Attica Rage/Mason Hill/Titan Breed @ 02 ABC, Glasgow
Attica Rage/Mason Hill/Titan Breed @ 02 ABC, Glasgow
After successfully conquering Ireland Attica Rage headed home to Glasgow and rounded up Mason Hill and Titan Breed to put together one hell of a show.
Ok folks, I want you to give me a little leeway here and use your grey matter for a bit. Lets take a trip to the twilight zone(it is Halloween weekend guys). I want you to imagine an alternative world, a parallel universe so to speak. A place where shows like the X factor are not shit, where they are filled with bands full of talent and stage presence, where things like hard work, graft and actually being able to write a damned fine song are what matters. Are you still with me? Can you imagine that? Well if you can and if such a place existed tonight could easily have been Glasgow’s final.
Every single band tonight shone brightly, every one a home town band who loves nothing better than to entertain their own kind. Each band nailed a cracking performance and I am just glad to say I was there to witness it.
First up tonight were the forgers of metal, consultants of groove Titan Breed. The guys were brought onto the bill pretty late so would not have had much time to get their act together for this show. You also have to take into account the fact that this band only formed last year and their first gig was in April this year. You could add all this to the mix and expect a nervous start but hell no, this may be a young band but the members have all been around the block and they definitely turned some heads tonight.
I was delighted to hear they were added to tonights bill as I was unable to attend their previous gigs and I was hearing good things about them. I am well familiar with guitarist/singer Pete McCoy’s previous work so I was hoping this band would at least live up to that, unfortunately they didn’t..they outshone it in one performance. I was literally blown away and looking round this room and speaking to people later the feeling was mutual.
They kicked of with “Warsteiner” and I loved this song as much as the German Beer. Johnny Hollis enthusiasm was contagious as he bounded around the stage, his growls, screams and vocals were raspy, edgy and perfect for any old school Pantera fans. But this band is not one to get bogged down to one genre as they have their hidden weapon in Pete McCoy and his melodic pipes. He plays a running battle with johnny and the light and shade worked so well.
They managed a seven song set of all originals, all cracking and I can tell you right now this band are one to watch and one I will stick my neck out and say are going places. What a cracking start to the night.
Next up tonight need no introduction in this city. Pretty much all of the rock and metal scene know the name Mason Hill and a large chunk have seen them perform live. If I asked anyone what their first reaction to the mention of Mason Hill the response is always “what a live band”. They never fail to impress but tonight was something special, definitely the best I have ever seen them play.
The crowd played their part tonight as well, a large portion of this audience were here to see this band alone as the many t-shirts portrayed. As Craig McFetridge sat behind his drumkit, pumped up the punters and battered into Survive the stage was set. The rest of the band took the stage and Scott Taylor strolls to the mic looking very dapper in his black shirt and waistcoat(was that a massive swoon from the women I heard?).
The boys were smiling from ear to ear as everyone was singing along, we all knew this was going to be a belter. James bird is stage right, quietly wielding his axe and trying to hide in normality and humbleness the full range of his talents, this young man really knows his craft. On the other side of the stage we have Marc Montgomery and Mathew Ward who is playing the first set of this evening as he would be back onstage with Attica rage later.
For a band that only has one EP with four tracks it is amazing to see how tight they are and with so little material released everyone has played that EP to death as the sing alongs that commence is always loudest when they are played live. In fact the lack of material out there is the only negative this band has. Rumour has it they have a host of material written and we are desperate to hear it all.
Another great thing to see and hear is how the boys are branching out and the rest of the UK is finally catching on. With a host of festival appearances, gigs with Attica Rage, Massive Wagons and Stone Broken it will not be long before a lot more people will come to know the name Mason Hill…and for that they need more music out there, but back to tonight as there were lots of highlights and some good news.
The good news was the announcement that the band will be playing there first Headline gig at The Cathouse on 3rd March 2017. As if that was not good enough they let us know that the mighty Massive Wagons will be supporting them(yes, you read that right). That will be one not to be missed and for a lucky and special fan they were promptly given two tickets there and then. This simple act goes a long way to tell you exactly what type of people these guys are. They always look genuinely surprised with an audiences reaction and they love what they do.
After that news the set rumbles on, the stable set inclusion of “Mississippi Queen” is amazing as always but “Where I Belong” steals the show. Scott asks for help singing along and he gets paid in spades. This was brilliant to watch and listen too. Scott also got carried away as everyone sang the chorus back and done that age old, drunk at the end of the night “I love you” and unlike Ozzy this one came from the heart.
I have never seen this band perform any better and even with major bass backline problems which saw Paul Logue add Bass tech to his list of talents, no, nothing was going to slow these guys down and I can see no obstacle stopping this band breaking this industry and spreading their brand of Glasgow love far and wide.
Now if this were any other night or set of bands you would say Attica Rage were going to have a job to top what has went before them but there are very strong friendships between all three bands so this is all about playing your best show. This is something I love about the Glasgow metal scene, I hear horror stories the length and breadth of the UK about bands backstabbing each other, support bands disappearing as soon as their set is over. Nothing could be further from the truth in this town. In all my time doing this job I have seen one band make a complete arse of themselves. They went on my black list so I will not even give them a mention even in a bad light.
No, we are a family up here and none more so than tonight. The support bands are in the crowd for the opening bars of one of my favourite tracks and opener tonight…”Beyond The 45” from the fantastic Warheads Ltd. A song that in many ways is also about friendship, the Scottish Independence movement which brought so many like minded people together in hope. I was hoping this would be played live and I was not disappointed as it works so well.
Attica Rage were the grandads of the bands tonight with them now being in existence for 10 years and those years shone through in a seriously polished show. They have crafted their art on stages across this country, they have graced many a festival with the latest being Bloodstock this year and to all intents they received their best placing on the biggest of festivals.
None of this is by fluke as their live show and quality of songs clearly show. We get old and new songs enter-twined seamlessly. This four piece are performers one and all. Their sound is driven by guitars and with Jonny Parr and the ginger fret wizard, Stevie Bell you hark back to the double axe attack days that made bands like maiden and Priest stand out. Add to that the backbone provided by the pouting, (envious) mop of hair four string fury of Matthew Ward(back for his second stint and his little winkle pickers still dancing around the stage) and beating the living daylights out of his skins and providing the platform, Richie Rage.
As if this show wasn’t good enough already we got two brilliant covers tonight, the first not one you would expect at a metal gig as it was The Osmonds “Crazy Horses”. A song as a nipper I heard coming from my sister’s bedroom…a song that I still cannot believe that band played. The second was the showstopper, the final number, “Overkill” and what a way to bow out. It sent the locals crazy and the boys nailed it, a real tip of the hat to the man no longer with us but always in our metal hearts.
Tonight was very special, three bands in top gear and every one of them homegrown. This city is overflowing with amazing musicians and it makes me so proud to be a wegie(Glaswegian).
Images and review Ritchie birnie