Massive Wagons hit the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds for their penultimate show of the 2023 Triggered! UK Tour. The Brudenell is an iconic venue in the city and despite a capacity of only 900, it attracts plenty of established and up-and-coming acts.
As it’s a small venue with a small stage there weren’t any special effects as you’d expect; no pyro or a lighting rig for example but it mattered not a jot. These boys know how to rock the house and don’t need any extra help to get the crowd going.
First up, though, were The Virginmarys, an English two-piece with the power of a band twice the size.
Danny Dolan knocked seven bells of shit out of his drumkit while Ally Dickaty maintained a ferocious pace on guitar and belted out often socially aware and political lyrics. There was some heavy bass going on there too but I’ll be damned if I know where it came from. And no, I’m not getting into the backing tape debate.
They played a high-energy set of indie/punk(ish) tracks and were well-appreciated by the crowd.
By the time Massive Wagons took to the stage, the place was packed to the gunnels, all eagerly anticipating a cracking show. Nobody was to be disappointed. As you may expect for the Triggered! Tour, the first five songs were taken from said album, beginning with “Gone Are The Days”.
Lead singer and all round nutcase Baz Mills entered the fray with a fetching pink dazzling jacket, but that was soon jettisoned with the temperature rising second by second.
“Triggered” and “Never Been a Problem” maintained the momentum before the first serious act of crowd participation during “A.S.S.H.O.L.E.” Baz divided the crowd into two (as is common) but gave each side either vowels or consonants of the song title to roar. Very educational as Baz humourously explained. The crowd duly did as they were told like good little schoolchildren.
Massive Wagons learned their trade over many years on the pub/club circuit of England’s northwest and you can tell that in Baz’s patter. Funny, personal and intimate, and it went down a storm.
After “Sawdust” came the first song from a different album, in “Buck” from 2011’s Fire It Up.
“Hallescrewya” then proved to be an audience favourite due to it’s natural singalong quality.
It was middle finger time next as we all proclaimed to “Fuck the Haters”, a great anti-bullying anthem.
As the stage was quite small there needed to be some readjustment in the usual expected set up. Alex Thistlethwaite had his drumkit stage left facing inwards, instead of behind the other members. The guy who missed out most, however, was bassist Adam Bouskill who was placed next to the wall stage right behind guitarist Stevie Holl. He didn’t seem to mind, though, what a professional! Holl appeared to be having the time of his life, he just never stopped grinning which was fabulous. He could also play a bit, and had is hand in a couple of top quality solos. The main soloing however was taken by Adam Thistlethwaite who got some gorgeous tunes out of his Flying-V.
After “Germ” and “Please Stay Calm” came a curious trio of covers. Crowds always like covers, I know I do. First up was a brief rendition of AOR tune “Your Love” (by The Outfield) but the metal soon came with Metallica’s “Creeping Death”. The Brudenell was bouncing at this point.
“Do you wanna hear something weird?” asked Baz before Massive Wagons hit us with Ricky Martin’s “Living La Vida Loca”. Crazy I know, but it worked a treat.
Normal service was resumed with “Generation Prime” and the uber-catchy “House of Noise”.
The absolutely excellent “Northern Boy” finished the show proper in superb style but everybody knew there was more to come.
Massive Wagons returned with “Skateboard” and finished with two favourites “Ratio” and the huge anthem “In It Together”.
This was a great night of hard rock, despite Baz’s protestations that they don’t want to be pigeon-holed. There was singing, fist pumping and jumping up and down, which showed how much we all enjoyed it.
You can stick your stadium and arena concerts, places like The Brudenell are where it’s at.
I want to be at close quarters with the band and the fans, and to sweat together. That’s a proper rock gig and Massive Wagons showed them all how to do it.
Check out my other reviews here. Sparky
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