Engine Rooms, Southampton

Massive Wagons have been waiting since the release date 17th July 2020 to be able to take their latest album ‘House Of Noise’ on tour. After the pandemic restrictions; touring in general is very different to what it once was and the freedoms that we all were used to. There are so many new rules to consider and bands on the road today have to be careful to keep themselves and their audiences safe. Tonight in Southampton is night four of a twelve-date UK tour, which sees the Wagon’s popularity on a well-deserved way up with an appearance at the Download Pilot along with a slot at the full Download Festival in 2022.

Tonight’s support is Leeds-based artist Chris Catalyst; a seasoned musician who has performed previously with the likes of Ugly Kid Joe, Sisters of Mercy, Terrorvision, The Professionals, Mariachi El Bronx and his own band Eureka Machines. Tonight he is part of his own three-piece band featuring former Eureka Machines bassist Pete Human and Charlie on Drums. They only stepped in recently after the previous tour support “The Lazy’s” pulled out.

Chris Catalyst
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Kicking off with “Make Art Good” with an intro, not unlike The Disposable Heroes of Hypocrisy “Drug Of The Nation” from this year’s solo album Kaleidoscopes, the song is a musical clash of various genres colliding together to create a unique sound. In a contrast “Wake Me Up On Monday” (which is apparently about Jesus) is an infectious slice of 90’s-style Indie/Pop. Chris and his band seem really comfortable on stage together, almost laid back, and do their best to tap their original material into the hearts of a largely new audience to them. After a soaring electronic and guitar mash-up called “The Ride”, which features some powerful lead vocal and harmonies; they end on a well-delivered cover of Bowie’s “Boys Keep Swinging” before exiting the stage to respectful applause.

Finally, it’s time for Massive Wagons to take the stage after the Theme from Ghostbusters and AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”. The band colourfully appears with their opening number “In It Together”. The five members positively take to the stage creating a whirlwind of emotions and loud, beautifully crafted melodic sounds. Frontman Barry is like a coiled spring and is clearly so ready to get out on this tour and do what he does best as a frontman. He is the ringleader of a band of friends who have a real special chemistry between then and create music that clearly people love.

Though the band’s album was very well received, it really cannot be properly gauged until the songs are performed live. With tracks like the epic “Banging on Your Stereo” including a fun medley, the angsty “Hallescrewya” and obviously sing-a-long crowd favourite “The Curry Song”, the band show themselves to be wonderful performers and the creators of music that stands up wherever your prefer to listen to it. With Stevie’s and Adam’s wonderfully inventive six-string work, along with Bowz and Alex’s solid rhythms the band just seem to fire on all cylinders all the time with relative ease.

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Tonight the crowd are on the band’s side from the first note to the last with older songs like “China Plates”, the emotive “Ratio” and the fan requested “The Day We Fell” still rattling everybody’s cages. Massive Wagons can leave out towering tunes like “Billy Balloonhead” and “Toyko” and still depart the stage triumphant.

These guys are what live music is all about, they are hard-workers and have put in the time in creating a band that’s attention to detail is important. When Baz lifts his middle finger and puts it right in your face during a show; while sporting a wicked grin, it’s like the ultimate compliment. The Southampton crowd leave this industrial estate-sited venue all with big smiles on their faces, after being fully entertained by these five Northerners who deserve all the success they achieve.

Massive Wagons:
In It Together
China Plates
Banging on Your Stereo/ I Fought the Law / She Does It Right
The Day We Fell
Sad Sad Song
Fee Fi Fo Fum
House of Noise

The Curry Song
Back to the Stack

Chris Catalyst
Make Good Art
King Of Everything
A Modern Adventure
Yeah (Oh No)
Wake Me Up On Monday
The Ride
Boys Keep Swinging (David Bowie)



Words, Pictures & Videos by David Chinery (Chinners)
Additional Media by Josh Chinery

Massive Wagons

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