Another muggy night and a surprisingly dry visit to Manchester for Team Cackblabbath this evening. The amount of times we’ve trudged down Oxford Rd in the wind and rain over the years amounts to quite a lot and a fair few miles, so it’s nice to be able to hit a few beer gardens for once.
Gorilla is a new venue to us here at CB, but Monster Magnet are certainly not a new band. We do our best to get to one of their shows every year, and after a mesmerising show in Leeds last summer and a new album that harks back to former glories; expectations are very high tonight.
What can be better than space rock in a tunnel? That’s what you get here at Gorilla with the venue tucked away under one of the city centre railway arches. A pretty cool venue, indeed.
Opening proceedings, Pendej0 enter the stage to some hispanic sounding intro music that sounds like it should be on down the road at the burrito place. It catches us off guard as we were expecting the standard doom/stoner support band tonight. Pendej0 are certainly not that with a mixture of rock, brass, stoner and riffs… These gringos are certainly different.
Table Scraps are slightly more fitting to the standard and they are really quite good. The black country threesome reel in some classic rock and metal elements and even slot in some Sabbath riffs at the end.
By the time Monster Magnet hit the stage, the tunnel is well and truly full to the brim. Starting with ‘Dopes to Infintiy’ ain’t a bad way to kick off a gig and as those towering riffs fill the room, the temperature rises and the fuzz starts flowing!
There is no barrier or photo pit at Gorilla, it’s up close and personal as the women doen the front grab hold of Dave’s leg at every opportunity and the blokes look on in awe as Phil basts out the cosmic vibes. As do we too (the “awe” bit) as we try not to piss off too many people ducking and weaving to try and get a few good pics.
Standing in front of Phil’s stack of amps can lead to tinnitus, but unreal to see him peeling off riffs and solos two feet in front of your face. He can also boot your phone out your hand if you start texting in the front row too as Minty* from Eastenders found out! Up close and personal indeed, but who the hell wants to text away at a Monster Magnet gig?
New tracks are very welcome on this tour as ‘Mindfucker’ is a corker of an album. ‘Rocket Freak’ soon sorts that out for us and sounds very comfortable in the presence of huge tracks like ‘Radiation Day’ and ‘Dinosaur Vacume’. And… they don’t come bigger than ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead’ do they?
The riffs they do compel us… to have a bloody awesome time!
Dave grins as he rambles along in his own little spacerock world. In particular, ‘Spacelord’ gets the usual extended treatment as Manchester holds it’s middle fingers in the air on Wyndorfs command..
A very short break for a fag and the guys come back for an encore, the highlight of which is ‘Powertrip’ which also sees Mo Salah* comes crowd surfing over the top and knocking over Dave’s microphone stand.
Expectations were high and Monster Magnet did not dissapoint us. Come back soon dudes!
*not the actual Minty or Mo Salah