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Live Review: Monster Truck – ABC, Glasgow

The Picturebooks Monster TruckWho said let’s have a quiet Sunday night in? I’ll tell who didn’t: a near-capacity crowd at the O2 ABC Glasgow for Monster Truck and The Picturebooks. Originally scheduled for Glasgow’s King Tuts, the gig sold out in a matter of minutes. The decision was made to switch the gig to the ABC, a venue with quadruple the capacity. This proved to be an inspired move.

So first up were The Picturebooks from Gütersloh, Germany, with an alternative Rock-Blues sound, featuring Fynn Claus Grabke (vocals and guitar), and Phillipp Mirtschink (drums). Bang goes the quiet Sunday, as the almost tribal sound of Mirtschink’s drums fills the air, followed by deep riffs from Grabke, and the guys launch into ‘PCH Diamond’, then ‘Wardance’, and we’re off and running in Glasgow. The swelling crowd are soon in a trance-like state as The Picturebooks continue through their set with ‘Zero Fucks Given’, a catchy little number the punters seem to appreciate. A combination of sleigh bells, cow bells and a heavy drum beat from Mirschink, coupled with Grabke’s powerful vocals and his wizardry with the guitar and effects pedals soon lead to crowd participation. I always think if a band can command this, they’ve found a winning formula for the rest of the night.  Grabke says having played to as little as 4 or 5 people in the early part of their career, the chance to play on this tour to huge crowds made all those early gigs well worth the effort. The guys proved that hard work from the early days of your career does pay off. The Picturebooks have played Glasgow’s King Tuts previously and will be returning to Glasgow later in the year, date and venue still to be confirmed. On tonight’s showing, a good turnout should easily be achieved.

The Picturebooks set list: PCH Diamond, Wardance, Zero Fucks Given, I Need That Oooh, Bad Habits Die Hard, Cactus, Learn It The Hard Way, The Rabbit And The Wolf, Your Kisses Burn Like Fire.

Monster TruckThe crowd are nicely warmed up as tonight’s headliners, Monster Truck, appear on stage. From a blue-collar background in Ontario, Canada, these guys are no strangers to hard work. They’ve been touring over the last four years, both as headliners, and supporting the likes of Alice In Chains and Nickelback. Add to this their studio work for the “Furiosity” and “Sittin’ Heavy” albums, like an 18-wheeler, this Monster Truck is in full throttle. The band has a saying “Don’t Fuck with the Truck“, and tonight, no one dared!

The powerful voice of Jon Harvey easily fills the large ABC hall, and his solid bassline keeps the big truck on track, ably assisted by Steve Kiely (drums). Jeremy Widerman roams the stage like a grizzly bear foraging for food, laying down big riffs and backing vocals time after time with ease. Throw in Brandon Bliss (keyboards), and the rock and blues these guys play is up there with the best in the business.Chuck in those infectious choruses, and they have a winning combination.  The set starts rolling with ‘Why are you not rocking?’. Glasgow crowds are not slow on the uptake and are soon singing along.  Widerman’s energy is relentless. He storms around the stage bare-chested with an uncanny resemblance to Angus Young in his early years, but in jeans instead of shorts. Harvey reminds the crowd that the band loves playing Glasgow and has never been let down thus far: tonight is no exception. The Glasgow crowd cheers and starts singing along as the band strikes up ‘For The People’. The audience is enveloped in the true rock and blues style of Monster Truck throughout the set, and all too soon Harvey announces “This is our last song” and ‘New Soul’ fills the air. So, goodnight Glasgow, it seems, as the band leaves the stage…

One more tune!” chants the crowd, and to the delight of the packed hall, the band returns and perform… three more. The fans help out with the choruses and some crowd surfing in appreciation. Well it would be rude not to! Sadly, the night does come to an end, but rest assured, Monster Truck will be wheeling back in to town on their next tour.

Monster Truck set list: ‘Why Are You Not Rocking’, ‘Old Train’, ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’, ‘The Enforcer’, ‘She’s a Witch’, ‘Black Forest’, ‘For The People’, ‘Things Get Better’, ‘For The Sun’, ‘Seven Sea Blues’, ‘Sweet Mountain River’, ‘New Soul’.

Encore:-‘Call It A Spade’, ‘Righteous Smoke’, ‘The Lion’.

Review and images: Dave Jamieson


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