Even though I’ve probably been listening to Monster Magnet for more years than I can remember, and the band themselves have been releasing albums since the early 90’s, I’ve never managed to catch them live so I was excited about seeing them tonight. The band are currently on their UK tour to support their new release “Milking the stars: a re-imagining of Last Patrol” and are joined tonight by Swedish band Bombus and Scotland’s own MetalTech.
Unfortunately, as MetalTech were the first band on, I only managed to catch the last few songs of their set tonight as I was interviewing Bombus’s singer Feffe when they hit the stage [interview up soon – Mosh]. If you’re scratching your head and wondering if you’ve seen these guys before, then you probably haven’t as they’re not a band you’d easily forget. What sets this Edinburgh based quartet apart from most others on the local scene is not only their striking orange and black stage wear and masks but also the genre of music that they play. MetalTech “write fantastical techno industrial” according to their Facebook page and the closest comparisons that I can think of would be Rammstein and KMFDM and the band actually finish with a Rammstein inspired song called Hammstein.
It’s an early start tonight with the doors opening at 6:30pm, and the venue hasn’t quite filled up yet, but the band go down well with those that made it in on time to see them. If you enjoy this kind of music then they’re a band you’ll definitely want to check out.
This is the first time in Scotland for Gothenburg based Bombus and they hit the stage like they have something to prove. Backs to the audience they open up with “Raised By Pigs” from their 2010 self-titled debut album and turn to face the crowd as the faster verse section kicks in. Feffe, the guitar/vocalist, sounds like he’s been taking lessons at the Lemmy school of singing as he thrashes away on his white Randy Rhoads Jackson guitar. The song has an “Ace of Spades” type energy to it and is a great opener.
Bass player Jonas and singer Feffe are a mass of swirling hair throughout, drummer Peter gives it his all, and guitarist Matte pulls off some nice lead licks. “Thank you Glasgow we are Bombus from Sweden and we’re glad to see you” growls Feffe near the end of the song, and by the reaction of the audience, Glasgow was happy to see them too. Next up is another fast paced punky number in the shape of “Apparatus” a song some may recognise from the promo video that they produced. The Glasgow audience aren’t quite as energetic as that in the video but there’s quite a few nodding heads from a crowd that has never seen the band before.
“Master The Reality” is then followed by probably my favourite song of the night “Let Her Die”. The band then finish up with “Enter The Night” and the doomier sounds of “Into The Fire”. Unfortunately Bombus only have a half hour slot and it’s all over too quickly. It was great to see them though and here’s hoping they visit Scotland again soon.
Bombus Set List:
Raised By Pigs
Master The Reality
Let Her Die
Enter The Night
Into The Fire
As the lights dim for Monster Magnet I notice that venue has become noticeably busier. As in most gigs the majority of people are here to see the headlining act but I can’t help feel that part of the audience missed out by not seeing the first bands.
The psychedelic space lords take to the stage and singer Dave Wyndorf salutes, bows, and smiles at the crowd as guitars, bass, and drums create a wall of trippy sounds behind him. They look very comfortable being on stage and after over 2 decades of playing it’s no surprise really. Through the dry ice and the musical cacophony Mr Wyndorf straps on his guitar ready for the opening song: “The Right Stuff”.
The sound in the venue is very good but Dave’s vocal could have been a bit louder for me and it had a bit too much reverb for my liking, his delivery is spot-on though and it’s great to finally hear these songs live. The band are on top form and I was especially impressed by Phil Caivano’s guitar playing. I was standing in front of him for most of the gig, the classic combination of Marshall stack and Les Paul sounded huge; it was great watching him play his wah infused solos. I’m not sure if the dry ice was mixed with something, or perhaps it was the psychedelic effects of the music, but I couldn’t stop thinking drummer Bob Pantella, smashing away on his drum kit, bore more than a passing resemblance to Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons. His playing tonight was impeccable and he never missed a beat.
As for the audience it looks like it’s mainly made up of long time fans, mature in years, but there were still quite a few jumping around at the front. The band run through a mix of material covering their extensive back catalogue, every song played flawlessly, and leave the stage ready to come back on for the encore. The last track “Space Lord”, which was the highlight of the set for me, had the whole venue singing along with their hands in the air; it was a superb end to what was an enjoyable night.
When the lights in the hall came up I headed down to the t-shirt stall and found Bombus there. They were happy to sign cd’s and take photos with people. Very friendly bunch and it’s great that they took the time out to meet the fans. Hope to see them and Monster Magnet again soon.
Monster Magnet Set List:
The Right Stuff
Dopes to Infinity
Look to your Orb for the warning
I live behind the clouds
The Duke (of supernature)
Spine of God
End of Time
– encore –