Clutch being Clutch. As ever, excellent.
For such a focused and prolific career spanning well over twenty years, a Clutch show these days is destined to be an eclectic showcase of gnarly hard rock anthems powered by solid musicianship, fronted by one of the most charismatic men in the game. The band are still currently touring off the back of the excellent Psychic Warfare - a record which has seen them extend a particularly good run of form at the moment.
Following some dubious locations on previous London tour dates - eg. The Forum (does any band actually sound good there?) - Clutch have deservedly earned temporary residence at Camden's Roundhouse. The intimidating prospect of support comes from Lionize and Valient Thorr. The former sound tight and seem to rise to the prestigious occasion, however Thorr sound messy and incoherent. And no, the overweight topless front man doesn't compensate, no matter how sexy that sounds.
Hardcore fans are treated to a brilliantly diverse and relatively obscure set list, which includes fan favourites La Curandera, Spacegrass, Immortal, and of course 10001110101, which is deceptively a lot easier to sing along to than you initially might think. Treat of the night is delivered by two cuts off 2009's Strange Cousins from the West, probably the bands most criminally overlooked release. To be unfairly critical, the only disappointment of the night is that nothing is played from The Elephant Riders- easily one of the greatest heavy rock album of the 90s.
Overall the band sound brilliant as expected. But hey, if you have such a tremendous work ethic and continually strive to grow as a band, you'll only get better. There are certainly other bands with such reputable components, the only problem is few of them are as good as Clutch.