The Earth Rocker Tour rolls into the UK for a sprinkling of shows after a solitary London date back in January. Anticipation has been high and with good reason, Clutch are a force to be reckoned with on the live circuit.
Filling in the support roll were Sons Of Icarus (sadly I missed General due to an interview with Jean Paul running late) who made all the right noises and certainly get a respectable reaction. With their heavy sludgy vibrations coming out of the P.A and clean vocals of Andy Masson they make quite the impression. Dragging their way through a convincing set you can sense all the crowd want is for Clutch to get their asses on the stage. Sons Of Icarus are a worthy band for inclusion on the 'ones to watch' list, after all you don't get a spot on the Clutch tour for nothing.
The heat in Rock City is comparable to Satan's ring-piece after a vindaloo curry, it's damn hot! With bodies crammed into the venue, it's good to see that a midweek gig is well attended, however this is a Clutch gig and you'd not expect anything less. As soon as the first cords of Earth Rocker emits from the P.A the venue goes from a murmuring mass to a rabid fist pumping swarm as Clutch power into their first of many tracks off the new album. With Rock City providing all vocals along with Neil Fallon you can just tell this is going to be a special gig. Preaching from his pulpit, Neil Fallon's sermons of Rock fall on a captive audience who embrace every last lyric, he is blessed with evangelical qualities. With the fervour and bite of a band that have been on the wrong side of bad luck one too many times, Clutch deliver a stunning set. Playing roughly 70% of new album Earth Rocker, it's a set that's paced perfectly. We get the sweat drenched 'Gone Cold' and a thundering 'DC Sound Attack' with the tight rhythms of Jean Paul and cow-bell clattering from Neil. The venue is alive with the electricity and frantic fever of Clutch disciples worshipping their chosen religion, 'Electric Worry' just brings the roof down in spectacular style. Gig of the year? You bet your sweet ass…album of the year? A certainty, 2013 is the year of Clutch and by hell do they deserve it.
Pictures used with kind permission of Sean Larkin.