Following a hectic week of rock n roll excess in London I found myself back on home turf with two UK bands playing in Belfast.
One local with retro rockers Maverick and Cambridge-based The Treatment still riding on the crest of a massive wave. Unfortunately the unusual hot summer sun appears to have distracted the rock punters of our shores to attend this evenings show. The last two appearances by The Treatment in Northern Ireland have been well attended but tonight’s audience figure at its peak probably represents only around fifty. This is very surprising for a band that had played a packed Pepsi Max stage at the Download Festival just a few days previously. Explanation of this, well I am not entirely sure but certainly the current rumour regarding the band using “backing tapes” in their live set may have played a small part.
First on stage at the unusually early time of 7.25pm are local heroes Maverick. With a strong EP under their rock n roll belts already they are currently recording new tracks for their debut album release on Massacre Records. This band are one of the most hard-working acts currently playing the boards and plying their wares. Where many take time off from playing live when recording Maverick effectively combine both.
Utilising the stages across Northern Ireland to finely hone and tune their new songs along with their well worn fan favourites. They always attack a live show like a rabid dog, seizing hold of its prey and refusing to let go until it has fully been chewed up and spat out. Thus Maverick grab the audience by the throat from the opening number .The band have already in their short career developed a local fan base. They lead their dedicated supporters through a brief set, wrapping things up with a cover of legendary eighties band Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild.” The musicianship of the band as a cohesive unit has increased dramatically since I first witnessed them live. Its also clear that each time I have seen them that the band have a natural joie de vivre about them and enthusiasm to quote another eighties band Judas Priest “Delivering the Goods” in a live setting.
Next on stage are The Treatment, who I have seen the band several times and have always been impressed by their quality of delivering entertainment to a rock audience. After playing many major support slots with global rock heavyweights like Kiss the band have finely honed their stage craft. Their stage image also seems to change with each tour.
Delivering short sharp shocks through punchy sing-a long anthems from their two albums, the band soon develop a party atmosphere, just unfortunate that more were not present to witness it. As a non musician myself it was difficult to ascertain what percentage of the music I heard live was actually played by the band. Suffice to say I did enjoy what I did hear.
The bands second “Running With The Dogs”
album also illustrated a diversity in the bands sound. This seemed to represent more of the band finding and creating their own sound rather than becoming lead by their musical influences. Following an interview with singer Matt Jones
after the set he stated that the band remained committed to giving everything in their live shows, no matter what size of audience and outlined exciting plans for the bands future. He also strongly refuted the current rumours and Internet speculation, terming any negativity as a natural byproduct of the bands success. Mark Dean, GiggingNI.com