Monster Truck + Those Damn Crows
@ Islington Assembly Hall
11th October 2022
Photo & Review by Ryan Shotison
There was a good vibe in the Islington Assembly Hall for tonight’s acts: Ontario based Monster Truck with support from Welsh rockers Those Damn Crows.
Those Damn Crows opened the night with their brand of high energy hard rock. Both the band and crowd were up for it as was vocalist Shane Greenhall, who was very animated throughout the set, on a couple of occasions jumping down to the barrier to get up close and personal with the front row. The fans were doing plenty too, with a few sing-along moments during numbers like ‘Blink of an Eye’. The vocals were on point, both singing and between song banter, with a bit of a joking and a happy tone throughout which kept the mood and energy in the crowd going for the full 45 minute set.
The set also included a bit of new stuff from the forthcoming album, the recent single ‘Wake Up’ went down really well and is hopefully a good indication of what the album, ‘Inhale/Exhale’, will deliver when it’s released in February 2023.
I think this is the first gig I’ve been to with Islington Assembly Hall’s new and improved sound system. It sounded excellent, great definition, bass punchy but not overbearing, so I want to give props to the venue and sound engineer for that! Definitely makes for a better listening experience.
There were chants of “Oi, oi, oi” during the penultimate number, ‘Go Get It’, after the band kindly let the crowd count the song in, which worked better than I expected! The final song only needed a drum beat for the crowd to start chanting the chorus of “Rock n Roll Ain’t Dead”. Clearly a fan favourite track, and for good reason as it’s a solid hard-hitting hard-rock banger! And that was a solid way to wrap up a very good set too.
Those Damn Crows setlist:
Who Did It
Long Time Dead
Don’t Give a Damn
Send the Reaper
Blink of an Eye
Sin on Skin
Go Get It
Rock N Roll Ain’t Dead
A bit of a gap before Monster Truck burst out the gates with some high energy numbers, ‘Why Are You Not Rocking?’ being the first number and a good choice to get the heartrates back up after the break. The set continued in a similar vein, a lot of the harder hitting numbers from multiple albums. The band released their latest album, ‘Warriors’, in September this year, so we got a good six numbers from that one in the set.
The mood was certainly upbeat and things didn’t slow until seven numbers into the show with ‘Black Forest’, where the crowd could have a little breather after singing along heartily to ‘The Enforcer’ just before.
New stuff like ‘Golden Woman’ and ‘Fuzz Mountain’ offered some big slabs of solid rock that went down really well, with plenty of meaty solos from Jeremy Widerman’s fuzzed up SG. But of course older songs got the biggest responses, they have quite a few opportunities for crowd participation, be it “whooahs” or generally catchy lyrics, and the crowd were happy to join in at every opportunity!
‘For the Sun’ offered a cool slice of blues with some lovely guitar licks and the cleaner tones of the night were a welcome surprise, like a palate cleanser between fuzz sessions. But then we were straight back into the hot and heavy fuzz as ‘Seven Sea Blues’ saw plenty of hand clapping and a stomping beat from Theo McKibbon on drums. At this point I was near the back, and there were a few people having a dance about near the sound desk!
The band were certainly on form, and that previously mentioned sound system really did sound good too. Jon Harvey was belting out the vocals, especially during the new album’s title track ‘Warriors’, which got a great response. It’s a thumping headbanger of a number with a little taste of battle metal vibes and a nice easy chorus that the crowd were more than happy to chant along to! And that singalong mood flowed easily into a fan favourite, ‘Sweet Mountain River’, which would close the set… until the encore of course.
The London crowd gave the energy to match what the band were putting out throughout the set, and after about a 20 second “break” the Canadian four-piece were back to allow the crowd to have some more fun. Everyone had been onside throughout the set, and nobody was going to drift offside now as the rebelliously titled ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’ was the penultimate song before ending the night with ‘The Lion’.
Hands up, heads banging, voices loud the whole night! What a fantastic session of hard rock from both bands!
Monster Truck setlist:
Why Are You Not Rocking?
She’s a Witch
For the Sun
Seven Seas Blues
Get My Things & Go
Sweet Mountain River
Don’t Tell Me How to Live