When Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster first came along I, like many others, assumed that they would go from strength to strength, given their deep sound and fast paced riffs. This was not to be however, as, due to misunderstandings with their record label and the revolving door that saw off two guitarists in 3 years, they seemed to vanish off of the radar.
Now, on the surface at least, it appears that they have gotten their act together as they are once again writing, recording and touring. They began this tour having released their third studio album Blood and Fire back in May.
I was unsure what would greet me as I made my way to Six Feet Under to see them on the latest leg of their tour. The gig itself was enjoyable, frontman Guy McKnight took to the stage like a man possessed and flew into the opening track, his intense demeanor ensuring that you couldn’t take your eyes off of him. He initially stood center stage, long-haired, bearded, floral shirt ill fitting with braces, before mounting the barrier at the front of the stage. As he balanced himself by clutching onto the overhead girders he eyeballed the crowd ensuring that everyone acknowledge their impressive entrance. Whilst this went on, guitarist Dominic Knight threw himself around the stage looking like he could, at any moment, lose his balance and end up in the crowd. His gusto was admirable, as he launched headlong into each song as if he were entertaining the masses at a music festival.
You couldn’t help but be swayed by the excitement of not knowing what would come next, on more than one occasion McKnight cleared the boundary of the stage and made his way through the crowd, straining out lyrics, even man handling fans, before retreating back to his bandmates. In contrast to this, bassist Sym Gharial stuttered around the stage as he made his way through the playlist, flashing between a vacant look, giving the impression that he wasn’t quite sure where he was, and then suddenly coming to life as if he had been hit with a shot of adrenaline straight through the heart.
The band showed glimpses of the fast paced psychobilly sound of old as they belted out the odd old favourites such as Psychosis Safari and Mister Mental, the latter of which gained some mainstream notoriety when used in the 2004 hit film “Shaun if the Dead”. These were well supported by some new songs, which were taken from the latest album. These were all very well received by the audience, and ensured that the atmosphere was maintained throughout.
There is no doubt that this band still have what it takes to hit the heights that they seemed to be destined for a few years ago. Guy McKnight can still wail with the best of them, but showed that he can also croon out notes when required, slightly reminiscent of rock heavyweight Josh Homme in that respect. Hopefully they can build on the progression that they have made and realize the potential that they once showed. Only time will tell.