Gig Review

Birmingham, Academy
29th April 2014

Clutch                               Lionize

Photo Of Lionize © Copyright TriggerWalking into the Academy Birmingham this evening, we are treated to a sea of beards and flannel shirts, main support for this tour is an American 4 piece rock band called Lionize.

They have a real 70's feel about them, they are straight up classic sounding rock, no gimmicks or fancy showboating. I think the key board sound is something you'd hear in a Led Zep show, and they also do a extended jam during the 4th song, which is something straight from the 70's and it sounds like it should too. The band are described as a reggae rock band but there Photo Of Lionize © Copyright Triggerdoesn't seem to be any trace of this till one of the songs near the very end of their set, other than that you'd never know or could hardly tell from listening to them live. The band have got some decent meaty guitar riffs,and the sound is solid and well thought out, a good compliment to Clutch, while similar in sound the two bands are distinct enough and the flanneled crowd seem to enjoy Lionize, many a nodding head to be seen, not a bad set at all.

Photo Of Clutch © Copyright TriggerClutch have requested that there be no crowd surfing at tonight's show, I'd be highly surprised if anyone had planned on it in the first place, it would mean having to put your over priced beer down and disrupting your own and others immense enjoyment of this awesome band, crowd surfing is just not the done thing at a Clutch show.

They open with one of their most memorable to date, title track off their latest album Earth Rocker, great way to open the set and get the crowd going again after the line change, they do play a fair few songs from that album, 'Unto the Breach' which is the second song they perform followed by 'The Wolfman Kindly Requests', Photo Of Clutch © Copyright Trigger'Crucial Velocity', 'Cyborg Battle', 'Book Saddle and Go', 'Gone Cold', the superb, 'DC Sound Attack' and my favourite 'The Face'! In fact the first 6 songs are all from Earth Rocker, such is the bands faith in their new material, and rightly so as they are all superb songs, you don't get that very often, an album full of killer and no filler.

'Burning Beard' is the first non Earth Rocker song to be played which is about the middle of the set, next up is probably one of their most well know songs, 'Mob Goes Wild', it's probably the song that got a lot of people into them due to it's association with the CKY crew. The middle set also feature's 'Profits of Doom', and the Photo Of Clutch © Copyright Triggersuperb, 'Pure Rock Fury'. Apart from Neil jumping around the stage like a madman possessed, the rest of the band are pretty static, but that's ok because so are the crowd, not out of boredom mind you, the bands fans are here to enjoy and appreciate the music, most standing and nodding to the music, and after every song a loud cheer from the crowd before the band ploughs on, this band just don't fuck around, they are fully focused on the music and putting on a damn fine performance to boot.

Photo Of Clutch © Copyright TriggerThe set enters it's latter stages, the crowd joins in with some clapping for the intro of 'Mice and Gods', a rare bit of movement from the steadfast crowd, the set has really kicked into high gear with one of my all time favourites, the awesome 'The Regulator' such a great tune, in which Neil finally breaks out his guitar, and the crowd clap along to this too, the bluesy 'Gone Cold' is next and takes things down a a few notches before going back up quite a few more with my favourite from Earth Rocker, 'The Face', this could be one of my favourite top 5 songs of all time, and easily one of the bands best ever, such a solid catchy song that it is.

Photo Of Lionize © Copyright TriggerNext up is the binary '10001110101', by far one of their catchiest and bringing that bluesy feel back to it, then main set closer 'Cyprus Grove', such a powerful strong, catchy as hell song and a worthy set closer. I'd certainly say that this set has pandered more for newer fans that may not know the older material that well but have played older songs that are amongst their most popular and well known.

Th band return to the stage and launch right into the superbly catchy 'DC Sound Attack', such a good riff and great lyrics. The night is finished off in superb fashion with the insanely catchy 'Electric Worry/One Eyed Dollar', what a great set of songs to end on. I think Clutch will always be under appreciated by a lot of people but damn are they missing out and will go down in rock history as one of the all time greats, and if they don't I'm sure the band won't give a damn.

Lionize 3.5/5
Clutch 5/5

Review And Photos By Robert Lawrence


Neil Fallon
Dan Maines
Tim Sult


Chris Brooks
Henry Upton
Mel Randolph
Nate Bergman

 Band Related Links
Clutch Facebook
Lionize Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?