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Live: Monster Magnet

Where Hawkwind meets Don McLean.

Monster Magnet’s last album Last Patrol — which resurfaced as the reimagined Milking The Stars in November — took a step back towards the swirling psychedelia of the band’s earlier output.

Opening the set with a cover of Robert Calvert’s The Right Stuff seems to reaffirm the band’s fresh commitment to all things psychotropic.

Dave Wyndorf’s wearing a vintage UFO T-shirt, an oil wheel shifts and spins on the backdrop, and Monster Magnet deliver a set that doesn’t just fill the room but howls through the venue like a meteor. Five songs from Last Patrol feature. A thundering version of the title track sounds like Hawkwind playing intergalactic Pong with Kiss; I Live Behind The Clouds starts off gently hypnotic before climbing to a shattering zenith; End Of Tune and Stay Tuned are suitably spectral; and the band’s cover of Donovan’s Three Kingfishers replaces the wobbling acoustic of the original with Sabbath bludgeon and bluster. There’s no room for Negasonic Teenage Warhead , but Spine Of God includes an unlikely nod to Don McLean’s American Pie, and the final two encores – a driving Tractor and an epic, sprawling _Space Lord _– bring the evening to a shuddering climax.

For a bunch of regular humans, Monster Magnet do a remarkable job of providing Wyndorf’s flights of comic-book fancy with the required thrust and scale.

Fraser Lewry
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.