Fireworks

Massive / Skam / At The Sun

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Massive / Skam / At The Sun - Camden Underworld, London (UK) - 13 July 2019

Occasionally, a band comes along who deserve to be bigger than they are. They play louder, perform tighter, and win the crowd more than many veterans can. At The Sun is such a band. They opened Massive's gig at The Underworld, Camden with a fat dose of Stonerish Hard Rock with plenty of Blues influences thrown in for good measure. Take Bad Touch and blow them up bigger, bolder and with ball-busting bass. A five-piece, they worked the cosy stage of the Underworld professionally and with flair, and the balance of the lead and rhythm guitar – Chet Jogia and Kieron Heavens respectively – meant there was no competition either for the spotlight or for the crowd's ears. Vocalist Harry Dale's rich voice breezed through H.e.a.t-esque melodies and the tracks were tidy without losing their rawness or edge. Most notable was the pleasant lack of crispness, however, like the equivalent of a soft-focus lens on a camera; the sound was warm, bluesy and above all, powerful. Polka dots, velvet jackets, stylishly-delivered slick solos, baroque prints and soul; what more could you want? Next London show is 10th October at The Water Rats.

The second support, SKAM, was a showy, modern three-piece who brought plenty of energy but slightly fewer riffs. Heavy and brash – the music and style – the band was well-received although the sound felt sludgy at times, with a thick and impenetrable sound. The feel was definitely on the more modern side, akin to The Foo Fighters, but sometimes the high-octane delivery was all there really was to it. The new album has potential, however, a possible contender for it was a blistering onslaught of drum and bass, even if the vocals were a little atonal. Stand-out elements elsewhere were the melodic harmonised backing vocals – bringing a welcome change of tone – and the crowd engagement of Steve Hill (guitar/vocals) and Matt Gilmore (bass/backing vocals). The bass-heavy groove was also no bad thing. They were fun to watch but generally rather repetitive.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Massive had come all the way from Australia and clearly decided to make the most of it. From the opening song they were notably tight and delightfully unpredictable, embodying their lyrics "here to start a riot" and "you can't keep us quiet". Vocalist Brad Marr was a furious amalgamation of the lungs of Kenny Leckremo and the playfulness of Scotti Hill, all jacked up on steroids. Their third album, 'Rebuild Destroy', came out in February this year and they followed it up with a gig full of tracks in new-age Skid Row style from fast, relentless vocals paired with chunky riffs and bullet-like bass to oozing into low-slung bluesy noodling. 'Hollywood' was one of the highlights, pairing dirty guitar with a Massive sound (sorry), bass thumping through and steaming drums. In fact, drummer Andrew Geentree was potentially the unsung hero of the whole frenzy, arms a whirlwind but never fully in the limelight. Ben Laguda's lead guitar was controlled but not shy, managing to craft meaty riffs without over-playing and pushed out some bruising bridges. It's rare a guitarist actually asks to say something but the personable, party vibe was undeniable and refreshing.

The band tore through their seventy-five-minute set, only really breaking to ask who wanted to buy them a beer. They certainly had the wit to match their music, pairing meaty riffs with quips like "We'll drink anything you buy us...and sleep with your wives." Said beer provided they were on their way again, hitting their stride with added bass and energy and carrying the crowd with them in a throbbing fire of a tune. Tracks do tend to feel like they follow a recipe, but it's one that never fails to go down well. Marr showed off his versatility with a laconic Josh Todd-style delivery before downing a bottle to satisfy the by-now baying crowd. The beer-throwing and synchronised behind-the-head playing felt a bit removed from the crowd, but it's bands like these that keep local scenes not just alive but thriving.

If Bullets & Octane were Australian is a good comparison – remove the sleaze, crank up the straight-up Hard Rock, keep the attitude and crowd engagement – in a word, irrepressible. If you missed Massive they're back in London at the Forum on 14th September. They'll do then what they came to do this time: put on a Massive show.

Sophie Brownlee

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  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
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  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
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  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.
  • Gazza2005 : I have bought issue 80 and I still ha e not had confirmation of my download. Please could this be sorted out
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  • Gazza2005 : It’s Fireworks 80
  • Gazza2005 : Just paid for my online version / download but I keep getting failure message. All paid for so what is going on
  • Berny : Sorted! Thanks for your patience, enjoy the magazine! :)
  • HenningHallq : Hey guys! I purchased FIREWORKS #87 yesterday and paid by my paypal, but there is still no download link on my account. Can you help me with this? Thanks a lot!
  • Siodmak : Really thanks !!!!
  • Berny : @Siodmak: Pls. do not worry about the error message, we currently have to process orders manually because of a n issue with our payment system. I do not want to bore you with technical details, but the redirection from PayPal to our shop does not work as it should, that's why your purchase is not assigned automatically. We are working on it! Sorry for the troubles & thanks for your understanding. We hope you like the new issue of Fireworks! :)
  • Siodmak : Hello guys : - ) same problem as with previous number: just purchased Fireworks Mag. 87, and this is the message: "We are sorry, but it looks like your transaction failed". I've paid it with paypol. Thanks for your help!!
  • Berny : @Raphone @colorvine: You should have received your download instructions by now, if you haven't, pls. send a mail to «email» - Sorry for the troubles!
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  • Raphone : Hello! Purchased FIREWORKS #87 yeasterday and paid by my paypal, but there is still no download link on my account.Can you help? Thanks
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #87 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks again Berny
  • Berny : Hi SeaDog57: Apologies!Password can be found in the forum, link was (again) added to the "Fireworks" menu.
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; need a download link for #86 and the pg number for the Code
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  • Berny : Fireworks #86 is out now!
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