On the 106th anniversary of the Titanic hitting an iceberg, tonight’s show has the potential to be a similar disaster.
A week beforehand, the following message was posted on the band’s Facebook page:
“This should have gone out 2 weeks ago but has been tied up with red tape…
DUE TO ILLNESS FRONTMAN JIM RUSHBY WILL BE REPLACED BY EX-RAGING SPEEDHORN/HARD TO SWALLOW VOCALIST BLOODY KEV FOR THE UPCOMING 3 SHOWS IN APRIL (BLOODY KEV ALSO DID GUEST VOCALS ON THE IRON MONKEY/CHURCH OF MISERY SPLIT 10”).
JIM HAS HAD A CHRONIC NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS AND IS LOOKING AT SEVERAL MONTHS OF RECOVERY FROM HIS RECENT FLARE UP, BUT WILL RETURN TO FRONT THE BAND LATER IN THE YEAR.
WE REALISE THAT THIS IS NOT IDEAL BUT WE HAVE DECIDED NOT TO CANCEL AT THIS LATE POINT; THE BAND SOUNDS AS GOOD AS IT EVER HAS, AND YOU WILL STILL GET A SICK IRON MONKEY LIVE EXPERIENCE – “IF YOU CAN’T FIND A WAY, MAKE ONE” (HANNIBAL)
IRON MONKEY – HATED 2018″
Naturally, it would be fantasy to imagine anything goes smoothly in the world of Iron Monkey.
But this, their first tour since 1999, could spell disaster.
Opening band Iron Duke suffer, not only from a muddy sound but also the lack of a lead guitar.
Richard Tween’s eight string gives out almost as soon as the first song begins. He stares at the settings on his amp for a bit before trying to get something going through his pedals.
Unfortunately, it’s to no avail and he walks off stage.
Front man Adam Stevens has to be commended for powering on, giving it 110% in the face of such a disaster.
He rallies the rest of the band and they plough through the set (with Tween coming out for a few songs, taking the place of the rhythm guitarist). It’s not their night, but their dedication is to be commended.
Swansea stoner rockers Sigiriya have it much easier by comparison.
With two albums under their belt (and currently on Candlelight Records) they deliver a confident, assured and rocking set. It’s not original, nor is it particularly memorable. But, in the heat of the moment, it’s great.
Singer Matt Williams has a mix of the everyman and Cormac Neeson in his stage presence. Guitarist Stuart O’Hara (who briefly played with Iron Monkey) riffs out with utter joy and conviction. What they need are some genuinely killer, memorable songs and they’d be the full package.
Now the question is: will Iron Monkey pull this off?
Opening with ‘Bad Year’ is quite a statement of intent. And, by fuck, do they sound utterly mighty.
Bloody Kev, in particular, belts it out as if his life depended on it. This is no cash in, no nostalgic trip back to the 90’s. This is current, vital and evil sounding music.
The fact that last year’s ‘9-13’ features heavily in the set shows how much I.M are determined to move the band forward. While I still believe the album is a little too comfortable, I have to say, the new songs sound immense live. Like they’ve been staples for years.
Closing with ‘666 Pack’ is the undisputed highlight.
The lyrics, a mix of Burroughs surrealism and Rollins stream of consciousness, still make my skin crawl, and I love how it speeds up in the middle. On stage, the band both punish and reward the audience through this number, the filth coating the walls. Nihilism never sounded as potent as it does here.
Do not miss this band when they play near you. They’re back, they’re still pissed and they can still do the business.
-Christopher Owens ::: 29/04/18
-Thanks to Nick Wilkinson at Burning Picks for the pic