It’s time for our (almost) annual catch up with Monster Magnet. European tours have been plentiful over the last few years and we always try to get to a show when they make the trip over the Atlantic.
This time we’re in Leeds, at the Brudenell Social Club. We’re in good form with this place, every time we come here the sun is shining. So we get to sample a few ales in the beer garden before venturing inside.
Support tonight comes from rowdy locals, Black Moth. They’ve been a bit quiet of late, but seem to be gearing up for a new album again as they have plenty of new material to try out on us tonight. ‘A Lover’s Hate’ sounds pretty impressive on first listen. There’s a bit of a Sword/Wolfmother gallop to it which injects some energy into the opening set.
Black Moth have a double birthday in the camp today, with both members of the rhythm section clocking up another year. They receive a very understated rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ courtesy of Federica for a few seconds, and then it’s on with the show.
The band beam with smiles as they soak up the local love from the audience; they look great up there under the spotlights as the temperature in the room quickly rises on this balmy night. The set bounds along nicely with plenty of big old doomy riffs mixed with some more upbeat swagger which continues the party theme.
‘Blackbirds Fall’ sees Black Moth sign off in style to a packed out Brudenell crowd and we look forward to seeing them again and hearing more new stuff soon. Probably at Bloodstock!
And, when we said good… starting off with the massive ‘Dopes To Infinity’ is one hell of a way to kick things off. Then try a little bit of ‘Radiation Day’ and the riffs are flowing off stage like a tidal wave.
This is the smallest show we’ve ever seen Monster Magnet at. Not that it’s quiet, the Brudenell was sold out well in advance of this show. It’s been a good four or five years since Monster Magnet came to Leeds, and Leeds looks happy to have them back. There’s a good mix of young and old in the crowd, a mix of battle jackets, anoraks, crusty denim and the odd woollen v-neck jumper. Monster Magnet have pulled a lot of folk out of the woodwork for this show.
‘Power Trip’ keeps the good stuff coming thick and fast and then Monster Magnet reel out a new song. ‘Mindfucker’ hints at a more direct rock route for the upcoming album, compared to recent laid back affairs like ‘Last Patrol’. And, they are definitely in the mood to rock. ‘Medicine’, ‘Twin Earth’ and ‘Dinosaur Vacuum’ all pack a mighty punch, the latter of which we’ve not heard live since the ’Superjudge’ shows. A welcome addition to the already monstrous setlist.
Dave looks fighting fit these days. He’s been hitting the gym and that has made him a better frontman. Being more agile much like his younger self, he can posture and move about the stage much more than in recent years and it is a joy to watch him work the crowd and seemingly conjure up riffs from his band with his bare hands.
If it was all a bit too punchy for any true fuzzy space rockers in attendance, then a big jam through ‘Spine of God’ with all the reverb you could ever want might be a welcome break in the pace of proceedings. Lots of drawn out jams to get lost in; as long as you can block out the folk at the back having full blown conversations from the mix.
By the time the band return for the encore, we’ve ventured to the bar at the back of the room (dehydration can be a serious issue, you know) and as they blast out ‘Tractor’ and the inevitable singalong of ‘Space Lord’ you can see the heat rising off the heads of the bouncing crowd below. Monster Magnet managed to turn the Brudenell into their own private cosmic hot box for an hour or so and, of course, we loved every minute of it!
Words and Pics by Rob