Clutch/Lionize - Nottingham, Rock City - 3rd May 2014 Print E-mail
Written by Nick Russell   
Thursday, 15 May 2014 03:00

Clutch tour poster 002Tonight is the second part of my wife’s rock out birthday celebrations (see my Korn review from yesterday for part one) and it couldn’t be much better than Clutch in Rock City. I saw them at the same venue last year and it was my best gig of 2013, so I was really looking forward to this.

 

Support tonight is Maryland four piece and Clutch buddies Lionize. To be honest I’d probably seen the name but knew absolutely nothing about them. I can say I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. Sounding like a mix of Gov’t Mule, BigElf and Clutch themselves, they have a funky blues rock sound going on with some nice Hammond organ accompaniment. There’s also one song that has a real reggae feel to it. All in all nn excellent set from a band, just like Clutch, who when they get their groove on, are immense. I will now go and find out more about this lot.

 

Clutch are renowned for mixing their set up, it’s unlikely you’ll hear the same songs in the same order two nights in a row. Tonight was no exception, with a number of songs included that they didn’t play last time they were here. Opening with ‘Electric Worry’, ‘One Eye Dollar’ and the classic ‘Burning Beard’, straight away we’re in for a good night. A couple of newer tracks, the brilliant ‘Crucial Velocity’ and ‘Cyborg Bette’ follow and for the rest of the set it’s a balanced mix of old and newer songs.

 

Highlights are ‘Profits Of Doom’, the awesome ‘D.C. Sound Attack’, ‘The Regulator’ and the equally awesome ‘Unto The Breach’. Like all the best bands, watching Clutch in the live environment is so much better than on record, the songs just come alive. The sound is great and the band are on top form.

 

Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster is one of the best “feel” drummers you will ever see, so natural. In conjunction with bassist Dan Maines, they lay a great foundation for guitarist Tim Sult to lay his brilliant riffs and solo’s over the top. He is a truly great guitar player, just very unassuming, so much so he looks like a bank manager crossed with someone’s dad, even wearing a cap (baseball, not flat!). Neil Fallon is blessed with such a great voice and bucket loads of charisma, you just know when he says Rock City is one of the best clubs on the planet, he actually means it.

 

Clutch

 

‘Pure Rock Fury’ is blasted out before the now classic ‘Earth Rocker’ makes an appearance. Last time this was the set opener and it was a brilliant way to start, tonight it closes the set and it works equally well, it’s just such an anthem. We get three songs for the encore, the sublime ‘Gone Cold’ is first up, a truly great song. For ‘The Face’, they’re joined on keyboards by Chris Brooks from Lionize before the final song ‘The Wolf Man Kindly Requests….’

 

This was a brilliant night in the company of Clutch, they really are an awesome live band.

 

Final word to my wife though as it was her birthday weekend: Clutch were very good but she preferred Korn the previous night. Oh dear, this could be the start of a domestic…….

 

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