You’re all probably familiar with the adage of “The hardest working band in showbusiness”; invariably, it’s lauded on the stadium sized supergroups who arrive at venues in fleets of limos, charge you a mortgage for the privilege of you listening to them phone in a performance and then adding insult to injury by charging the king’s ransom for a twelve page photo booklet they have the temerity to call a “programme”.
Actually, I have a better vote for the hardest working band in showbusiness- Northern Ireland’s Trucker Diablo. Arriving at the Hammerfest shores straight from the overnight ferry from Ireland and planning to head back less than 24 hours later- not before delivering a blistering set of hard rock and consuming enough beer to sink a herd of elephants. Trucker Diablo have no airs and graces but they have an abundance of tunes and melodies; they hard not to love, to be honest.
Trucker have spent the last couple of years building up a formidable reputation as a live act (as well as a smattering of very famous fans- Messrs Dee Snider and Joe Elliott among them)- one that is entirely justified based on this blistering performance. Vocalist Tom Harte leads the Trucker mob from the front, ripping into the band’s quality songs, hollering for more beer and enthusing the sizeable crowd in front of stage three to join the aural party.
And join it they do.
Trucker’s songs are unashamed hard rock (as if this was something to be ashamed of) delivered directly with passion and energy. Trucker wear their heart on their sleeves and it is a massive heart. Their songs are drenched in melody, soaked in bourbon and seared with a southern styled panache. Drink Beer, Destroy! appears to have become something of an underground anthem as has the Anti-Axl Not so Superstar. It’s hard to resist the charms of the exemplary Juggernaut-so we don’t- and it continues to weave its three minute magic under the skin and into our heads and hearts. Voodoo, probably the band’s heaviest number blasts over the PA giving the band a proper opportunity to rock out. Despite their lack of sleep and travel lethargy, the band give nothing less than 100%- an effort much appreciated by the crowd.
Playing at lunchtime on a Friday was never the best scheduling lineup I’ve ever witnessed but Trucker’s set was punchy, efficient and, dammit, classy. As a band to blow away the cobwebs and forget you have the hangover from hell, they really are hard to beat.