Monster Truck + The Graveltones
O2 Academy Islington, London
7th November, 2014
Review by Anna Dumpe
Photography by Inty Malcolm
Back in November and after touring the world with the likes of Alice In Chains, Vista Chino, Alter Bridge and Rival Sons, Canadian rockers Monster Truck paid a visit to London’s O2 Academy Islington and delivered, what was without a doubt expected to be one hell of a show. Metal-Rules.com UK team were the to witness a a rock show done properly.
The opening band tonight are The Graveltones – a rock’n’blues duo from London, England. who are clearly not here to waste a single second of their stage time. Kicking things off loud and unexpectedly energetic (coming from two blokes only), the crowd is left stunned within the first few seconds of their set.
Jimmy O. – the man behind the mic delivers an intense performance screaming his heart out and violently smashing his guitar just to make it sound distorted, yet soulful and bluesy enough to balance out their energetic and wild approach to performing.
The Graveltones seem to have no trouble moving tonight’s crowd of Londoners, who, by the looks of it, might have gathered here to see The Graveltones specifically. And one thing is for sure, The Graveltones live show and their music itself is far from boring.
It’s got the groove, the blues, the storytelling aspect and fuckload of character. Well, the only thing missing here is the bass guitar. But then again… Who needs bass when you have Mikey Sorbello on the drums laying down John Bonham-like rhythm parts.
Checking out The Graveltones if highly recommended, especially, if you find yourself being a fan of The White Stripes, yet fancy something a bit more intense than Meg White’s drumming. Playful, yet psycho. Melodic, yet heavy as fuck. There’s elements from The Foxy Shazam and Jim Jones Revue buried between the simplicity of The Graveltones riffs and it all seems to work in the band’s favour.
When it’s time for tonight’s headliners Monster Truck to hit the stage, the O2 Academy Islington has packed out quite nicely. It’s a pleasure to see a band like Monster Truck grow from playing tiny venues around Europe an opening for bigger bands to a point where they can fill a decent size room themselves.
For those who are familiar with Monster Truck, this will be old news, but their live shows are everything you’d expect from a band with a name like that – ballsy, loud, groove-fuelled and extremely fun.
Performing songs off their latest release Furiosity and the very successful Brown EP, the band know exactly how to please their crowd. Delivering hits like, “Power Of The People,” “The Lion,” every biker’s anthem “I Am Freedom” and the ultimate sing-along tunes “Old Train,” “Seven Seas Blues” and “Righteous Smoke,” the crowd is far from standing still as energy in the room is simply electrifying.
Along the bluesy “For The Sun,” which makes one of tonight’s highlights and sounds like a song that any blues legend, dead or alive, would have wished to compose, Monster Truck fellas throw in some new and previously unheard material, and leaves us hoping that the band have been working on new material to be released in the near future.
Not a single song Monster Truck perform tonight struggle to show what talented bunch of musicians these Canadians really are, as their full and round bass driven rock’n’roll sound speaks for itself. Jon Harvey, the man with the voice and the bass, can easily be labelled as one of the best rock singers around by some, while Jeremy Widerman throws himself around the stage going ‘balls to the wall’ laying down some of the craziest guitar solos we’ve heard in a good while.
And thanks to no one else but the man behind the Hammond – Brandon Bliss, there’s a touch of Deep Purple and Grand Funk Railroad evening out the heavy rock sound of Monster Truck and giving their sound a unique edge that the crowd seem to attract to unanimously.
The band themselves seem to be having as much (or even more) fun than the audience when Jon Harvey admits that “You guys are real good to watch and are an entertaining crowd to look at from the stage. You guys give a shit. North America suck.” And with that said, we know that these guys will be back to our shores sooner or later and when they hit the town once more, we’ll be there to witness it all over again.
In the end of the day, Monster Truck prove that, without a doubt, it’s not all that doom & gloom in Canada with Nickelback and other crap artists we wouldn’t even dare mentioning on this site. Monster Truck have everything that a true rock’n’roll band desires to have to succeed in the business and earn the trust from die-hard rock fans all over the globe.
There’s plenty of bands out there that you go and see live, however it seems like they’re just playing for the sake of it. Yeah… They don’t do much for us either. So if you, just like us, enjoy seeing and hearing bands that not only play their asses off, but also put all of their heart and soul into the performance, make sure to check out Monster Truck.These guys just couldn’t get more real.