Crobot, live in London

Crobot come to The Capital

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Last night Crobot headed into London's trendy XOYO venue and tore it up. But what did we learn from the experience...

There’s a whole lotta Clutch going on here

The band openly hero worship Clutch, and you can tell by the way they set their music up. Not that they are in any way Clutch clones, but they’ve the same sort of groove. However, it’s done with such style and push that Crobot get far beyond imitation. They make the sound their own.

Vocalist Brandon Yeagley loves saying ‘Baby’

Every one of his raps had the word ‘baby’ in there. It is a bit odd. Sometimes it works, but on other occasions you got the feeling this was a default word because he wasn’t exactly sure what to say. Still, it makes a change from ‘fuck’ or ‘muthafucker’. But it certainly gives the performance an extra whiff of 70s.

Not much stage room here

When you’ve got three bands to fit in, as is the case here, then the opening mob will inevitably feel cramped up. Crobot certainly could do with extra space, because they are an energetic lot, and have to curtail sudden expansive movements. But they cope manfully, never complain and get on with blazing their own musical trail.

Bassist Jake Figueroa’s facial expressions are a movie

You could spend the whole night just watching this bloke. His range of facial contortions is rich and varied, and you almost imagine a storyline to go with these expressions. He is a one-man theatre. And could do a version of any horror film just through his face. This man could make a fortune as a one-man show, if Crobot falter.

This venue isn’t used to rock or metal

The upstairs bar blares out dance rhythms… to rock fans? And once you’re inside the basement venue, you get reggae! The closest the DJ gets to acceptable sounds is Peaches from The Stranglers. Hardly conducive to the atmosphere. Still, the shape of XOYO means people are encouraged to herd towards the stage, which is good for the bands.

Crobot are the real deal

You can hear and see hints of Rival Sons, Aerosmith, Steppenwolf, Mountain and Humble Pie in what the ‘Bot do – as well as Clutch. But they hold everyone spellbound. There’s a magic here that gets the band beyond these influences. The reception they get at the end of their 30 minute slot is vigorous, and considerably bigger than it is at the start. The boys have a lot of new fans – how about a Blues Pills/Crobot tour?

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021