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  MASON HILL BACK WHERE THEY BELONG HEADLINING IN GLASGOW WITH SOLID BACK UP FROM DEEVER AND ANCHOR LANE
Mason Hill/Deever/Anchor Lane: The Garage, Glasgow


johnny main
Words: Johnny Main
20th August 2017


mason hill

Glasgow based Shock City Productions' top signings Mason Hill are making a name for themselves in all sorts of circles. MetalTalk have been supporting the band since their early days in 2014 and we've seen the band rise to win the Hard Rock Hell Highway To Hell competition, as well as live shows at Hard Rock Hell, WinterStorm and Download Festival, not to mention a sell out show at Glasgow's famous Cathouse nightclub earlier this year.

If you add in their recently inked deal with Frontiers Records and a slew of high profile support slots to for Graham Bonnet, Snakecharmer, Toseland and Marco Mendoza, you can see that this band have everything to gain and a near sell out headline show at The Garage in Glasgow, alongside local rockers Anchor Lane and north-east England based Deever, wasn't just another show.

Indeed, due to the number of tickets sold, Shock City had upgraded the show from the smaller G2 to the main stage of The Garage itself, showing that Mason Hill have taken another step further up the ladder of success.

Anchor Lane

First up on stage were Glasgow based Anchor Lane, making a welcome return to the pages of MetalTalk, and once again, they'd brought a solid following with them. Kicking off the evening's entertainment with 'Twenty Sixteen' the band seemed at ease from the get-go with frontman Conor Gaffney in commanding mood vocally and with his powerful guitar playing.

'Hunter's Heart' remains a favourite and its inclusion early in the set was a surprise but it seems I'm not the only one with a soft spot for the track judging by its reception. 'Annie', which followed, didn't let up in the power department with Gaffney giving perhaps his best vocal of the evening in a number that included the first singalong of the night, and the audience were obviously in a party mood judging by the response.

mason hill

Hard rocker 'Eclipse' always has a Soundgarden feel to it, with Gaffney putting in a great performance once again while drummer Scott Hanlon and bass player Matthew Quigley had their moment in the spotlight during 'Take Some Time' which was a more soulful track before they turned up the wick once again with 'Runaway' which was, by far and away, the best performance from Gaffney – not just vocally but he makes guitar playing look so effortless while guitarist Jack Nicol could hardly keep the smile from his face.

The latter track was afforded a huge response from the audience at its conclusion meaning that it's a sure-fire bet that this track will remain in their set for a while yet.

It's a measured performance from the quartet who basked in the glory of their set one final time before leaving the stage, but they must be wondering if they will be able to emulate the success of Mason Hill, and I genuinely think they're capable of just that.

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Anchor Lane setlist:
Twenty Sixteen
Hunter's Heart
Annie
Eclipse
Take Some Time
Runaway
Finished For Twelve

Anchor Lane are:
Conor Gaffney – Vocals/Guitars
Jack Nicol – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Matthew Quigley – Bass Guitar
Scott Hanlon – Drums/Backing Vocals

Deever

I doubt that you've heard much of Darlington quartet Deever, and indeed, I'd been vaguely aware of them before the show but hadn't heard any of their music. Formed by ex-Inglorious guitarist Will Taylor, this turned out to be their first ever show, which drew some negativity from some quarters judging by the posts online.

"Why here – why now?" bemoaned one punter, but you have to remember that all bands have to start somewhere and this was an incredibly solid start for the fledgling act.

It wasn't perfect, but it was a great debut show. With a touch of nerves in his voice, Taylor set out his stall early commenting: "We're going to play a lot of songs you don't know, but hope you like them."

mason hill

Set opener, 'Fire At Will', was the first song the band released (available now on ITunes) and the energy from the band was infectious as the audience got their first taste of the band.

'Not Back Down' followed and proved to be something of a highlight with it's slow start before drummer Dave 'Higgy' Higgins built up the song to its hard rocking best. Taylor occasionally struggled with the high notes here, but goddam, this is good stuff and I'm not the only one who thought that judging by the reaction from the audience at the end. Taylor is a jovial chap, who is occasionally self-deprecating and always brutally honest, but he knows what exactly he's doing and he's very good at it as well.

mason hill

'Monster' featured a killer guitar riff and a great vocal from Taylor with guitarist Steve Stoker (referred to as "the hair over there" by Taylor due to his unruly mop) adding a bit of extra tone to the guitar sound, and the effort was appreciated by a small band of audience members nodding along down the front. It was Higgins' monumental drumming display that sealed the deal as he seemed to be systematically dismantling the drum kit as he was hitting them so hard at the back.

The follow up, 'Waves', is a fast paced rocker that had the audience nodding along despite their obviously unfamiliarity with the material and they seemed quite happy to singalong to Stoker's lyrical guitar part when encouraged by Taylor. The band included two cover songs, Linkin Park's 'What I've Done' (dedicated to fallen singer Chester Bennington, of course) and a rollicking run through Billy Idol's 'Rebel Yell', both of which ignited the audience's reactions.

mason hill

'All Come Running' closed off the set and it's clear that they not only won the audience over but also firmly established themselves in Glasgow. So let's hope they are given another similar chance to come up here and play soon because there's a fair few certainly looking forward to another live set from them.

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Deever setlist:
Fire At Will
Not Back Down
Alright
Monster
What I've Done
Waves
Rebel Yell
All Come Running

Deever are:
Will Taylor – Vocals/Guitar
Steve Stoker – Guitar/Vocals
Phil Appleton – Bass Guitar/Vocals
Dave Higgins - Drums

Mason Hill

Of course, the night belonged to the headliners Mason Hill even before they stepped onto the stage and as their stage time approached, the anticipation in the room was tangible. It was frontman Scott Taylor who broke cover first to a huge cheer that only got louder as the rest of the band walked on stage, awestruck by the reaction.

"From the Cathouse to the G2 to The Garage main fucking stage!" exclaimed Taylor beaming with pride and supreme confidence for what was another landmark show from the band.

mason hill

'Broken Son' kicked things off with a slow pace but the sound was bang on and the band were faultless throughout their performance. Bass player Matthew Ward seemed to headbang his way through the set, occasionally looking up with a surprised face, seeing the crowd going literally crazy whilst drummer Craig McFetridge punched out the solid drum beat, occasionally managing to make the floor shake such is his power.

'Somewhere Else' picked up the pace had a group of headbangers down the front doing their thing whilst it gifted guitarist James Bird his first showcase guitar solo of the evening, which was awarded a round of applause from some quarters at it's conclusion.

mason hill

There was a quick run through of 'Out Of Reach', one of the first songs the band ever wrote, and this old favourite just gets better and better with every performance. Bird stepped up for the guitar solo once again but modesty more than anything probably kept him from hogging centre stage, opting instead to stay stage right whilst Taylor grabbed the opportunity to connect with those fans down the front.

The band may only have an EP out and all four songs from it were included in the set at various points. 'Your Memory' was first up and is still a firm favourite judging by the audience reaction as they happily clapped along. 'Now You See Me' followed with McFetridge getting the party started once again with stomping drum beat and the audience once again needed no encouragement to join in.

mason hill

Regarding new material, Taylor spoke honestly saying that their debut full length album would probably be available next year but they delighted the audience with a brand new track, 'Blame', which may well appear on the release. If this is an indication of the way the band are going, then this album is going to be immense.

McFetridge once again punched out the solid beat whilst the crunchy guitar riff from Marc Montgomery and Bird had some down the front nodding along whilst many more at the back were happy to dance along.

mason hill

A couple of covers were thrown into the mix too, and first up was Audioslaves' 'Cochise', which also featured a guest appearance from Deever's Will Taylor, which, as Scott Taylor explained, was dedicated to one his favourite vocalists, Chris Cornell, before he nailed the vocal with an incredible performance.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Simple Man' was the other cover that saw Bird and Montgomery share the guitar solo opportunities as they both took to centre stage to loud cheers from the audience. The other two tracks from their debut EP, 'Survive' and 'Where I Belong', were saved until the end of the show with plumes of smoke added to the former whilst the latter closed not only the bands set in fine style but the addition of confetti blasted out across the stage added some extra theatre to their final number.

mason hill

Mason Hill have come a long way in just three or so years and it seems like the juggernaut is still gathering speed so let's hope these boys strap themselves in because the trip of a lifetime is really beginning to take place for them.

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Mason Hill setlist:
Broken Son
Somewhere Else
Your Memory
Now You See Me
Out Of Reach
Blame
Simple Man
No Regret
Survive
Cochise
Where I Belong

Mason Hill are:
Scott Taylor – Vocals
James Bird – Guitar
Marc Montgomery – Guitar
Matthew Ward – Bass Guitar
Craig McFetridge – Drums



mason hill

mason hill

mason hill

Special thanks to Scott Taylor, James Bird, Marc Montgomery, Matthew Ward, Craig McFetridge, Peter McLean, Gordon Robertson, Paul Logue and Mike Exley.





 


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