Clutch at Cardiff Students Union’s Great Hall

Posted on 19 December 2016
By Frank Ralph
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You simply cannot go wrong with a Clutch show. They are one of the best live acts out there right now and you’re guaranteed a great night whenever you see them.

Their choice of support acts for this tour were equally pleasing and confusing. Openers Lionize are very much in the Clutch mould and played a great set which included a guest spot from Tim Sult.

They also have a keyboard player which is amazing for Clutch fans as you’ll find out later. Valient Thorr however I just didn’t get. They were kind of the anti-Clutch with lots of unrequired posturing, faux quirkiness and no songs whatsoever which was a real let down. The drummer can’t half play though!

Clutch are the complete antithesis to posturing and showmanship. They don’t need any of this. They have pure talent on their side. Their appeal is in that, were they bestowed with a similar amount of talent, any member of the crowd could be in Clutch. No ego, no rockstar bullshit – just 4 down to earth amazing musicians.

A sum of their parts each member is the best at what they do whether its Dan Maines holding the groove down, JP pummelling the drums, Tim Sult shredding the 6 string or Neil Fallon delivering his uniquely intelligent lyrics as a sermon in pure rock. Combined they are unbeatable. Four truly talented people each with a part to play which is displayed on a nightly basis with each member taking turns in deciding the set lists for their shows.

For the Cardiff show it was JP’s turn, which led to a treasure chest of old deep cuts with a few newer tracks from the last two hugely successful albums Psychic Warfare and Earth Rocker that made every Clutch fan happy – but especially the older ones.

The most important addition to the line up was Lionize’s keyboard player Chris Brooks which allowed Clutch to dust off the rarely played 100011 and Escape from the Prison Planet – both a true treat for many in the room.

The Regulator is always a strong finish to any show but to come back and follow it with Electric Worry and X-Ray Visions shows how strong and vast Clutch’s catalogue is. They could play a completely different show every night and you’d still leave happy.

Clutch in December is becoming a regular occurrence – and with the massive hole left in the November/December listings now that Motorhead are no more – a really welcome one.

Until next time – Merry Clutchmas everyone!