The show started and The Inspector Cluzo walked on stage. They announced, “We are from France, but not from Paris.” Well dressed, suited and booted, Phil (Mathieu Jourdain) on drums and Malcom (Laurent Lacrouts) on guitar and lead vocals. Malcom’s voice alternated between gruff and high-pitched melodies, powering through their set. Their powerful and energetic nature resonated with the crowd as everyone joined in the fun. A fantastic band, which myself and everyone in the crowd thoroughly enjoyed.
From Gutersloh, Germany, The Picturebooks intense Rock/Blues duo. Fynn Claus Grabke as vocalist/guitarist and drummer Philipp Mirtschink. Starting with their track ‘PCH Diamond’ from their album Imaginary Horse, the duo’s power and musical talent, punching out the rhythm with every note. Loud cheers from the audience, the band check-in between their powerfully charged songs, which they played with utter emotion. Time rushed by as the crowd were infused with every song, leaving them ready for the main act that was to be, Clutch. An incredible performance, which I don’t feel comes through on their recorded material enough. If you ever have a chance to these guys perform live, I highly recommend that you do!
The crowd ignites into cheer as Guitarist Tim Sult strode on to the stage, followed by Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster, Bassist Dan Maines and finally Vocalist Neil Fallon, as he casually suggested: “Let’s have a party!” The Manchester Academy was bursting with the sound of the fans singing along as Neil tapped out the funky beat. Drummer Jean-Paul was impressively powering through anthem after anthem and the song ‘Gimme The Keys’ from The book of bad decisions album had his drum beats hurtling alongside Neil’s Viking war-cry. The crowd was huddled in a passionate jarring motion as there was simply no room for any more movement and so hands raised in horns, they moved as one. Neil clearly enjoying playing guitar throughout as well as throwing himself into the actions that the songs required.
The band left the stage to thunderous applause. Water was handed to those fans front and centre stage and within just a few minutes the band had returned. Thank yous from the band and the crowd were exchanged, as well as Neil passing setlists and signed drumsticks to younger members of the crowd that had come with their parents and guardians. “Thank you all. If You weren’t here, we wouldn’t be.” Yet another flawless performance from the incredible band that is Clutch.
Review and Photos by Richard Nurse