A week or so back Muttnik featured in our New Band Spotlight section, so it was with great pleasure that I headed to Cumbernauld Theatre to see them in the flesh. Hopefully not literally as they have a promise to “rawk with baws oot”. That could be uncomfortable in a confined space. As one of the few occasions that I’ve been able to see one of our featured artists do their thing live I was looking forward to it indeed.
First up though were M A D I S O N, a young local band with plenty of musical chops despite looking like they’d need to wait a few more years to join in with annual charity event Movember. Although their opening track wasn’t instantly engaging, their set came alive as the second track kicked in with some fantastic drumming at its core. Unfortunately the sound mix meant that the bass overrode a lot of the other instruments, but certainly not enough to ruin the show.
I couldn’t quite place influences, however that only served to make for an eclectic set including a curious song about being a whale, which definitely suited the actions of the wobbly front man who’s cracking voice matched the musical variety on show. These boys have a future I’m sure. In fact, Muttnik guitarist Robb said it best. “I need to get a picture with these guys so I can say ‘Remember when they supported us‘“.
Muttnik themselves were a musically simpler affair but certainly no less”rawkin” than promised. Sporting a nine track set list of rhythmic and heavy rock songs they came out ready to rock and never stopped until the end of the gig. Where the openers were youngsters, Muttnik’s band makeup is considerably more mature almost like M A D I S O N’s dads had got together to form a band too. What this meant though was that riffs were chunkier, solos were tighter and their overall sound had a sharpness that only comes with years of practice.
Half way through the set came the instrumental “Pushka” which marked an increase in the quality of songs. Its follow up “Dead Man Walking” was my favourite for sure with a variety of sounds with ingredients borrowed from Alice in Chains, CKY and Anthrax amongst others.
Of course sometimes its the little touches that make a show that bit more memorable. On entering the hall I was intrigued by two bits of tinfoil stuck to the roof. What I’d initially thought to be a capo held on the end of two of the guitars in actual fact turned out to be laser pointers. Those two combined for a Blue Peter style lightshow. Frankly, it was a ridiculous idea but it worked so well it was absurd. It maybe doesn’t work so well in the static picture, but I can assure you it was a lot cooler in action.
As the final song came to an end the band called up the event organiser who thanked both bands and started a crowd chant for one more song. Unfortunately Muttnik had run out of songs and so we were treated to a second rendition of “Mob” complete with its crowd singalong moments even on its second airing.
Sometimes you just can’t beat two cracking little bands in a cracking little hall. Cumbernauld Theatre might not be the Carnegie Hall, but as a small venue for local bands to give it their all it worked a treat. If I’m right this was the second Cottage Beat Club. Roll on the third, and more importantly the next gigs for both of tonight’s bands.