Since Crobot made their debut on UK shores just over a year ago, things have been full speed ahead for them. Touring alongside titans like Black Label Society, Volbeat, Anthrax and Motörhead, if you like your rock on the heavier side, you’ll have a great time listening to them. Now, making their first headline tour of the UK before heading over to Europe, in tow with Scorpion Child and Buffalo Summer, the Cathouse was due to host a great night of hard rock.
Buffalo Summer (flickr set)
Kicking things off after our interview with Crobot vocalist Brandon, Buffalo Summer hit the stage with their own brand of rock and roll. Like the other bands they share the stage with tonight, they wouldn’t sound out of place alongside the hard rock of the 1970s. I’ve had the pleasure of Buffalo Summer in the past and tonight, they were even better. Playing tight, upbeat rock and roll, they looked to be having the time of their lives. Between bouncing around the stage and his soulful voice, Andrew Hunt makes a dynamic and impressive frontman, belting out his vocals with ease. Jonny Williams on guitar effortlessly hammers out riffs on his Les Paul, equal parts bluesy and southern with a whole lot of grit and edginess. As they tear through their set, comprised of songs from their debut and upcoming new album, it’s hard to tear your eyes from the energetic Darren King on bass. Filling the songs with his rich grooves, he hits the mark with drummer Gareth Hunt to create a fantastic rhythm section.
The Cathouse has started to fill up nicely and next up are Scorpion Child. Again with new material in tow, they fire through 40 minutes of fantastic hard rock. Full of screaming vocals from Aryn Jonathan Black as he refused to remain stationary on stage, jumping from the stage over to the barrier on a few occasions, it’s a prime of example of the bands on the bill being better than the one before them. That’s not a slight on Buffalo Summer but a commendation on how good all three bands are. Sadly, Black’s vocals are slightly overshadowed by Chris Cowart’s blinding guitar work but it’s the Cathouse and it’s a common occurrence, even more so when you’re tucked in at stage right against the barrier. Bristling with a cool air of confidence, the band are sure of their craft and with their new material slotting in nicely with songs from their self-titled debut, they have a great time on stage and clearly the crowd are having a great time too.
Then, there’s Crobot. Bursting with energy and grabbing the audience by the scruff of the neck, they refuse to let go from the minute they take to the stage. With only their mighty debut album, the set was fleshed out with many new songs which we can hopefully expect on next year’s follow-up. The third band to grace the stage that night but the one with the most straight-forward sound. Laden with massive, chunky riffs; it’s hard rock at its finest and having only made their UK debut last year and now playing decent-sized rooms, it’s clearly working in their favour.
It’s hard to know where to look when the four-piece are playing. Between Chris Bishop’s frenetic guitar work and throwing his guitar 360 degrees around his body, frontman Brandon Yeagley leaping around the stage as if his legs are filled with rubber rather than bone and muscle, including jumping onto Bishop’s shoulders from a standing position. Folding himself over his Gibson SG bass, Jake Figueroa crabs around the stage with funky, meaty bass lines and his brother, Paul, beating the living hell out of his drumkit.
With mighty riffs and grooves, they make a great headliner on top of another two hard rock bands, each with their own distinctive flavour. With songs like “Legend of the Spaceborn Killer”, “La Mano de Lucifer”, “Nowhere to Hide” and “Queen of the Light” receiving roars of approval alongside new songs like “Easy Money”, “Fat City” and the incredibly funky “Play it Cool”, the raucous crowd are nothing short of grateful for a lengthy set. The new songs are unmistakably more Crobot and are as warmly received as the more familiar songs.
Acoustically, they fared better than their tour-mates, Brandon’s vocals far more audible over Chris Bishop’s squealing, heavy yet straightforward riffs.
With a short encore of a couple of songs, the band bid their farewell and promise not to leave it so long until next time. And given just how bloody good they were, I reckon they’re going to be held to that.