cackblabbath.online stumbled across Grifter at Bloodstock Festival earlier on this year. Unfortunately we only managed to catch the tail-end of their set, but it was certainly good enough to make a mental note to catch them again whenever possible.
Fast forward to Hard Rock Hell VII and we’re in the slightly smaller venue of the HRH second stage and it’s a bit chillier too. CB are ready and waiting for the full Grifter set this time, we’re not missing out again.
Grifter are a no-frills beardy rock band. Big riffs are their main arsenal, delivered by the Ollie and Phil from either side of the stage. A clean cut Foz powers the band from the back, gurning his way through the set as he lays down the rhythm for Grifter’s hard rocking blues show. Tracks like the cowbell heavy ‘Bow Down to the Monkey’ and ‘Good Day for Bad News’ are straight-to-the-point ballsy rockers. The band operate in a similar fashion with little show-boating or posturing and we didn’t hear a single “Scream for me Pwllheli” all afternoon.
They have a comfortable stage presence. Ollie picks out a woman from the crowd half way through and announces that he’d marry her if he wasn’t already taken. Not sure how much choice she’d have in this, but it’s a nice gesture. The West Country rockers come across a thoroughly likeable bunch, but they don’t pull any punches in the rock department.
There are a few obvious comparisons to be made. The blues heavy rock comes from the same yard as the likes of Clutch and when they cover ‘Fairies Wear Boots’, it’s not a massive departure for the band sound-wise.
Grifter unleash their wonderfully entitled ‘Alabama Hotpocket’ towards the end of the set. “Google it..” smiles Ollie, before launching into the lumbering southern crunch of a song. It’s just another song in a long line of headbangers from the threesome on what we’re told is the band’s 10th birthday. Some of the sizeable crowd respond with ‘Happy Birthday’ to round off one of the sets of the day on the second stage.
The band have a new album in the pipeline for a 2014 release so hopefully it won’t be too long before CB catch up with Grifter again. You can never have enough beardy rock’n’roll!