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Lord Of The Riffs

Monster Truck/ Scorpion Child and Buffalo Summer.
Rock City Nottingham 25th March 2014.

Getting to the venue was a right pig tonight, traffic was so bad. I’d scheduled an interview with Texan’s Scorpion Child, but as I was running late, thought I’d let them know. I called the number I was given as my contact for the band, not knowing who I was speaking to, I politely asked who it was on the other end of the phone, to which I was given the name Ben.

Once I’d arrived, I called tour manager Ben again, who came to collect me from the foyer. Walking towards me was a rather tall geezer, who, at first I didn’t recognise, but once he got up close, crushed my hand in a gentleman’s hand shake, I noticed it was non other that Orange Goblin’s Ben Ward……Well, this is a band I admire greatly, so to meet the lead singer, in the flesh, was a real treat. Ben kindly took me to where both Shaun and Christopher were sat, so I could conduct my interview. More on that in a bit.

After my interview, I loitered around the Basement Bar, where I waiting for the first of three bands on tonight’s bill Buffalo Summer, the other two being Scorpion Child and Monster Truck. As I loitered, I got to speak with Scorpion Child’s lead vocalist Aryn, who wasn’t present in our interview, so that was nice. I also noticed the hordes of music fans coming through the doors, which was re-assuring and great to see, for saying it was a Tuesday. Tonight’s gig was presented by non other than Metal Hammer and was given the title “Lords of the Riff” which is a title that excited me greatly, giving me the illusion of smoking hot guitar strings and fast, hard hitting rock and roll, all for the reasonable price of a tenner, bargain!

Buffalo Summer first then, these guys hail from Swansea, so you could class them as the “local boys” tonight. Their sound is classed as feel good rock and roll and they gave us just that. Their appearance is that from the 70’s, however, they’re a relatively young band, formed in 2010. In that time they have managed to play Download Festival, toured with Skid Row, Ugly Kid Joe and Heavens Basement, to name but a few.

Darren King - Buffalo Summer

This was my first encounter with these guys, but having seen the other two bands before, I thought their musical style was well suited and complemented the others well, although having a very original sound. Consisting of Andrew Hunt – Vocals, Jonny Williams – Guitar, Darren King on Bass (who pulled some great rock and roll faces) and Gareth Hunt on drums. Their music is inoffensive, easy to listen too, yet full of energy and you can see why these guys are doing well. We’d highly recommend their self titled debut album too.

Andrew Hunt - Buffalo Summer

Track list consisted of 1. Horse Called Freedom  2. Ain’t No Other  3. Overrated  4. Bird on a Wire  5. Rolls on Thought  6. Down to the River and 7. Money.

As stated earlier, our interview with Scorpion Child was very insightful and felt very relaxed. Unprompted and without awkwardness, they discussed those band members that have left for whatever reason, their new drummer, Jon Rice and how easy the transition has been. If you’d like to hear that interview, please go HERE.

I first witnessed Scorpion Child at Nuneaton’s, Queens Hall. That night was very special, and won’t be beaten any time soon, however tonight’s set was still great, but entirely different. The most noticeable difference was the line up, however the quality and class was still there! The band still sound extremely tight and the music is as powerful as I remember, but, one thing I did notice was that although Chris is an exceptional guitar player, he can’t play lead and rhythm at the same time. The lack of a rhythm guitarist meant their music lacked the full on power and sound that I remembered from Nuneaton.

Christopher Cowart - Scorpian Child

That’s not to say these guys sounded terrible, not by a long shot and you can’t fault them for their energy on stage either. Shaun floats around the stage, with his bass like he’s in a boxing ring and with every note played, you can see the passion on his face. Chris is doing the whole guitar hero pose as he blisters every finger during his phenomenal solos, new comer Jon is clearly a genius on the skins, as he demonstrated during a drum solo and Aryn still has his hypnotic gravel toned voice that’s a joy to listen too. You could tell tonight meant a lot to the band, as they pulled out all the stops, Aryn even jumped onto the bar during the last song, making a spectacle of himself, but was great to see!

Aryn Black - Scorpian Child

The biggest talking point of the night has to be the guy passing out, just before the band introduced their track “Seizure Year” unfortunate title and situation then! Ben, apologetically stopped the band to make sure the guy was ok. Thankfully, he got back up, allowing Scorpion Child to finish off their amazing co-headlining set.

Track list consisted of 1.I might be a Man  2. Liquor  3. Secret Spot  4. Salvation Slave  5. My Woman in Black  6. Kings Highway  7. Polygon of Eyes  8. Paradigm  9. Seizure Years. Encore – She Sings I Kill.

Co-headliners Monster Truck finished off what already been a great night, which only got better when they started to play. Fresh from their set at Hammerfest, where we saw them give an amazing performance with these guys certainly being one of the best bands from that weekend.

Jon - Monster Truck

What was nice tonight though, was the intimacy between us the crowd and the band, being a much smaller stage and having no smoke machine (although the lighting wasn’t the best tonight) we could see the band much more clearly than at Hammerfest. I also got to see their set list, which I couldn’t last weekend. As before, these guys had a great groove about them, they still gave 110% despite being a smaller crowd, but still a healthy attendance. Jer was as crazy as before, yielding his axe with such velocity, Jon’s voice is very powerful and was very loud, which he enjoyed immensely, as did we.

Jer - Monster Truck

An element I like about this band is the keyboards, expertly played by Brandon, who chooses to make his keyboard sound like he’s rocking a church organ and helps to give this band a very distinctive sound. Tonight was yet another great performance from a great band.

Steve - Monster Truck

Track list consisted of 1.Undercover Love  2.The Lion  3.Boogie  4.Runnin and True (probably not full titles), 5. Sworded Beat  6.  MTN  7. The Giant  8. For The Sun  9. Seven Seas Blues  10. Power of the People  11. Old Train  12. Call it a Spade and 13. Righteous Smoke

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)