Live Review – Karen Hetherington
Picture Credit – Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media
Playing host to Tuesdays night’s entertainment was the iconic 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street. If you have never darkened the door of this fantastic venue it’s a basement club with a capacity to hold 350 – to give an idea of scale. Dimly lit yet massively atmospheric and with excellent acoustics, everyone from The Who to Bob Dylan have graced the stage here. The Rolling Stones, Lemmy and Jimmy Page to name but a few have been photographed casually in the club and many famous faces adorn the walls. This is the kind of establishment bands play on their way up, if they have fallen from popularity into obscurity or for impromptu “secret gigs”.
First to take to the stage were Welsh four piece Buffalo Summer, a band I’m now ashamed to say I knew in name only as I was unfamiliar with their music. A couple of minutes into their set, feet were tapping, heads were banging and I was realising that theirs was not a sound that could be easily overlooked. Vocally and musically tight, they spun out one fantastic track after another. Rough but smooth they have an original song writing style accompanied by classic rock riffs, fantastically strong vocals and an amazing stage presence. It’s very difficult to pick a highlight when you’re listening to music of this calibre but the track “Money” which will feature on their second album, Second Sun (due for release on 13th May 2016) was exceptionally well received by all, but then again, so was the set in its entirety.
With barely time to get another drink in, Monster Truck emerged and wasted no time getting everyone’s absolute attention by opening with “Don’t Tell Me How to Live”, arguably the best song and a definite favourite of mine from their latest album ‘Sittin Heavy’.
Being instantly smitten with both Monster Trucks studio albums I suspected I would be impressed but their live experience surpassed all my expectations. Raspy vocals, amazing guitar riffs, hard core percussion and a pulsing bass groove held the captive audience throughout. This band plays straight forward rock at its very best.
The set list was heavy with tracks from the new album such as “Shes a Witch”, “For the People” and “Things Get Better”. When the crowd started swaying along to “Black Forest” you could tell they were really feeling the music. When you’ve got a room full of people who are demonstrating familiarity with all your latest material you’ve got to know you’re on a winning streak. Inglorious singer, Nathan James was amongst the crowd there to check them out.
Finishing with the phenomenal “Sweet Mountain River” from the Furiosity album, the Canadian rockers exited the stage oozing sweat and glory, they knew they’d played a hell of show and wore the smug grins of satisfaction that come from a job well done.
For anyone still unfamiliar with Buffalo Summer or Monster Truck, they do not disappoint. I couldn’t recommend these bands highly enough, but there are only so many ways to say what a fantastic gig this was. To catch them both on the same bill was exceptional.
As I exited the building I wore a smug grin of satisfaction myself as I considered what a truly cult establishment the 100 Club really is. A venue where talented musicians come to watch equally talented musicians and where I had just witnessed two amazing rock bands in an intimate setting BEFORE they reach their ultimate pinnacle… I suspect its coming soon…