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Monster Truck / The Picturebooks - Club Academy, Manchester (UK) - 18 March 2017

Canada's Monster Truck didn't let the dust settle and made a rapid return to these shores following their successful support slot on Nickelback's recent arena tour. The eight day UK tour in support of the sophomore album 'Sittin' Heavy' is pretty much a sell-out, including tonight's show which was a major leap in venue from the last time I caught them in Manchester at the Roadhouse three years ago.

Opening act tonight was the German duo 'The Picturebooks' who managed to get the crowd going with their gritty Blues, the intense sound they produced meant it was hard to comprehend that it was performed by just drums and guitar. Whilst not overly familiar with their work, I felt the guys really played on the warm welcome and after what was a dynamic forty minutes left the stage with a host of new fans.

Ready for the main course, the Manchester crowd gave a rousing reception to the "Truck" who blasted on stage to 'Why Are You Not Rocking' from 'Sittin' Heavy', the crowd were definitely Rocking as guitarist Jeremy Widerman covered every part of the stage, shirtless as he threw his guitar around like a crazy Canuck version of Ted Nugent. 'Old Train' and 'Don't Tell Me How To Live' completed the intense opening as the power of the band filled every inch of the Academy. Jon Harvey's vocals were the best I have heard from him and didn't sound as angry as before. Three songs in and the band were in control of the appreciative Academy crowd.

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The set continued apace with a host of new songs mid-set that showcased the confidence the band have in this release, a selection that included the sing-along 'For The People'... and the crowd did. 'The Brown' EP favourite 'Seven Sea Blues' was given an outing and 'Sweet Mountain River' from 'Furiosity' followed; the tightness of the band was clear for all to see from the crazy keys of Brandon Bliss to the powerful thumping of Steve Kiely. Each member was part of a well-oiled machine that knew each other's licks inside out. 'New Soul' ended the main set and Monster Truck left the crowd stomping for more.

They returned and powered through a track from each release including my personal favourite from 'The Brown' EP 'Righteous Smoke' and they ended with 'The Lion'. An intense sixteen song set that pleased the diehards and would not fail to impress anyone in attendance. Monster Truck are an outstanding four-piece band who write and play a mean tune, it won't be long before they will be playing the bigger arenas in their own right; hard work pays off and Monster Truck are evidence of this. Catch these guys if you get chance, great things await.

Mick Parry

 

Monster Truck - Live Review

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