Monster Truck and The Picturebooks at Club Academy
A gig most definitely for the people as The Picturebooks tailgate Monster Truck at Club Academy…
Words and Photos: Anthony Firmin
It is pleasing to see Manchester’s Club Academy fairly full even before the support band hit the stage, and this is not just any support band…
The Picturebooks first hit Manchester opening for The Answer just over two years ago and they impressed a lot of people at that time. Since then the duo have toured solidly and spent time crafting their new album, Home is a Heartache, which was released last week.
Their opening salvo is PCH Diamond and it is clear to see the crowd are on side and the band respond with seriously heavy versions of Wardance and Zero Fucks Given. Both Cactus and I Need That Oooh are real crowd pleasers that are certainly grabbing the doubters by the balls judging by the number of heads nodding and the singing along.
You can feel the intensity of the chase during The Rabbit And The Wolf as the duo go into overdrive, Phillip’s firebell getting a serious beating at the coda of the song. The band are on fire and the audience are fanning the flames the band produce which finally take hold during Your Kisses Burn Like Fire, the finale of the set.
This is definitely 'job done' on their part and the band will be back in Manchester late summer for a longer show. Personally I cannot wait.
It has been a fast and impressive rise for Monster Truck to get to this level. This Canadian four piece unashamedly deliver solid North American old school rock’n’roll and live the band are tight, although the stage presence of guitarist Jeremy Widerman owes more than a nod to AC/DC and Airbourne.
After the highly unique set from The Picturebooks, Monster Truck come across as fairly safe but that is what everyone has come to see and it must be said everyone is enjoying this performance with much of the crowd singing along to every song and are they even audible over the volume of the band.
Brandon Bliss’s keyboards are, on the whole, way down in the mix and only really shine on the quieter numbers which is a shame because his Hammond sound is blissful!
In the end it is the crowd pleasers like The Enforcer and For The People which go down a real treat and show that they are just a fun, good time rock’n’roll band leaving no-one disappointed.