1st April 2012
The 2012 Olympics will bring the greatest spectacle on earth to London. Sadly it also brings with it travel disruption as the creaking transport arteries of the tube are upgraded in time for in Boris Johnson’s own words ‘the big one’. Victoria line closures aside we rolled into Brixton on the bus and set about catching a band who have certainly moved up in the world since we last caught them at a headlining show at The Borderline.
Its been a steep and dramatic climb up the rock ladder, one which is fully deserved as they have added a fire and youthful spin on classic rock which never fails to captivate. The Treatment, upped their game along with their surroundings. As such they seemed totally at home on the bigger stage, running around jubilantly rocking every inch of their new found acreage. Sound wise their songs were built for stadiums so the bigger arena suited their huge chorus’s and crunching rock anthems. They played the pick of their debut album material including Departed, and The Doctor not forgetting latest singles D**k, F**k, Fight and cover version Road Rocket.
Yet again though my favourite tune of the night was their cover of Hurricane Party/Roadstar’s Killer. It was a far cry from the first time I heard that tune down in a half empty Brighton venue in 2005, but tonight at the Brixton Academy, it has found its home. Simply incredible!! Their ascent hasn’t stopped here neither, at going to print they are now on tour supporting KISS!!! If they maintain performances of this calibre, handle huge crowds and rise to the big occasion as they did tonight. There is no telling where they’re story ends!
With the Treatment’s adrenaline shot still pulsing through the veins Steel Panther returned to Brixton academy and set about doing what they do best, cock rocking! Heavy ‘bloody’ metal was back with a vengeance as supremo guitarist Satchel played his scorching riffs which transports the vibe back to the 80’s. It’s not just the songs which managed this, their shockingly bad OTT hair metal dress sense is sublime because it is ridiculous and Front man Michael Starr’s howling high note are Van Halen all over again. Weirdly this is the just their standard apparel and their performances are always of the highest quality.
Stage Invasion (ish)
Sadly though, this being my 3rd visit to Planet Panther, the jokes are getting a little worn. It felt too much like a re-run of their fantastic show here a couple of years ago, which musically still kicked serious ass, but the novelty had dryed up slightly. As had thier songwriting on their sophomore LP, which despite some killer hooks, fails to land as big a comical catch of their debut. Maybe it was the economic times or the astronomical £5 pint prices which stunted some crowd enthusiasm, but somehow tonight failed to live up to the highs of that night in 2012.
A victim of their debuts success perhaps but there was no doubting their bets songs tonight originated from Feel The Steel; Asian Hooker‘s tongue in cheek call girl homage; fiery riffed Eyes of A Panther‘s cougar mocking and Death To Al But Metals preach of how rock and roll should be played. Only 17 Girls in A Row’s fun bragging and ace harmonic filled melody and the rampaging innuendo of It Wont Suck Itself came close to repeating the highs.
But there is absolutely no denying that they are still a brilliant band to watch, full of fun, self mocking japes and rock and roll spirit. A good performance, shame we’d seen two thirds of it all before.