Imperious!

Ten Ton Hammer (AKA Machine Head) at King’s College London Student Union, 6th June

This was the best Machine Head (Ten Ton Hammer) gig I have seen to date and I’ve seen a few. The band were relaxed and enjoying themselves and in turn the audience loved it. It was one of the worst kept secrets that ‘Ten Ton Hammer’ was actually Machine Head playing a load of covers and a few of their own songs in a venue the size of your average local pub, just playing under a different name. The set list was largely made up of covers; some well known from Judas Priest, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Pantera some more unexpected from Foo Fighters and Poison Idea. A few Machine Head classics were included such as Davidian and Halo, along with some rarities like Wolves and Pearls Before the Swine. In between songs the band members joked with each other and bantered with the crowd. At times this gig had the atmosphere of a rehearsal, as songs are started up and the guitarists throw out riffs from different metal classics, before launching into a full song. There are mistakes in what they play, but t

A few hours before the doors opened, MH had been announced as Saturday night head liners at Bloodstock and on the strength of this performance, who wouldn’t get themselves a ticket? Robb Flynn and Co. delivered a master class in entertaining and pleasing your audience, showing themselves to be in touch with what their fans want. Perhaps the band really wanted a show where they could cut loose a bit, before Friday’s slot on the main stage at Donington, which is bound to be more serious, if no less important. There has been talk of this band one day head lining one of the major festivals, but that will really depend on the quality of their next album. Whilst ‘Unto the Locust’ was certainly not bad, it is not on a par with earlier efforts such as ‘The Blackening’, or ‘Burn My Eyes’. As five hundred or so happy, sweaty fans troop out of the door, I still believe that Machine Head have it in them to come back with another truly great album and grow in stature once again.

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