Birmingham on a cold winters night isn't exactly a sight to behold. The walk from car park to venue highlighted this in no uncertain terms and The Rainbow, playing host for the evening, truly epitomised it from the outside. All in all, a perfect night for the Scuzz Throwdown Tour to be brought to life with Press To Meco, Allusondrugs and Max Raptor scheduled to hit the stage after an unannounced opener playing their first ever gig.
With a the position of each band changing on each night of the tour it was left to the gods of rock to decide who went on first (that or the tour manager) and it was Press To Meco that took the honours on opening night to a nicely filled out room. For those unfamiliar with Press To Meco they would likely come as a big surprise on a tour called ‘Throwdown’. When the three lads hit the stage they look like a pretty standard band in the early stages their career, but within the first minute of their opening track you realise they’re something special. The three of them are so fluid in their performance that it belies the fact they only released their debut album in 2015. The Courtyard at The Rainbow is entranced by the vocal harmonies and effortless tempo changes, the crowd singing along with each line like PTM are their favourite band. With just the one album under their belts the setlist is simple and this allows the lads to make the most of their time on stage. The crowd didn't Throwdown as much as you’d hope for, but Press To Meco were on top, top form. These guys previously were in my ‘for the future’ category, but on this evidence the future is now.
Allusondrugs had the pleasure of being the meat in the Scuzzy sandwich and they were greeted by a reduced crowd as people filtered back in through the mazy corridors of the venue. I wasn’t familiar with these guys, despite them having popped up at a few festivals I’ve been at recently and this was the main issue for me – my own unfamiliarity. Musically these guys are really strong and their showmanship is really strong, coming across like a grunged up Placebo on stage. As I said though, not knowing their music did put a bit of a downer on it and their set didn’t flow quite as well due to this, though that’s my issue and one I will seek to rectify before seeing them again.
Headliners this fine evening were Max Raptor (9) and anyone that has seen these guys will know exactly what happens when these guys take to the stage. Some belting tracks and a frontman as charismatic as anyone in the business are just the start. The energy in the room takes takes a significant upwards trajectory as soon as these guys start and we start to see why this tour is called the Throwdown Tour. Tracks from 2015 EP Damage Appreciation are well received, but it's the trio of Evangeline, England development Breathes and The King Is Dead that show just how good Max Raptor are. The crowd start moshing and everyone is off everyone is off their feet.
So the first Scuzz Throwdown tour has come and gone and it's fair to say it's been a huge success. Allusondrugs put on a good show overall, but Press To Meco and Max Raptor were a cut above. British music is in good hands with these guys.