Main StageClutch by all rights should be bigger. The ultimate festival band, this 25 year old gang of buddies play hard blues fuelled party stoner rock (I’m going to name this Festcore) the only way it should be played – LOUD. Sure enough, as soon as they took to the Download Festival main stage at 4.45pm, the place went – and I believe this is the correct technical term – batshit for them.

Opening with Crucial Velocity and Cyborg Bette, the band hit the ground running, sounding as tight as they always do and frontman Neil Fallon led the charge like a priest giving a sermon at the church of noise and even managed to supply solos with both a harmonica AND a cowbell. Now if that’s not metal I don’t know what is.

The setlist itself drew heavily from 2012’s Earth Rocker album, which seemed appropriate given the short slot the band had, and the success of that album, although I’m sure many of the long term fans in attendance would have preferred a few more choice cuts from previous releases.

With new album Psychic Warfare just 3 short months away from release we were treated to an outing of track X-Ray Visions, which the Download revellers ate up in the warm Friday evening weather before the shit storm of rain came and ruined it.

As Clutch bowed out with the one-two hit of Electric Worry and One Eye Dollar it was hard to distinguish pre-existing fans and newly formed ones because quite simply there wasn’t a single face grinning from ear to ear.

Get the experience for yourself this November/December when they do a UK tour – tickets available from all the usual places.

Band website: www.pro-rock.com

Photo Credits: Giles Smith