@Newcastle Trillians, July 17 2019

Newcastle has hosted its fair share of big shows this summer. But this was Massive. Huge choruses. Immense energy. Enormous heart.

Melbourne’s best export since Neighbours are less than a week into their annual summer trek to the UK and their passion for rock and roll is already proving infectious. 

Led by frontman, promoter, driver and tour manager Brad Marr, the irrepressible quartet left everything on stage…including a bunch of empty beer glasses, pools of sweat and typically sordid tales of life on tour.

Bearing in mind Ben Laguda had discovered Buckfast the previous night – a chance meeting that led to him vomiting all over his bed before bunking in with Marr – Massive’s guitarist scorched his way through a blazing set swathed in surprising enthusiasm.

Perhaps it was the decision to pick hair of the dog as the cure of choice. Lager’s hitherto unproven healing qualities were there for all to see.

Marr, meanwhile, has never sounded better. Snuggling up to Laguda the night before did Massive’s singer the world of good – a vocal tour de force managing to eclipse the same show in the same venue just 12 months earlier.

An impromptu jam of Men At Work’s Down Under – mashed up with the age-old terrace favourite Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – was killer. But Massive don’t need to rely on quaint covers made famous by their fellow countrymen: latest long player Rebuild Destroy is bursting with singalong originals.

Roses has been a staple of the band’s set for some time now but Bullet, Long Time Coming and Generation Riot – not to be confused with supremely entertaining support band Gorilla Riot – all warrant their place in an increasingly congested set.

Massive have learnt to accept and embrace the inevitable AC/DC comparisons but these days Marr and his mates have more than a hint of classic Terrorvision at their core. And like Keighley’s finest, the most amiable band on the planet has never had a problem making friends and influencing people.

Building on that special bond with their UK fans, Massive have already promised to return to the UK in 2020. Lock up your daughters – or any middle-aged bald men in your family – and don’t let Laguda anywhere near a bottle of Buckfast. Then sit back and enjoy.