding and as I look around every single person in the room is transfixed to the stage watching them. On the set closer Tic gradually throws or kicks every piece of the drum kit away from the drummer which is absolute theatre and a bit corny but fits in with what they are portraying perfectly. The 30 minutes allocated tonight flies by and I will be keeping my eyes open for the next time they are in Glasgow. Take a bow, guys.

INSPECTOR CLUZO are

Tic Cluzo – Vocals/Guitars

Miguel – Drums

For more info :

https://www.facebook.com/TicCluzo/

Main support tonight are The PICTUREBOOKS. Upon watching the stage being setup, you know it is going to be loud purely by looking at the large timpani type drums being uncovered. The band comprising of vocalist/guitarist Fynn Claus Grabke and drummer Philipp Mirtschink appear and sound very American but in fact hail from Germany and take to the stage tonight with opener ‘PCH Diamond’ and straight into ‘Fire Keeps Burning’.

Their sound is huge and both members appear as a blur of beards and sweat as they ferociously attack their instruments with every ounce of strength in their bodies. ‘Zero Fucks Given ‘ gets a massive cheer when announced and although I am enjoying them I have a feeling of déjà vu with some of their songs until ‘The Rabbit & The Wolf ‘ which has a different tempo and shows they are capable of slowing it down and changing it up a bit. Set closer tonight is ‘Your Kisses Burn Like Hell‘ and Grabke is keen to tell the audience that they are back in Glasgow in May at King Tuts. If you thought they were loud tonight, wait til you get to Tuts.

 

The Picturebooks are

Fynn Claus Grabke -Vocals/Guitar

Philipp Mirtschink – Drums

For more info

https://www.facebook.com/ThePicturebooks/

Maryland rockers CLUTCH are touring in support of their new album ‘Book of Bad Decisions’ which many are saying is one of their best released and who am I to disagree. They open tonight with ‘Weird Times‘ and while I thought it was a great idea to stand up front near the barrier it soon proves a bad move and I’m swiftly pushed to the side by what initially I think is a pain but quickly realise is fairly young, well, younger than me, people going apeshit to a band who are delivering no-nonsense rock/funk/name-it-what-you-will .

Frontman Neil Fallon, guitarist Tim Sult, Dan Maines on bass and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster are dressed like 4 guys who have been doing some work in the building, noticed some instruments and picked them up, but what talent these four are. They rattle through ‘Earth Rocker‘, ‘Burning Beard ‘, ‘Open Up The Border’ with the pit at the front barely stopping to breathe. What you see is what you get with CLUTCH, no-nonsense heads down rock ‘n’ roll. With some bands you want to hear them chat between songs, but not with CLUTCH, you just want more and more and that’s what they give you.

Guitarist Sult barely moves all night but you can see the concentration in his face, wanting to give the best he can and, in my eyes, he is very underrated at his craft. Second last song of the night is ‘Electric Worry’ which starts a massive crowd singalong and set closer is ‘X-Ray Visions’ the opener from 2015 album ‘Psychic Warfare ‘. We are treated to 2 encores in ‘Barbarella‘ and ‘Pure Rock Fury’ and a sweaty, tired crowd cheer until the house lights come on.

An excellent set my only gripe was that there was no ‘Firebirds’ but what I will say about CLUTCH is they change their whole set about nightly so if you are lucky enough to see them a couple of nights on a tour you don’t get the same set night after night. It was also refreshing to see so many exuberant younger people there having an absolute ball and knowing rock music is still fashionable after all.

 

CLUTCH are

Neil Fallon – Vocals

Tim Sult – Guitars

Dan Maines - Bass

Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums

 

For more info :

https://www.facebook.com/Clutchband/

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