There is an awesome classic rock scene just across the Irish Sea in Northern Ireland. We recently had Trucker Diablo grace the stage at our very own Twitrfest, and Million Dollar Reload came to us similarly highly recommended.
As luck would have it the guys are across here as part of the Powerage Tour 2011, a showcase of the label’s talent which includes The Treatment, Lethargy, Million Dollar Reload and New Device.
Oh, and it was a free gig which is always a bonus.
Prior to the show I hadn’t heard much of the band’s output but as soon as they hit the stage it was obvious that the pre-gig build up was correct and M$R are indeed something a bit special. It’s always good to see a band genuinely enjoy what they are doing, as bassist Kie puts it “Were having a blast on the powerage tour, all the bands are getting along really well and the craic is great”.
M$R play proper rock’n’roll, live it reminded me of L.A. Guns or Skid Row, you know the stuff. Singer Phil Conlane is a proper strutting, posing front man who has a personality that overflowed the small stage in Corporation 2.
This is a band who have a level of showmanship and a stage presence which it is unusual to see in a small venue like this. There is nothing too complicated about what they do, but by god they do it brilliantly and you can’t help but love them.
Tonight each set was limited to a half hour so M$R stuck to tracks from their debut album Anthems Of A Degeneration. Opener Fire Your Guns gave the uninitiated (I.E. me) a powerful blast of what these guys were all about, huge hooks and massive sing-along choruses. As well as Phil out front the band have two excellent guitarists in Andy Mack and B.A.M, with a solid, pounding backing from Bassist Kie McMurray and drummer Sean McKernan.
The positive impression from Fire Your Guns is maintained throughout the set with Freeloader and Goodnight New York both receiving a good reception before the band treated us to their signature tune, Tattoos And Dirty Girls. This is a proper old-fashioned fist in the air, sing along loud rock song with Andy throwing a proper foot-on-the-monitor guitar solo for good measure. In fact throughout the set tonight the two guitarists combined extremely well, with Phil happy to take a step back and let the axemen have center stage.
The set concluded with Livin’ in the city, Give It All and Superslave. Phil once again proving his quality as a frontman by eliciting a sing along from the audience….. then telling us we were shite.
Brave man 🙂
The Sheffield crowd can be a bit fickle and it was good to see them give Million Dollar Reload a great response. Apparently this has been the same at all the gigs of the tour so far although Kie did reckon he had a favorite “I’d have to say London’s Underworld has been the best so far, huge crowd and and an amazing reaction, what a feeling to hear your songs sang back to you. Its been the same reaction from all the venues but London was the loudest.”
Any issues? Well only one, half an hour wasn’t nearly long enough to spend in the likable company of M$R, they were just getting warmed up. I think a trip across to the Diamond Rock Club in Ballymena may be in order.