Clutch @Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas



The world turns off, and there is only music. Not that there’s ever such a thing as only music, but you get the meaning. It’s that rare moment when there is no internal dialogue. There are no worries, no pain or heartache, not a care in the world… only music.  

Even in the best times, with the best bands, such moments are rare, sometimes just a song or two before the world creeps back in, and you may only notice once that moment has gone. These past few years we have needed those moments more than ever and they have been all but nonexistent. Indeed, tonight’s show was first scheduled for 2020, and then again for 2021; it’s been a long time coming.  

But Clutch are not like others. Indeed, there is evidence enough to suggest that they are the greatest living rock n roll band, so from the moment they hit the stage with the title track of the brilliant Earth Rockers album, it is pretty much all one moment, and all the better for not knowing what’s coming next. Although, for the record, it’s Passive Restraints from way back in 1992, followed by The Mob Goes Wild. Which they do.  

That’s not to say, of course, that there aren’t favourites, and notable absences – no Cyborg Bette or Unto The Breach, no Burning Beard or Electric Worry – in fact, nothing at all from some albums. But, hey, with twelve studio albums and numerous singles and rarities to choose from we’d be here all night if they played all of them. Not that anyone would mind. The point is that Clutch don’t have any bad songs. If there is a lull at all, it’s because we’re not yet familiar with the one new tune, Boss Metal Zone, but even then, the world is a long way away, eclipsed once more by Escape From The Prison Planet and the mighty Spacegrass.  

So, yeah, there’s only music. And it doesn’t get any better. Cherish it.  

Having written for Kerrang! magazine since 1989, I started shooting for them, pretty much by accident, in the early 90’s when all their photographers refused to go on tour with my favourite punk band Poison Idea. With pretensions of being as good as Mark Leialoha and taller than Ross Halfin, I shot everyone from Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer and Slipknot to The Prodigy and was published all around the world (full-ish list in the ‘published in’ section) before stumbling into fetish and pin up photography in 2006 when I married Masuimi Max. I quit Kerrang! in 2008 and now shoot the rock stuff for Metal Hammer and Terrorizer.