Three of classic rock’s coolest new names join forces for an extensive trek across the UK on a mission to prove that there’s life in the genre yet. This is what we learned on the opening night.
Rock is not dead…but it could be healthier
When The Treatment opened up for Kiss across America in 2012 it’s unlikely Gene Simmons let slip that rock was dying. Two years on and the cat’s out of the bag. Or at least as far as super cynical Simmons is concerned. This triple bill of tearaway young guns is on a mission to prove The Demon wrong and their collective passion is a fillip for all those fearing the sad demise of their favourite genre. But the new breed’s poster boys could have done with a little more support from the Toon faithful with fewer than 100 hardy folk choosing to support live music rather than sit in front of the telly watching New Tricks on a miserable Monday night. These three bands are the oxygen of rock. But the fans are rock’s true heartbeat.
Massive might be the most ironic band name ever
Brad Marr is from the Ronnie James Dio school of rock. A pocket rocket barely tall enough to reach drummer Jarrod Medwin’s cymbals, any shortcomings are more than compensated for by a set of lungs forged in the darkest depths of hell. The Antipodean tyro lets rip from the off as Massive make the most of their first UK show and if the decision to neck a bottle of Brown Ale might come back to haunt him on the bus trip to Glasgow it goes down a storm with the Geordie faithful. Massive aren’t big and they’re not clever. But they’re bloody brilliant live.
Buffalo Summer are the best unsigned rock band in Britain
Andrew Hunt already looks like a 20-something David Coverdale crossed with The Answer’s Cormac Neeson but can he match them vocally? And then some. Buffalo Summer’s self-titled debut dazzled and if this set relies heavily on a slew of old favourites it’s the new music that causes a stir. Heartbreaking Floorshaking and Make You Mine are magical reinterpretations of Zeppelin, Free and classic Whitesnake. With a new record in the can we’d like to start a bidding war right now!
The Treatment have outgrown tiny clubs
On the one hand The Treatment’s stagecraft, musicianship and experience opening up for Kiss, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper and Status Quo marks them down as British rock’s next big thing. In reality another tour trawling the UK’s clubs suggests they’re going nowhere fast. Undaunted, the Cambridge quartet is still desperate to crack the domestic market and persuade homegrown fans they’re here to stay. With patriotic branding adorning their bespoke Marshall amps, Matt Jones and co. are doing everything possible to make friends and influence people on this side of the Pond. But they need the grassroots backing to progress to bigger stages. Over to you…
A good sound guy makes all the difference
Newcastle’s Think Tank? venue has come in for some serious criticism following a spate of gigs plagued by poor sound. Tonight the lad with the iPad covers every square foot of the compact venue to ensure the balance is just right, sliding his fingers up and down the virtual dials to keep every last note in check. Guitar solos soar, the vocals are clear as day and the drums don’t pummel our alcohol-addled brains into submission. Massive, Buffalo Summer and The Treatment are something special live and tonight the sound guy does them justice.
All pics: John Burrows
Singing from the same hymn sheet:
Matt Jones (The Treatment): “The strength of the bill is something that excites us most about this tour. We’ve heard great things about Massive and toured with the lads from Buffalo Summer a long time ago. There’s a lot of talk about rock being dead but from what I can see there are a lot of bands keeping the rock flag flying.”
Andrew Hunt (Buffalo Summer): “I think it’s a really good line-up that’s been well put together. In terms of the ticket price it’s excellent value – you get to see three great young bands for £11 at a time when you can pay £70 or £80 for a concert ticket. It’s just fantastic that we can do our bit to keep rock alive.”
Brad Marr: (Massive): “We’re stoked to be on the road again. We love touring. It’s a great experience for us whether we’re playing a full house or in front of a few crazy rockers. This is our first time on a major tour outside Australia and we’re determined to make the most of it. The Treatment and Buffalo Summer already seem like a great group of guys. Let the good times roll!”