I’ve been to many Massive Wagons gigs over the years but this one with my eyes and ears saw them reach their full potential. Whether it comes from opening up recent stadium shows with Status Quo and Lynyrd Skynyrd above them, I’m not sure but this performance at the Live Rooms in Chester, to use one of their song titles shows they are no longer ‘Last On The List’!
Another major factor to this gig was the crowd and the support bands. This was the first visit here for Massive Wagons and it was absolutely rammed from front to back with rabid and loyal fans who, at times made themselves heard over the band playing through a hefty p.a system. They have built an army of supporters who travel far and wide to belt out the lyrics back to the band which was no mean feat here as it was like a sauna. Kicking off the show was Mad Haven followed by Crooked Shapes, Tequila Mockingbyrd and Wolf Jaw, all of which delivered with aplomb.
Expectations were high for me as the headliners burst onstage as I’d not seen them since December as frontman Barry Mills was a ball of energy from the off. Every lyric was belted out with total conviction, no mean feat considering the temperature and the rest of the band were no slouches either as their stage craft has come on in leaps and bounds. Surprise set opener was a thumping ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’, normally played later on that saw steam rising from the crowd as fists pumped and choruses were hollered. A slight drop in pace saw a one, two of Tokyo’ and ‘Billy Balloon Head’ that preceded a full on riot of ‘Nails’. ‘Under No Illusion’ was dynamic but the temperature levels rose for the stampeding rant of ‘China Plates’. Other highlights were a visceral ‘Hate Me’, a beautifully poignant ‘Northern Boy’ and a triumphant triple of a crowd fueled ‘Ratio’, ‘Red Dress’ and we just had time to catch a riff heavy run through of ‘Back To The Stack’ before dashing back for the last train, full of Chester racegoers but my dead cert of the day was definitely the gig!
Special thanks go to Tom Gold from Goldwood Images for the use of his live photo.
Fee Fi Fo Fum.
Billy Balloon Head.
Under No Illusion.
Last On The List.
Back To The Stack.