When The Treatment crisscrossed America with Kiss and Motley Crue in 2012 it’s a shame Gene Simmons didn’t explain to the Cambridge quintet there and then that rock was going to die.
It would have saved Matt Jones and his mates a whole lot of bother. They could have packed it in, got proper jobs and quietly gone about rehabilitating themselves as anonymous one-time wannabes.
Instead Mr Simmons waited two long years to declare to the world that the original source of his multi-million pound fortune was no more. Apparently god gave rock n roll to us all – and then took it away again. Just like that.
Oblivious to the impending death of the music they love, The Treatment came off the road with Kiss and the Crue and promptly wrote Running With The Dogs – a glorious amalgam of 70s, 80s and 90s rock that followed up This Might Hurt in some style.
And even then – as the glowing reviews poured in – Gene kept his counsel. It can’t have gone unnoticed, even in the wacky world of Simmons, that The Treatment believed rock was alive and well. But still he remained silent.
You see neither Buffalo Summer nor Massive understood rock was dead either. In fact it came as a huge surprise to hard-working, hard-gigging bands of their ilk the world over.
But in true rebellious, rock n roll fashion their response was a one-fingered salute to old stager Simmons and all three bands opted to carry on regardless. Thank f**k they did.
Had they jumped into Gene’s giant rock coffin alongside Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, The Answer, Black Stone Cherry and just about every other class act on the live scene right now then a boisterous Newcastle crowd would have missed out on what may well turn out to be the gig of 2014.
Massive’s unashamedly brash band name owes nothing to pint-sized tyro Brad Marr and everything to a wall of sound laid on the sturdy foundations of hard rock’s legendary heroes. It’s a cacophony that’s big and certainly not clever. And nor should it be. These are rabble-rousing Aussies born to blast out a riotous mix of chorus-driven anthems and face-melting riffs.
That said, Ben Laguda’s solo on Ghost was a sublime moment in amongst all the madness and these boys sure can play. And they can play to the crowd. Marr’s decision to down a bottle of Brown Ale during the band’s first UK show hinted at a trail of destruction to come during Rocktober (stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Gene).
Buffalo Summer, with their soft Welsh accents, chiseled good looks and flowing locks are an altogether calmer proposition. But that’s no criticism of their heady brand of bluesy British rock – even The Sex Pistols would appear laid back juxtaposed with Massive.
With a new album in the can (let’s start a major label bidding war right now) it must only be a matter of time before these boys become Swansea’s biggest export since Brendan Rodgers. New tunes Heartbreaking Floorshaking and the magical Make You Mine comfortably eclipsed the best their debut album (and what a debut) has to offer and offered the Toon faithful a riveting glimpse of an exciting future.
Frontman Andrew Hunt – looking more and more like a late-20s David Coverdale – cannily doctored the lyrics of Down To The River to include a Tyne reference that had the crowd eating out of his hand. Buffalo Summer don’t do bad gigs. This one was an absolute blinder.
And so The Treatment had it all to do on the night they headlined Newcastle for the first time. But these seasoned campaigners can do it all. And some. Earlier this year Download’s rammed Pepsi Max tent went wild for the best-looking band since Poison – fast forward four months to a sweaty club on Tyneside and it was business as usual for rock’s go-to party starters.
More melodic than Heaven’s Basement, more immediate than Avenged Sevenfold, better songwriters than Black Veil Brides and boasting an authentic rock sound hewn from their 80s heroes, The Treatment are capable of captivating the kids – and impressing their dads.
New single The Outlaw is a bona fide classic but Emergency, Drink F**k Fight and I Bleed Rock And Roll all demand fist-pumping adulation from the floor. Some NWOBHM-styled twin guitar soloing on Running With The Dogs drew wide smiles from the over-40s while new tune Bloodsucker proved The Treatment can still use good old fashioned rock n roll bombast to cure the most cynical of critics.
If only Gene had been there.
Exclusive images courtesy of John Burrows @ishootgigs
What the bands said
Brad Marr (Massive): “This was our first gig in the UK. It’s our first international tour! Buffalo Summer and The Treatment are right up our alley and we can’t wait to lay waste to the UK with them. It’s gonna be a great tour. We’ve only just met the guys from the other bands but they already seem like really good guys. I didn’t realise Newcastle was such a rock and roll capital! Is Brian Johnson really from the city? What a place to kick things off.”
Andrew Hunt (Buffalo Summer): “I can kind of understand the things that Gene Simmons is saying. These days it is more difficult as a band to make it and sustain yourselves on the road. There isn’t the money that was available even 10 years ago. But rock n roll will never die. We do it because we love it. And as long as we love it we’ll carrying on doing it! As far as this tour goes it’s a really, really good line-up and it’s been well put together – it’s great value. Three good young rock bands who love playing live.”
Matt Jones (The Treatment): “We’re so excited about going out on this headline tour. We’ve already done one this year so it’s great to be back on the road. We just had such a great time doing the last tour and we’re not recording an album right now so we though we might as well get back out there. We’d rather be busy than doing nothing for the rest of the year! And we’re visiting some places that missed out last time – Newcastle being a case in point. It’s a chance to connect with some of the fans who couldn’t make it to some of the shows earlier in the year.”
What the fans said
— John Evans (@3JKSupport) October 7, 2014
— mike kelly (@spod85) October 7, 2014
Mint gig lads, takes a lunatic to down a bottle of Newcastle broon ale in one go 👏 @massiveoz
— Ben Cleaver (@bencleaver) October 6, 2014