Monster Truck’s latest UK tour starts today, and you can expect the Canadian four-piece to bring the rock… and bring it hard. Last years’s Download Festival performance was an almost primal affair as the band played into the teeth of a howling gale, and you can expect a similar kind of ferocity as they bring the show indoors.
We asked singer/bassist Jon Harvey to supply the band’s ultimate on-the-road playlist, the songs that keep Monster Truck both excited and sane as the crates of beer get emptied and the tour bus rolls ever onwards.
Deep Purple - Highway Star
This one is almost a no brainer. The moment the song tears in you’re getting ready to buckle up. The engine starts, the anticipation builds and then wham! You’re on the road! Blazing past signs and cars and police! When will it let up? The answer is fucking never. You’re on this ride whether you like it or not! Weaving through organ and guitar solos, frantic drums and the heaviest bass around. Then to top it all off, the vocals come in ripping your head off with authority! Nobody IS gonna slow you down Mr.Gillan. Nobody.
The Miles Davis Quintet - If I Were A Bell
I love this song after a long day or during a quiet moment. It really clears all the stress and thought garbage out of my head. The best part of this recording is how live (and alive) it is. You can hear the musicians talk to each other. You can hear the saxophone player walk in front of the microphone from what seems like across the room. A REAL recording. It also has a real whimsical quality to it that I really enjoy. Like Bing Crosby could be whistling it while negotiating his way down a busy New York street.
The Temperance Movement - Only Friend
I really could put the whole record up here. I love listening to Phil sing anything. I wish he sung me the news every morning. Temperance has the swagger of the Stones mixed with the attitude of Free. A real gem in our current landscape. Only Friend is the opening track to their first record and ever since I heard it I was hooked. I sing this one in the shower all the time, but not as good as Phil.
The Lemon Twigs - I Wanna Prove To You
What really struck me about this song is the sonic landscape. It sounds like Jeff Lynn and Brian Wilson decided to have a beach party in 2017. I think it’s two brothers who are both in their teens which is mind-blowing really because the arrangements are very mature. The lyrics have a 50’s innocence to them which is refreshing. This is a must if you are into floating away on a musical mystery ship.
Hayden - Dynamite Walls
On my first tour of Canada we listened to this song (and album) over and over. It always brings me back to that moment of discovery and wonderment that accompanies the first tour. Will anyone be there? Will we sell any march? Will there be a record label dude there that will whisk us away to stardom? The answer is, “no”. But that innocent time always makes me feel warm.
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Michael Kiwanuka - One More Night
Our Front Of House engineer Chris and I are always looking for the records that sound the best sonically. The latest Michael Kiwanuka won the title on our last road trip. It sounds like you are in the room with him. I think we listened to it 5 or 6 times and I believe twice in a row while we were barrelling through northern Florida trying to avoid tornadoes (true story). I think the desperation in his voice combined with the driving nature of the beat really make this song a winner for riding on long trips.
The Rolling Stones - Just Your Fool
The first time I heard this version of the Little Walter classic I was blown away. Actually me and a friend were smoking a joint in an arena bathroom in Hannover Germany I believe. The rawness that the Stones are able to capture is so refreshing with the over-produced, under-inspired stuff we get today. Some things never change and let’s all be thankful that statement applies to the incredible Rolling Stones.
Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond
I always like a musical journey when I’m riding down the road. There is none more prolific and sonically interesting than The Diamond. I think Wish You Were Here is my favourite Floyd record and I love how it just keeps going. Barely a break. Like one piece of amazing music. So maybe I should have said the album, but who jumps out after they’ve taken a swim in that crazy river?
The Beach Boys - Wouldn’t It Be Nice
I dare anyone who gets in their car or van or bus, and who starts the trip with Pet Sounds, to try not to smile. I swear it can change my mood instantly. The genius of Brian Wilson is hard to argue as the song takes you from one musical curveball to the next. Weaving and whisking it’s way through horns and chimes and two drummers, God it’s religious!
MC5 - Baby Won’t Ya
So you wanna rock’n’roll? Like really rock’n’roll? Like smash your hands on the dashboard, get all excited, yell out the window kind of rock’n’roll? Try this on for size. Trust me.
Monster Truck (headline tour)
Mar 13: Limelight 2, Belfast, UK
Mar 14: Academy 2, Dublin, Ireland
Mar 15: Marble Factory, Bristol, UK
Mar 17: Institute 2, Birmingham, UK
Mar 18: Club Academy, Manchester, UK
Mar 19: O2 ABC, Glasgow, UK
Mar 21: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK
Mar 22: Electric Ballroom, London, UK
Mar 24: La Batterie, Guyancourt, France
Mar 25: Café Charbon, Nevers, France
Mar 26: Luxor, Cologne, Germany
Mar 28: Melkweg, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mar 29: Rockfabrik, Ludwigsburg, Germany
Mar 30: The Floor, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Apr 01: White Trash, Berlin, Germany
Apr 02: Uebel & Gefahrlich, Hamburg, Germany
Apr 03: Theatrefabrik, Munich, Germany
Apr 05: Shuur, Lucerne, Switzerland
Apr 07: Bikini, Barcelona, Spain
Apr 08: Carcol, Madrid, Spain
Apr 09: Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao, Spain
Monster Truck (support tour with Deep Purple)
May 13: Romexpo, Bucharest, Romania
May 14: Armeec Arena, Sofia, Bulgaria
May 16: Arena, Zagreb, Croatia
May 17: Stadhalle, Vienna, Austria
May 19: Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany
May 20: Arena, Geneva, Switzerland
May 22: O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
May 23: Atlas Arena, Lodz, Poland
May 24: Spodek, Katowice, Poland
May 27: Rockhal, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
May 30: Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
Jun 01: Zenith, Lille, France
Jun 02: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jun 03: Accorhotels Arena, Paris, France
Jun 06: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
Jun 07: Westfalenhalle 1, Dortmund, Germany
Jun 09: Arena, Leipzig, Germany
Jun 10: Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany
Jun 13: Mercedes Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany
Jun 14: Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle, Stuttgart, Germany