Grass roots is where it starts with hard slogging, vans breaking down, sleeping in the van, getting sick of Subway or living off Pot Noodles; the hotels and catering of the arenas are the thing of dreams. Tonight’s headliners The Treatment have had a taste of that dream touring with Kiss, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper and tonight bring some of that arena quality rock to us for a quarter of an arena ticket price in a venue where you can literally touch the band members. Not only do they bring us quality rock, but they have teamed up with Wales’ Buffalo Summer and Australia’s Massive to bring us one of THE best line ups I have seen on a bill for some time. I would pay more than the ticket price to see each of these bands individually, let along together!
The wonderful thing about arriving at The Underworld, Camden was that the audience were wearing a fair mix of t-shirts for all three of tonights bands, there were fans who had come to see each band specifically. I was egar to see tonight’s first band Massive, there are some quality acts coming out of Australia accross genres at the moment and having heard and loved their debut album that was given away with Classic Rock, I had big expectations and Massive did not let me down.
Singer Brad Marr living true to his Aussie roots as he took a swing on a beer bottle, relayed the humour of their breakdown the previous day en-route to the Cardiff gig in a town called Hollywood ahead of their own song entitled Hollywood.
The one track I really hoped to hear was Lacey and this is a belter of a song live the teasing bass lines at the start that offer a steady rock pace, before Brad ABSOLUTELY BELTS the rising note ahead of the chorus, I loved it! However, if I thought that was good, Dancefloor tore through my ears and enveloped my body making it impossible to keep photographing as I just wanted to dance and so dance I did, along with many of the folk around me.
The opening line of Dancefloor is “Here I am today, a million miles away” and whilst it’s more like about 10,000 miles away, shipping Massive, their gear and crew over from Australia will have been an expensive endeavour, but it was money well spent, as by the end of their set Massive had won over anyone who didn’t previously know of them and a great cheer that hoped for more erupted as they wrapped up their set. And back for more they hope to be as it was hinted that they would be returning mid next year to play somewhere around the Donnington area!
Like Australia, when Wales ships out bands or artists, it sends bloody good ones and Buffalo Summer are one of the newer crop who are stradily gaining recognition amongst fans of the rock community and amongst rock elite.
The groove ridden Horse Called Freedom is a great choice of opening song, but it is on Ain’t No Other that this party gets going with it’s great rock riffs.
Singer Andrew Hunt brings his trusty tambourine out for the start of Rolls On Through whilst bassist Darren King got his funk on supported well by drummer Gareth Hunt and seemed to be truly loving performing on stage at The Underworld, before Jonny Williams seeped out that sweet solo from his Les Paul.
With their second album pending imminently, Buffalo Summer treated us to a new song from it called Heartbreakin’ this song shows that Buffalo Summer are sticking to their sweet bluesy sound and growing with it.
Down To The River is such a fantastic, well written and catchy song, it’s even had the likes of Ugly Kid Joe sing it by a river no less! It travels like the pororoca through tonights audience leaving everyone infected with it’s energy come the acapella conclusion. A tight and sturdy set from Buffalo Summer who hydrate the audience with their sound, the aloe vera of rock music!
Tonights headliners have learned from some of rock’s elite and have honed their stage performance to the point that they seem a little squished in on stage, but they don’t care, there are smiles a plenty at what is effectively the hometown show of this tour as there is no Cambridge date.
The Treatment chose a great song to start with, that oozes the sentiments of the assembled throng of people, I Bleed Rock + Roll, it mirrors the great sounds of 80’s rock and has everyone jumping. Moments later the crowd goes mental and sings in full voice for The Doctor as Danny Mansworth makes his drums bleed as he pummels them from the back of the stage.
The set list was a great mix of tracks from both their albums and it was clear that the songs on the new album were written with a stadium rock ethos as they work very well live and show the growth of The Treatment as a band. Don’t Look Down was next up and no one was, their eyes and rock fists directed at the stage and the five guys in front of them giving it their all. The glam rock inspired Emergency is Motley Crue for the 00’s. Stand out here was the guitar playing by Dee (aka Fabian) Dammers whose solos were slick, his arrival in The Treatment has seriously upped their live show a level and seems to have brought Tagore Grey musically out of his leather jacket!
New song Let It Begin shows that The Treatment have no intention of loosing their quality rock sound anytime soon. Possibly the favourite song amongst fans from their first album is the fast paced Drink, Fuck, Fight and with some fans having perfected their own enactment of the chorus, this song goes down as well as a bottle of Jack Daniels on a Guns’n’Roses rider! It is on songs like this that Matt Jones’ voice is at it’s best, he has such a fantastic rock vocal, with just the right amount of scream and bite to it.
Single The Outlaw and album title track Running With the Dogs are next up, as Rick Newman melts into the stage getting down and dirty with his solid bass lines whilst Dee and Tagore rip out that solo.
By the time they were playing Get The Party On, plenty of alcohol had flowed, for every night is a Friday night in rock’n’roll world and everyone was loving the quality rock and roll performance from The Treatment. This was my favourite song of the night. It’s songs like this and Drink Fuck Fight that are The Treatment’s equivalent of legendary rock songs such as Motely Crue’s Girls Girls Girls.
They rounded the night off with two tracks that are what got us all litening to the band in the first place, Shake The Mountain and Departed. In London we were also treated to an encore of Nothing To Lose, this had arms and some crutches swaying left to right as fans gave in to the quality music and stage show before them.
A lot has been made in recent reviews and amongst fans about the image change of The Treatment who following their first trip to LA ditched their long hair and denim for leather and hair gel, they have tweaked the image again recently making it a little less LA and a little more sleek meets funky, they seem to have finally got it right in my book both visually and musically. So what if you don’t care for the image thing, it’s the music that is most important and unlike other image ruled bands today The Treatment have the music and talent to back this up.
To conclude it was a Massive Buffalo sized night of musical Treatment.
Massive Set List: Burn, Hollywood, Lacey, Dancefloor, Ghost, One By One, Now or Never
Buffalo Summer Set List: Horse Called Freedom, Ain’t No Other, Money, Rolls On Through, Heartbreakin’, Make You Mine, Down to the River, Into Your Head
The Treatment Set List: I Bleed Rock & Roll, The Doctor, Don’t Look Down, Emergency, Let It Begin, Blood Sucker, Drink Fuck Fight, The Outlaw, Running With The Dogs, Get The Party On, Shake The Mountain, Departed, Nothing To Lose
The Treatment – https://www.facebook.com/TheTreatmentOfficial/info
Buffalo Summer – http://buffalosummer.net/