Massive Wagons/Skam – The Yorkshire House, Lancaster: 17th July 2015
The Seventh night of the Out of Our Rocka’s tour (usually two of ‘Off Yer Rocka’ bands Massive Wagons, Skam, Texas Flood and Pig Iron with local support) saw Massive Wagons and Skam playing The Yorkshire House in Lancaster, conveniently local to the Wagons boys and with support from Promethium, who Wagons’ front man Baz used to play bass for. Appearances can be deceptive as, from the outside, I was expecting the upstairs room, where the bands play, to be tiny. Although a small venue it was bigger that I’d anticipated and with it’s black walls and black curtains it was perfect for a rock gig. I was, also pleased to spot the Skam van in the car park as it meant at least one of the bands had definitely made it!
The first band of the evening Promethium are a five piece metal band from Lancaster. They’re heavier than I tend to listen to but, with Gary on vocals doing the more normal singing and Rossi on backing vocals giving it some growl, there was an interesting blend of vocal styles, I missed a couple of songs as I was sat downstairs when I released they’d started! By the time I got upstairs I ended up being stood towards the back and none of my photos of the band turned out well, which is a shame as I was particularly impressed by Rossi’s beard. I notice Gary and Henry give each other a few affectionate slaps, I think they were affectionate, it didn’t kick off anyway! Tribute To The Fallen ended with Gary doing a super fast windmill, then he said they have a new album coming out soon called ‘Face of War’ Not sure if the next one was from the album but with a name like Battleaxe it could be, and it started with a piercing and lengthy scream! During the last song Gary jumped off stage and was singing in front of the stage, his last words ‘Thank you! Good fucking night!’ Although I, personally, am not a big fan of growly singing Promethium put on a good show and definitely have a loyal, local fan base. I certainly wouldn’t avoid seeing them again.
Won’t Break Me
Meaning of Trust
Tribute to the Fallen
Dan – Guitar / Gary – Lungs / Rossi – Guitar/Vocals / Henry – Bass/Vocals / Kevin – Drums
Next up came the first of tonight’s two Off Yer Rocka Bands, Skam, a three piece rock band from Leicester. After a short intro they hit the stage and opened with the title track of their last album Peacemaker and straight-away I was captivated by Matt’s faces and poses! I couldn’t work out whether or not they were faces of pain or ecstasy! A bit of wind-milling ending with him wiping the sweat off his brow with his black sweat band, which seemed to be a band staple! Steve Hill on lead vocals reminded me a little of Jared Leto, looks-wise, and he said this was Skam‘s first night in Lancaster and thanked us for sharing it with them. Having only been there during the day it was my first might in Lancaster too! Hopefully not my last nor theirs! After Rivers, which reminded me of Tool’s Prison Sex, Steve announced The Wire as being their next single, with a strong bass line and some heavy riffs. Then he said that, as it was the seventh date of the tour, they should all be bedded in but, as they were all drinking tonight, there might be a few mistakes! This was their second date with Massive Wagons with Glasgow to follow, the next night.
Steve introduced (younger brother) Neal ‘The Hammer’ Hill before the next song Between The Eyes, a Black Sabbath type number, with some super-fast drumming from ‘The Hammer’. Steve and Matt were covering the stage well. Steve gave a shout out to the fans who have followed the band to different venues, and it’s always good when bands appreciate the support from fans. Going Away about hard times, was a mellower number, after which, Steve advised that they were going to ‘Stop playing sentimental stuff and play something that Rocks – Massacre‘ a Black Sabbath meets Metallica type number with a heavy bass line. Before Holy City Steve introduced us to the band and afterwarsd announced ‘We have one more left! Do you want one more?’ a few cheers indicated we did ‘ Thank you. We’re called Skam – No Lies‘ which started a bit Motorhead and oddly (or not) I picked up some Kiss Love Gun style drumming too!
Matt was behind Steve pulling a few more of his gargoyle faces. Steve came out in to the audience during the last one, and climbed up on to a speaker and jumped off, I wonderd if (having supported Airbourne) that was Joel O’Keeffe’s influence, so I asked the question in the interview afterwards and you can watch it here to find out! No tinny’s smashed on his head though! Although the similarities I picked up are quite heavy (apart from Kiss) with Matt in Queen, Steve in Aerosmith and Neal in plain grey they obviously have other influences too. I saw Skam in Ibiza in May and I thought they were good, but it was a kind of, yeah I would see them again but wouldn’t go out of my way. The performance tonight was outstanding and I will definitely make a determined effort to see them again and hopefully before Rockmantic next February!
Between The Eyes
Soldiers of Rock
Lets Get Rocked
Steve Hill – Guitars/Lead Vocals
Matt Gilmore – Bass/Vocals
Neal Hill – Drums/Vocals
Massive Wagons a five piece hard rock band from Carnforth, Lancashire are a band I have seen many times before, including in Ibiza with Skam. After an intro then they went into Rising Tides a catchy song but Baz was having issues with his mic, so he pushed Carl out of the way and stole his! Ok he didn’t really push him but needs must and the lead singer needs the mic more than backing vocals, so he did have to take over Carl’s mic which is fair enough. Baz was a bit handy with the mic stand, which meant people avoided standing right in front of him but the venue was fairly busy. Dirty Little Secrets their latest single followed. With five of them there wasn’t much room on stage but they still managed to move around particularly Baz and Adam.
My friend and enlisted grip for the night, Jill thought Black Witch was very Pearl Jam, I haven’t listened to a great deal myself, and someone else’s view comes in useful sometimes. Baz is a very energetic showman, some good expressions which can be good for photos if you snap at the right moment. For new song Jodie Baz asked if there were any Jodie’s in audience. I think someone said yes, as he went on to say ‘This one’s for you’ and this one reminded me a bit of their song Red Dress. One thing I like about Massive Wagons is that they all always look happy to be up there performing, and that passion in their perfmances is always evident. Difficult to get a decent picture of Alex, behind his kit, but he was hitting the drums with such force that they appeared to me jumping!
Baz asked us to make some noise for Promethium and then Skam both got some hefty cheers. Then came a song about rock legend Ronnie James Dio, which was of course, Heavy Metal Man from their debut album ‘Fire It Up’. People moved to the front to dance to this one, risking getting garrotted by the mic stand! Then came a very new song Ratio, which I hadn’t heard before, it didn’t remind me of anything in particular, a bit different to what I’ve heard them play before, with a good beat and I liked the singing style. Next came what must be their classic song Fight The System which is on both their albums, having been reworked for the second album, it became title track. I think they’ve played this one every time I’ve seen them and it just gets better and better then came final song of the main set Red Dress, after which Baz said ‘We’re Massive Wagons. Thank you Lancaster. You Fucking Rule!’ lot’s of cheers led to another ‘Thank you’ this time for coming down and then the last song was a cover of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. Afterwards I had a quick chat to Adam, find out what’s in store for the band here.
As I mentioned earlier, this was my first night out in Lancaster and having seen three good bands putting in some great performances I’ll certainly make another trip up there soon, to see what else Lancaster’s rock venues have in store. If you get chance to see any of the ‘Out Of Our Rocka’ bands in this tour you’re in for a good show and although I didn’t see Texas Flood or Pig Iron tonight, based on past performances, any combination of the four bands would be well worth seeing!
Dirty Little Secrets
Heavy Metal Man
Fight The System
Thunderstruck (AC/DC Cover)
Baz Mills – Vocals
Adam Thistlethwaite – Guitar
Carl Cochrane – Guitar
Bowz Bouskill – Bass
Alex Thistlethwaite – Drums