Monster Truck, Limelight 2, Belfast, 13/3/17

The Picturebooks

Opening the show tonight are German duo The Picturebooks.  A few technical issues do nothing to dampen the band’s enthusiasm. Supporting Monster Truck will help gain them a new following. After a short set, highlights were ‘Bad Habits Die Hard’ and ‘Your Kisses Burn Like Fire’. If they seem like an industrial White Stripes without cymbals, slight percussion, relentless drumming and visceral guitar, you get the picture. Worth getting in early to catch them.

After a short turnaround, we come to the main event.  Lights go down and Monster Truck take to the stage and we have ignition. Kicking off their first headline UK Tour, we learn that they have landed with zero sleep from their flight. Rock n Roll indeed. ‘Why Are You Not Rocking?‘ opens proceedings and from the get go you can tell these guys mean business.

Monster Truck

Quickly we are treated to some full on cuts from the new album, ‘Sittin Heavy’. Song wise ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’, ‘The Enforcer’ and ‘New Soul‘ all get an airing tonight. Vocalist and general powerhouse, Jon Harvey wears his influences on his jacket. Most of all you can hear Rainbow, Purple, Sabbath, ZZ Top, AC/DC, ELO in their repertoire’s DNA. They make music that is their own. Guitarist Jeremy Widerman really knows how to enthuse the crowd, using his SG to full effect and duck walking ‘taps aff’ as we say in Belfast.

The juxtaposition mid set of ‘For The People’ and ‘Things Get Better’ showcases the best of this band, all elements forging a vital groove. This is classic rock n roll, therefore bringing a spirit of peace and brotherhood to proceedings, ‘For The People’ is an anthem for these times with a little Canadian tongue n cheek. The catalogue tracks from ‘Furiosity’ and ‘The Brown EP’ when aired are special. ‘Righteous Smoke’,  ‘Sweet Mountain River’ and ‘For The Sun’ really demonstrate their heavy blues dynamics and hard rock sensibilities.

‘The Lion’ brings the set to a rollicking end. Energetic, unapologetic righteous rock n roll. If you are not familiar with Monster Truck, get familiar. If you are at a loss as to how to spend cash and time in the rest of March, get to one of their shows. Or all of them.

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About David McMurray