This gig review was written by Phil Marsland
I had so been looking forward to Clutch at the O2 Leeds. Tickets were bought months ago, for me and my oldest school mate (both now 53!) and a pre-Christmas spectacular was planned. Two days before I got flu. Disaster. Massive fever, delirium, and doom pending massive disappointment. But I don’t let folk down. I would do everything within my power to be dosed up and present. This was probably foolish, but we made it there. Walking in during the support Graveyard to face an absolute wall of bodies and heat. I now understood the depths of my foolishness. Standing with Deano at the bar, I asked for a coke. First gig sober. Graveyard may have been good NWOCRers, but my review can’t do them justice as I was adjusting to the heat and noise and trying to stay upright. The last 2 cold and flu tablets were taken to hopefully get me through. We sidled our way to 6 back from the stage, just left of centre, and as it turned out, within bumping distance of the mad mosh.
Clutch was on, roaring “Rats” as an opener. The crowd went wild. These guys are hard southern rockin’ masters with a huge chunk of storytelling and a slice of funk. Clutch were formed in 1991 in Maryland and are 12 albums in and a real crowd favourite. Next Summer they will complete a UK festival first by playing 3 different sets at Ramblin Man in Kent. Back to the show. Neil Fallon, on lead vocals, sometimes guitar and one-time cowbell, is a crowd master. A master storyteller, performer, and actor. A southern rockin’ latterday Shakespearean performer. Never better than on “Army Of Bono” or “In Walks Barbarella”. You may choose others, and indeed there were many Clutch classics missing from their short set. But they did cram in 15 in just over an hour, including “A Shogun Named Marcus” which lit the blue touch paper in the mosh! Their encore contained their number one Spotify streamed “Electric Worry”, and the Southern classic “Fortunate Son”. And that was that. Much anticipated and much appreciated and left me wanting more. Rock n roll adrenalin got me through the flu, at least for a few hours. Onwards into 2020 and their triple set in Kent, along with a little known band called Lynyrd Skynyrd.
All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken Phil Marsland. The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know.
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