Home Gigs Gig Review : The Treatment with Piston and South of Salem: Queens Hall, Nuneaton. 29th April 2022.

Gig Review : The Treatment with Piston and South of Salem: Queens Hall, Nuneaton. 29th April 2022.

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Review by Pete Finn for MPM

Tonight, sees the first outing together in over a fortnight for MPM Tog Manny and myself. I’ve had an Easter Shutdown to work through followed by a few days away at my Nephew’s Wedding.

I only left Manny unsupervised for a few days and in that time, he’s bought a new car, the Jeep with it’s umbilical to a petrol pump has been replaced by a far more efficient BMW. So, this evening’s trip across the Warwickshire border to Nuneaton and The Queens Hall will give me a chance to try out the Guinness can holder.

Appearing tonight at this 300+ capacity venue, just five minutes from Nuneaton town center we have The Treatment, supported by Piston and South of Salem. A great trio of bands looking to blow the roof off with their Classic Hard Rock. I’m looking forward to this.

After a pint downstairs in The Crew, the memorabilia decorated bar is part of the venue and has a great pre-gig buzz about it, we make our way up to the main hall. Stood high up in one corner looking down over us is Lara Croft. There’s a guy in front of me wearing a T-shirt that has “Small Venue, Massive Attitude” printed on the back, very suitable attire. Before the start of the show, the bands are out mingling in the crowd and at their merch stands.

Opening the show tonight are South of Salem. Formed in 2018 in Bournemouth, after meeting each other through the local live music scene. All fed up with their respective musical projects they decided to form South of Salem.

They define themselves as an “80s inspired hard rock band, using modern metal production. The horror element mixed in with that has created something special and unique.” They list their influences as Motley Crue, Guns ‘n’ Roses, A7X, Metallica, Alice In Chains and Rob Zombie to name a few. They released their debut album ‘The Sinner Takes It All’ in 2020. The line-up is made up of Joey Draper (vocals), Fish (guitar), Kodi Kasper (guitar), Dee (bass) and Pip (drums).

A few minutes before their allotted start time the band appear on stage, the stage is covered in smoke, I can just make out singer Joey, he’s sporting a wide brimmed fedora style hat. Fish is wearing Aviator sunglasses and a Piston T-shirt. South of Salem start their show with ‘Let Us Prey’ which is also the first track on ‘The Sinner Takes It All’.

Quick riffs and vocals immediately set the tempo for the evening, the rhythm section of Pip and Dee are already delivering body punches with the powerful beat. Draper’s fast chanting vocals emphasizing the pace. All the guitars line up stood on the riser as the crowd give a huge cheers. A great start.

“This is our first time in Nuneaton” states Draper, and then it’s straight into ‘The Hate in Me’, it’s a bit slower, Draper calls for the crowd to start jumping, the full riffs from Kodi and Fish blend well with Pip as he smashes the kit. Draper’s vocal is alternating with the beat. We get double solos from Fish and Kodi.

A smiling Draper tells the crowd that they’ve got a lot of energy, then asks us to sing for him, we do a few woahs before the song starts. The spoken intro from ‘Made to Be Mine’ is accompanied by a pulsating drum beat and short riff.

The room is split mid-song for a singing competition between the two halves. The track continues, it’s a more melodic number, radio friendly, complete with harmonies it’s a great demonstration of musical and song writing ability. It’s been fun. It’s getting hot on-stage Pip has removed his T-shirt.

Joey tells us this next song was written during the first Lockdown, sadly they lost three friends to suicide, this song was written to raise awareness and to support the charity Mind. We have ‘Demons Are Forever’, a slow and moody start, Draper’s vocal reminds me of Chester Bennington, the tempo and style changes are reminiscent of Linkin Park. A Kodi solo adds to the vibe of the song. Joey finishes the song with his arm and finger pointing skywards, a tribute to lost friends. A powerful and emotional song. It was very good.

The fans in the crowd, and that number is growing after each song, recognise the intro and start singing the words to ‘No Plague Like Home’. It’s a lot faster, almost a punk sound, quick lyrics and shouting chorus. The bass of Dee as he is charging round the stage is sending tremors through the floor. Pip’s quick-fire drums propel us along, there’s a screaming solo from Kodi.

Joey calls for a ‘Scream Off’ between the men and women in the audience, the ladies are declared the winners. It’s ‘Pretty Little Nightmare’ next, the band get the crowd clapping, slower a ballad in comparison to the previous tracks, the tempo builds steadily as the track develops, we’re invited to join in with the ‘Woahs’, Kodi is back on the riser for his solo, more clapping is encouraged, Dee and Pip increase the pace. This was very well received.

Joey asks the crowd to buy some merch “To help us get home”. ‘Cold Day in Hell’ is the final track from South of Salem, a lot of the crowd know this one. Fish still in Aviators is on the riser, his intro brings the track in. Punchy riffs and a quick beat, Draper is sharing the vocals with the crowd. It’s Fish’s turn to let rip with the solo. At the climax all the guitarists are lined up on the riser headbanging.

A great way to finish a great set. If you are given the opportunity to see South of Salem, they are well worth the effort. They are appearing at several festivals over the summer, concluding with Rockin’ The Bowl in September.

Setlist: Let Us Prey, The Hate in Me, Made to Be Mine, Demons Are Forever, No Plague Like Home, Pretty Little Nightmare, Cold Day in Hell.

After the. hard work of both crews and bands a quick 15-minute changeover brings Piston onto the stage. Formed in Cannock around 2017, Piston are Rob Angelico (vocals), Jack Edwards (guitar), Luke Allatt (guitar), Stuart Egan (bass) and Brad Newlands (drums). 2019 saw the release of their self-titled debut album, and in May 2021 they released a live E.P. ‘Live…If You Dare’. On the road, they have toured with some of the ‘Big Boys’ including Slash, The Cult, Phil Campbell and Glenn Hughes.

The ‘Walk on’ track is a clever mash of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘War Pigs’, the band walk out, shortly followed by Rob Angelico. First out of their bag of delights is a good jam style intro as a prelude. Then Newlands is off his stool counting us in to ‘Rainmaker’, this is a beat driven track, Egan’s bass is vibrating the room.

Angelico who is also wearing a hat encourages us to clap along. Those not clapping are punching the air in time, whilst clutching their beers. Jack Edwards is on the drum riser as his guitar introduces itself to our ears. That opening track went down very well.

Angelico takes off his jacket and reveals a South of Salem top. It’s ‘Into The Night’, a slower number, Angelico is cupping his mic as he rocks back and forth as he belts out the lyrics. Jake Edwards’ solo is enough to get Brad Newlands up behind his kit clapping.

Jack Edwards is centre stage, his guitar pointing at the ceiling as he starts the intro for ‘Leave If You Dare’ a heavy almost dirty sleazy LA sound. Watching the way Newlands pounds his kit makes you wonder if he’s part octopus.

A neat lead break from Edwards, Angelico is singing with emotion, tilting his mic stand back towards him. Allatt’s screeching solo takes us to the end of the track.

Angelico says the next track is as close to a ballad as Piston get, ‘Carry Us Home’ sees some of the band leave the stage, leaving Angelico and Edwards to play the first verse together, a bluesy sounding track. The others return and join in and fill the room with sound. The final few lines see Angelico and Edwards finish the track together. Allatt is applauding the crowd. That was a pretty awesome song.

Next, we have a new song. The drum beat of Newlands and the jangly guitar of Allatt starts ‘Shangri-La’, a lot steadier pace. Angelico’s vocal is the stand-out feature. Allatt is leaning forward over the front row for the solo. Angelico leaps off the drum riser (I hope Manny managed to get that).

Angelico tells the gathered crowd to give themselves a round of applause, and thanks them for coming out and supporting live music. It’s ‘One More Day’, Brad Newlands drum-roll gets us moving, Egan’s pounding bass adds great support, and big guitar riffs keep the momentum building until Jack Edwards is let loose with his solo, he’s crouching over the front row headbanging.

Piston close their set tonight with ‘Proud Mary’, the 1968 track recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Brad Newlands is stood on his bass drum conducting everyone, Angelico asks if we’re warmed up yet. It’s a really heavy version, the crowd know when to come in with their “Rolling” line. Angelico is dancing like Jake and Elwood Blues. There is a big classic rock finish, Piston have created a brilliant atmosphere.

I saw Piston a few years ago, I enjoyed them then and I’ve really enjoyed them again tonight. They have a few more dates listed this summer including a date with Thunder at the end of May.

Setlist: Rainmaker, Into The Night, Leave If You Dare, Carry Us Home, Shangri-La, One More Day, Proud Mary.

The Treatment are a hard rock band, which was formed in Cambridge during 2008. Previously, the band members had played together under the band name, ‘God Sacks Man’. The current line-up has been together since 2020 when Bassist Andy Milburn joined, the rest of the members are Tagore Grey (guitar/backing vocals), Dhani Mansworth (drums), Tao Grey (guitar/backing vocals) and Tom Rampton (vocals). The Treatment have toured with some renowned acts including KISS, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper, they’ve also appeared at major festivals in the UK and abroad including Download, Ozzfest and Hellfest. They have recorded five studio albums, the first ‘This Might Hurt’ in 2011 and the most recent ‘Waiting for Good Luck’ released last year and the one they are promoting on this ‘Devil In The Detail’ tour.

The Treatment walk out to a loud reception which they acknowledge with smiles and waves, then pause turning round with their backs to the audience, before launching straight into ‘Let’s Get Dirty’ the opening track from their 2019 album ‘Power Crazy’.

This gets the crowd bouncing from the off, this is good old fashioned classic rock. The Grey brothers on backing vocals add great support to Rampton’s lyrics. Mansworth and Milburn’s pounding beats are shaking the floor as Tao introduces himself with a smart solo. Rampton is punching the air. They’ve reeled in The Queens Hall crowd already.

Next, it’s ‘Let It Begin’ taken from ‘Generation Me’ released in 2016. Drums and quick riffs fires the track off, the headbangers have started, the pace is blistering. The drums and bass are generating a great atmosphere, you can feel your trousers shaking. Tao and Tagore are criss-crossing the stage, exchanging riffs as they pass each other. Milburn is leaning forward his hair hiding his bass guitar. This is genuine heavy Rock ‘n’ Roll.

It’s a track from the new album ‘Waiting For Good Luck’ next, and it’s ‘Eyes on You’. This is a bit slower and heavier; Andy Milburn’s bass is stomping on your rib-cage. The lead break from Tag has him leaning back and his guitar pointing skywards. His brother Tao has his foot up on the monitor as he sings along. This one is going down well.

Rampton tells us it’s been four years since they last played in Nuneaton, we keep with the 2021 album for ‘Devil in the Detail’, this was released as a single, and after hearing it I was looking forward to experiencing it live.

Rampton’s voice suits the driving rhythm, the punchy riffs then the tempo changes build a track full of character, this has all the elements of a true rock song. Rampton demonstrates great vocal ability as he holds the note. It was worth the wait, it didn’t disappoint, and judging the crowd’s reaction they weren’t disappointed either. It’s nice to see both Piston and South of Salem watching too.

We go back in time to the first album ‘This Might Hurt’ from 2011 for ‘The Doctor’. The crowd approve with the choice, obviously a favourite. Dirty riffs and crashing drums. The Grey brothers are on backing vocals again, assisted by the majority of the crowd. Rampton is snarling at the crowd as Tagore fires into his solo, the audience are now either headbanging or punching the air. This is great entertainment.

‘On the Money’ is taken from ‘Power Crazy’ which was Rampton’s first album with the band. Rampton encourages the clapping from the start, this has a high tempo blues feel about it. Tag is on the riser for his solo. The sounds build to a huge crash finish. This was a bit of a different sound, a very popular track, the end sees the crowd chanting “Treatment, Treatment”.

Rampton asks “Do you guys bleed Rock ‘n’ Roll?”, the stage lighting turns blood red, there’s massive wash through the P.A. Rampton punches his heart. ‘I Bleed Rock + Roll’ is the first track tonight from the 2014 album ‘Running With The Dogs’. This is balls out classic rock, there’s elements of AC/DC, UFO, and Def Leppard throughout. The perfect recipe for a rock ‘n’ roll cocktail. Another very popular track. Manny leans in and shouts “These guys are really Rocking it tonight”, he gets a ‘Thumbs Up’ reply in agreement.

“Are you ready to sing?” of course we are, we sing back to Rampton copying his ‘Woahs’, then we’re back to the 2019 ‘Power Crazy’ release for ‘Bite Back’, an AC/DC style track, complete with the short rolling riff and backing vocal.

The Queens Hall crowd are tasked with singing the chorus. The pounding rhythms from Mansworth and Milburn are immense. Toa is on the monitor for his solo, the crowd are bouncing.

“We’re 15-dates in to an 18-date tour without any breaks, we’re shattered but crowds like you make it easy” Rampton tells us. ‘Wrong Way’ a softer track from ‘Waiting For Good Luck’ is next. Rampton’s clear lyrics are prominent, the band supportive and considerate filling the room with sounds, making sure we can still hear the story. Tagore is leaning back, guitar held high as he plays out his solo. Rampton closes out the track with a huge scream.

‘Luck of the Draw’ again from ‘Power Crazy’ a sleazy and slow track with powerful beats, Rampton is narrating the lyrics. Moody and atmospheric. Rampton wants the clapping to start, Tagore continues the feel of the track with a slow and dirty solo.

Rampton has swagger as he entices the crowd to sway their arms. Milburn has his bass working hard as the track finishes.

Now we return to 2014 and ‘Get the Party On’ from ‘Running With The Dogs’ back to the quicker tempo, the fists are pumping. Tao and Tagore are centre stage exchanging lead breaks. It’s then our turn to exercise our vocal cords as Rampton orchestrates a sing-back. Tagore Grey plays his solo to a background of our clapping. Rampton the Ring Master has everyone performing. Tagore is off the stage and in the crowd playing. we’re asked to crouch down and jump up when told to. We finish the track bouncing and jumping. There’s certainly a Party in here tonight.

The final song of the set comes from ‘This Might Hurt’ with ‘Shake the Mountain’, a great song to close with, all energy. We shout “Hey, Hey” punching the air in time with Mansworth’s beats. The show finishes with everyone on the drum riser.

The Nuneaton crowd show their appreciation, cheers and whistles. The band leave the stage smiling, waving and applauding.

It’s not long before they’re back, to more cheering and applauding. They start ‘Rat Race’ from ‘Waiting For Good Luck’. Drums and cymbals launch the track, Tao has his foot on the monitor as he rips through his solo. Rampton wants to see more jumping.

“Have you got any energy left, can we do one more?” asks Rampton. The cheers confirm in the affirmative. The final track from what’s been a superb set by The Treatment is the title track from the 2014 album ‘Running With The Dogs’. Everyone in the room is jumping, bouncing and singing. It’s been brilliant.

Setlist: Let’s Get Dirty, Let It Begin, Eyes on You, Devil in the Detail, The Doctor, On the Money, I Bleed Rock + Roll, Bite Back, Wrong Way, Luck of the Draw, Get the Party On, Shake the Mountain, Rat Race, Running With The Dogs.

Tonight, I was looking forward to this show, I wasn’t disappointed, the bands were awesome. The sound in The Queens Hall was brilliant I must also credit the crowd who came out and not only created a fabulous atmosphere, but supported both the venue and the bands. This support will keep the bands on the road, enabling fabulous nights like this to happen at venues near you.

Photography by Manny Manson for MPM

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