Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie
It is Valentines day 2015. I am sat on a very busy train. So what romantic venue am I off to visit? None other than the Glasgow Garage( romantic you say?). Surrounded by couples en route to some of Glasgow’s finest eateries. There is laughing, smiles and the odd raised voice( I think this may be the last Valentines for some couples if they are arguing before they get to their destination and any drinks partaken to make it much worse).
I enter the venue to the smell of romance( wait, that’s beer and sweat….ok, an acceptable replacement) and await this evenings entertainment….and note this has been chosen as a Valentines date for many a couple( how sweet).
Metalltech( 4/5) were a late addition to the bill and sadly were on stage at the rather early 6.30. Such a shame as the hall has not filled out yet and if you were there and missed them you missed a treat. They are a local( Edinburgh) based band who are described as a metal/techno/rock/industrial dance music band. They go down the full theatrical route( see photos) and don’t take life too seriously( with names like Erik Tricity, The sidious Doktor Mayhem and Lord Thrapston Flagellator what do you expect?) but you can bet they take the music seriously. The effort they go to is exceptional…..and what a show.
They have 2 EPs and a full length album out and they are definitely growing in stature in Scotland with regular spots in the capitol and picking up some good support slots. I hope they get something soon that takes them the length and breadth of the country as everyone needs to see the show. The music is great, the patter funny and the enjoyment top drawer.
Scotland has its very own Rammstein( they even have a German song) and I for one am excited about their prospects and will be looking out for details of when they are back in my town again. If you get the chance, go see them. If not, look out for the name. They deserve to be huge and I would love to see them doing festivals outside Scotland and having a full stage to run wild on……forget the tartan of Bay City Rollers……The neon night dwellers are coming.
The band up next are Bombus( 4/5). This is their first time in Scotland( and most of Uk). They hail from Gothenburg, Sweden. They have 2 albums under their belt with the most recent, The Poet and the Parrot getting some great reviews….and rightly so as it rocks. Their sound is a kind of motorhead through a mincer. Solid sound with biting guitars, riffs from Satan himself(no, not Iommi…the other one) and pounding drums. Talking of Iommi you can hear the Sabbath influence through the music. Dark, brooding and basically a witch bitch with PMT sort of sound.
But all that said these guys have a bit of diversity. Check out the vids on youtube( some very interesting depictions). This shows they have the backing from the record label. I expect to see a lot more of them in the press. They deserve it. A good set played tonight with my personal favourite into the fire( over 7 minutes of metal brilliance) the stand out song.
They left it all on the stage tonight. You could tell they wanted to put on a hell of a show. They want to break out of the Swedish confines and let the world see their wares. I hope they pick up an increased following from this tour. Tonight was almost sold out and if this is the same the rest of the country over they will be getting a lot of face book likes and hopefully a shed load of album/t-shirt sales. I hope Lemmy gets to hear this band. They would be a perfect match on tour.
And now to the reason we are all here. Monster Magnet(4.5/5) aint no young band. First demo released in 1989 with full intention made on the stoner bands recreational pastime. This tour comes off the back of the 2014 release Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol. It may be a reworking of the previous years album but it is a valuable member of the Monster Magnet collection. It shows you that the band do as they please and their why not attitude.
We kick off with The right Stuff. The crowd almost at maximum capacity goes a bit crazy. Dave’s voice is in fine form. When you think of some of the bands still going that have lasted anywhere near this bands 26 years and still having it in the vocal category they are lucky. How many have fallen by the wayside or are just scraping out shows on the glory days without the clout to carry it off. Maybe there is something in this drugs thing? Maybe the Native Americans were right all along.( I am betting there has been peyote somewhere in this bands past). Dopes to Infinity gets a cheer when it blasts out the PA. The unmistakable lazy assed riff that’s connected directly to the nodding muscle in your neck….you just can’t help banging your head.
As the next three songs pass I take in the guitar sound Dave manages to get from his instrument. It is stand alone. I don’t think anyone comes close to the man for ingenuity. He may have his little box of tricks at the back of the stage( with a well placed fan) but its not all about tricks. Its about the imagination. The fact that he wants something different, pushing himself for something new. It is something to behold live. A master craftsman at work. Next is Last Patrol. 9 minutes of heaven. A winding journey of guitars and a utopian panorama. Watching this I could imagine this band being the one in The movie from Dusk till dawn. A much better fit and Dave could have wasted a few heads along the way.
Spine of god and end of time keep everyone completely engaged till we hit the mega trippy Stay tuned. We have a full on lava lamp lightshow, acoustic guitars and a meandering concoction of sounds from the guitars. this takes us to the break. A chance to get a breather and get to the bar/toilet quickly as you are not going to want to miss the Encore.
They kick it off with Three kingfishers which always reminds me of some medieval banqueting song after a hard days jousting. The band drinking mead and ripping chicken meat from the bone….and having a very jolly English old time. Once we have picked the animal flesh from between our teeth we get tractor with its thunderous beat.
That leaves only one thing. The one, the only, Space Lord, No matter if you have heard of Monster Magnet, if you haven’t, if you like or loathe them you know this song. Live is the only way to see and hear this. It just doesn’t cut it after you have witnessed this live( even on a crackly old vinyl). This is not a monster Magnet classic. It is a rock classic. Never will you hear the words mother f*cker screamed louder anywhere.
A brilliant evenings entertainment. Some great new talent and a master sitting at the top table lording over it all. Who needs a romantic night out?( I will get a slap for that statement later)