Supersuckers/Hellion Rising – Manchester, Ruby Lounge – 11 October 2017 Print E-mail
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Thursday, 26 October 2017 04:40

Manchester on a rainy October night. Add in other gigs on the same night - Papa Roach and the Fireball tour with Reel Big Fish and others to name just two of the larger ones - and it's looking a bit bleak for the Supersuckers. They've been around as a band for a long, long time though - since 1988, to be precise, so it's not like they are new to the circuit, plus they are a lot more old school rock ‘n’ roll - think along the lines of Motorhead, with a slightly country tone at times - so will this difference in sound be enough to bring in the masses with such opposition? Braving the rain with only a patch shirt for respite, I venture forth from the station and wander over to the Ruby Lounge, tonight's venue.


After a later than the advertised opening (luckily, bars in Manchester are hardly few and far between!), I arrive, grab a drink and wait for the support band, Hellion Rising, to take to the stage. On they come, but there are only around 40 people in the venue, a tad disappointing despite the plethora of other gigs on the same night. Nonetheless, they give their all and are quite a tight outfit. A five-piece, featuring drums, bass, vocals and dual electric guitars, their sound is maybe slightly out of touch with Supersuckers, which I don't think helps when the crowd is this sparse. Had they been on before Papa Roach instead, you can't help but feel there would be a lot more appreciation for their music. There's a definite groove to the bass, some pretty decent guitar solos, with vocals that seem to go between Pantera and Black Stone Cherry in their style. Crowd interaction is minimal between songs, but those that are there are not putting themselves at the front, so it's not exactly unexpected.


Hellion Rising header


They do one thing right, though, and do not fall into the trap that many other supports seem to do of either scolding the crowd for staying back or even making mention of it. The penultimate track has a definite sample of Children of the Grave by Black Sabbath in its main riff - something the vocalist had made mention of prior to it starting, which is not a bad thing. By the time they get to the end of their set, there are now around 60 people in, which is not a good sign for things to come, given they are the only support. They gave their all, had some catchy songs and were an accomplished outfit - in other words, they were more than adequate for their role.


This brings us to our headliners, Supersuckers. They take to the stage, declaring themselves “the greatest rock n roll band in the world” - something they do between most songs, but do on one occasion make the point of there not being many big name bands left playing it, in comparison to what there has been before, which is a fairly valid point. The crowd numbers don't really seem to have picked up much more from the support, which is quite disappointing, and alluded to by the band, as they make mention that they would rather be playing to those there who appreciate the music, than to larger numbers who wouldn't do so.


Supersuckers flyer


They get into the set and, like the support, are a tight outfit, though this would be expected given their years in the business. They don't seem to perform or try any less despite the poor turnout, more they seem determined to put on the best show they can, which is a good nod to their professionalism. It's clear from the outset that people in attendance are here just for Supersuckers, as there is an immediate change in the audience. All the heads are nodding, some are singing along, feet are tapping, so it's clear the band are doing it all right. The lack of numbers makes it hard to get quite as caught up in it as some other gigs, but this is again not due to their performance, with a very Lemmy style frontman in Eddie Spaghetti, even down to the hat and beard and the vocals and bass combination.


All in all, a disappointing turn out for a band that deserves a lot better. Despite this, both bands gave their all, and it is only to their credit that their performances made those that had turned up happy people.


The venue itself is generally a good example of how smaller venues should set out - friendly and helpful staff, very good sound engineer - with an excellent and varied taste in music to play around the bands, which I have found out on many occasions before, and a good PA. Drinks prices are a touch steep compared to other non-Academy chain venues, especially at this size, but there are also all big brands, so it's a case of getting what you pay for.


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