Tonight was quite an exciting one for me, as I’ve known of Monster Magnet for sometime, but was yet to see them play live. Lets just say the wait was worth it. Having been around for sometime now, since the early 90’s in fact, they’ve been a dominant force in the stoner, psychedelic scene for many years, whether it was fashionable, or not, they did their thing and earned the respect of many for doing so!
Supporting tonight and up first were, Prosperina, which is an unusual word, so I thought I’d do a little research into what it means. It turns out, it was the name give to a Greek/Roman goddess, who was associated with the underworld realm and its ruler. Whether this has any significance to the band and their style of music, I’ll never know, but they themselves describe themselves as being a brand of left-field, cliff-shearing riffage – married to an infectiously melodic and hooky bites!
These guys hail from South wales and have quite an impressive rap sheet, when you consider they’ve now supported Monster Magnet, Mondo Generator, Orange Goblin, who have also had triumphant festival slots at Bloodstock and Desertfest.
Tonight’s set, in my opinion was a sludge fest, which is a genre I can either take or leave, as every track seems to seamlessly link to another, I’m guessing you have to be either pissed or stoned to really appreciate it. Both vices would appear to go down well with all three of tonight’s bands, if I’m honest, sadly smoking weed is illegal, so is drink driving, so that’s me screwed then!
An accomplished set by these guys, in another environment, like a summer festival, I may have appreciated their sound more?
For Prosperina’s set, I was impressed with the lighting at Rock City, which sadly led me into a false sense of security as the lighting for the other two bands was terrible, maybe at their request, but it did me no favours at all.
Bombus next, a band I’ve yet to come across, but as support bands go, I really enjoyed them! These guys are from Göteborg, Sweden, are signed to Century Media Records and consist of Matte, Feffe, Jonas and Peter. Matte and Feffe started the band as a muck about back in 2008, but quickly rose to stardom and have since released two well received albums, the latest being “The Poet and the Parrot” which has enabled them to tour with some great bands and are set to play Download 2015!
After some extensive research (Facebook and their own website) I discovered their lead singers name is Feffe, who, in my opinion, looks a lot like a young James Hetfield, with his long golden locks and muscular physic, he also has a very unique, gravel-tone voice, similar to a young Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead. For me, their style reminds me of both Kyng and Planet of Zeus, but others have likened them to the band Mastodon, which I can relate to. Theses guys are heavy, heavy heavy on the riffage, but what impressed me the most with these guys, was their energy and stage presence, loved it, they got me going!
By now, Rock City was filling up nicely and the 500+ patrons, in attendance were gearing up for a rock induced psychedelic trip of a life time, courtesy of Monster Magnet.
For me, this band are a modern day, rock riff heavy Hawkwind, who love to produce mind altering, thought provoking metal. Dave Wyndorf actually thanked us all for appreciating intelligent music at one point, going on to say he appreciated the fact that their are still people out there who are willing to think for their music. I’ll admit, tonight’s set was a little sporadic, where I found it difficult to get into a continuous groove, but when these guys let rip, it was balls to the floor rock and roll heaven. The crowd even managed to muster up a mosh pit, during the encore! Having three guitarists in the band helps to give depth to their sound, both Phil Caivano and Ed Mundell take it in turns to play rhythm and lead, with self taught Dave Wyndorf filling in, where he feels it fits.
Ordinarily though, Dave concentrates on the vocals and produces the mind bending sounds that help us along this trip, with his synth machine. I must say, seeing Dave wearing a UFO t-shirt kinda made my day though, respect for that, supporting the legendary British metal band was a mark of respect, from the New Jersey born rocker! Speaking of Rockers, the whole band looks like they fell off the set of Sons of Anarchy, which shows they stick to their guns!
Having been thrown into a state of psychedelic-a for the past hour or so, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I might add, the encore consisted of 3 of the bands biggest hits, which helped to finish us off in a blaze of glory, almost like reaching a sexual climax, Monster Magnet went out with a bang! SPACE LORD MOTHER FUCKER!….peace!
Full set list:
1.The Right Stuff 2.Dopes to Infinity 3.Look To Your Orb For The Warning 4.Twin Earth 5.I Live Behind The Clouds 6.Last Patrol 7.Spine of God 8.End Of Time 9.Stay Tuned 10.Three Kingfishers 11.Tractor 12.Space Lord
Words and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)