Screaming Eagles and Massive Wagons in Manchester.
Thirteen Stars get the opening slot tonight. With the place starting to fill up only 20 min or so after the doors open, the Thirteen Stars boys grab the attention of the fast filling up room with their excellent down n dirty southern sound. With Hoss Thompson’s gravelly vocals rocking the place, and a tight band, if I didn’t already know they were from the North West of England you could easily be mistaken that they were straight out of Tennessee in the good ole US of A. Great start, Great Band.
Next up Northern Ireland’s Screaming Eagles deliver a storming set to the now packed out venue of finely tuned riffs in the vein of the great AC/DC. (You will notice a theme here) Chris Fry has a bit of Bon Scott about him, and he certainly can wail, they even effortlessly added a couple of AC/DC covers to their set, slotting in perfectly alongside their own tracks. Go see these boys. Classic live rock at it’s very best.
Headliners Massive Wagons close out the night, on the back of their 3rd studio album release ‘Welcome To The World’ just a day earlier, (check out Rock ‘n’ Loads 5 out of 5 review here http://www.rock-n-load.com/album/massive-wagons-welcome-to-the-world-review/) they hit the stage to ‘Shit Sweat Death’ complete with the studio track’s backing singer Lauren Hutchinson (aka The Rock Fairy) up on stage doing her bits live, a nice touch to open the night. After another new track ‘Fighting Jack’ they tear into fan favourites ‘S.W.T’ and ‘Black Witch’ from the ‘Fight The System’ album. Barry Mills covering every inch of the stage with his bowler hat now getting passed around the crowd who are, by the way, singing every single word. Back to the new album and the excellent ‘Ratio’ is up next. I was looking forward to hearing this live and it didn’t disappoint, “we’ll go to a place where the beer is cheap, the craic is good and the jukebox is free” well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad and the live music getting delivered here is sounding better than any jukebox I’ve ever heard.
New album title track ‘Welcome To The World’ and a rousing rendition of new single ‘Tokyo’, crowd participation is now up to the max, to the point it sounds like every single person in the building is singing along to ‘Fight The System’ and the catchy as hell ‘Red Dress’. We have had 5 new songs from the day old album and 4 classic Wagons tracks now, its not over yet though as the familiar guitar intro and the screams of “Thunder Thunder” ring out, they only go rip the roof off with the mighty ‘Thunderstruck’
More you say? You still want more? The roofs already been blown off, but as Screaming Eagles frontman Chris Fry gets back on stage to trade verses with Mills on ‘Let There Be Rock’ they bring the building to the ground with their 2 distinctive vocal ranges It’s like Bon Scott and Brian Johnson are up there together!
A night of British rock at its very best, keep your eyes peeled for live dates for all 3 of these bands, the future of rock is alive and kicking and with bands like these around it’s firmly in safe hands.
Words by Darren Thompson
Photography by Simon Dunkerley