Thin Lizzy, Clutch, TriggerFinger, Brighton Dome, Friday 3rd February 2012
Words and photos by Antony Roberts
Arriving at the rather spacious and grand Brighton Dome and Triggerfinger had already taken to the stage. Prior to their support announcement I had not heard the name, so I had briefly checked out the myspace but from what I’d heard I was not too fussed about catching them. Thankfully I did get there early though as they are one of those bands that fair a lot better in a live environment, and they were very different, at least compared to the few tracks i had heard from their myspace. Any singer that dedicates songs to the crew for their hard work, “first in the venue, last out at night” gets my thumbs up, and I was enjoying their very confident and energetic set. Mid set however things came to an abrupt halt with an alarm siren followed by a full power cut. Undeterred singer Ruben started clapping getting the audience to join in before continuing on with the song. The impromptu acoustic jam highlighted what a seriously good voice and amazing range he has on him. Egging on the audience to clap, “You’re a fantastic drum machine baby”, he filled the giant hall with his voice until the sound came back on and the set continued on. Next up was certainly a first for me, the singer introduced the drummer and then both singer and bass player left the stage. The first support band of the night were doing a drum solo! Arms flailing everywhere, twirling it seemed between every beat, he reminded me of the guy from the infamous drummer in the wrong band from youtube. If your drummer is that rhythmically amazing, and entertaining to watch I can understand a drum solo, even if you are the first band on.
Up next were Maryland’s Clutch, the main draw for me, and many of the younger members of the audience. Starting straight in with The Mob Goes Wild I barely had time to get my camera lens off yet alone adjust my pants. As singer Neil Fallon was strutting the stage one end to the other, it became very clear just how many Clutch fans were in attendance tonight, as those in the audience behind me familiar with their awesome tunes, sang along in very loud voice. 50,000 Unstoppable Watts continued the set before heading back to 2004’s Blast Tyrant, for the absolute groove laden Cypress Grove. New song “Newt” made an appearance which has already made a few youtube appearances from various gigs over the last 6 months. It’s got that awesome Clutch style, the singing somewhere between storyteller, church preacher, weathered old blues guy and out right rock screamer, backed by some serious funk filled rock. The new album is overdue with their last release now approaching 3 years, but if the rest of the album is as good as Newt, fans are in for a treat that will be worth the long wait.
As the set went on the sound seemed to drop quite badly and a tech could be seen scurrying back and forth behind Tim’s guitar stacks. 2 songs more and they had to stop to try and get it sorted properly as the sound was seriously affected. Waiting for the tech’s to swap over Neil macked the amp “It had it’s comedy effect but it’s had it’s time…..my comedy routine is limited, bear with us”. With the guitar now back in the mix they finished up the set sounding spot on. Mice and Gods went into Electric Worry and with a final thank you to the crowd “Once again everybody you’ve been great, vámonos” and they were out.
The Mob Goes Wild
50,000 Unstoppable Watts
Newt (new song)
The Incomparable Mr Flannery
Mice and Gods
Following on from Clutch’s set and it was time for headliner and questionably named Thin Lizzy. Don’t get me wrong everyone playing in the current line up is a competent musician, but I find it questionable to continue the band on with the same name without Lynott. With drummer Brian Downey being the only member from the original line up, it just doesn’t seem right. I can only imagine the uproar if Dave Grohl tried to do the same with Nirvana. Whilst those that had come to see the band were enjoying their set, what I witnessed couldn’t top Clutch for me personally, so I called it a night to get the early train home.