The Masters Of The Riff, Ten Ton Tabby were making their 3rd visit to The Admiral Drake in Portsmouth, and the crowd were treated to an awesome extended set from them.
As the first band of the evening had to cancel at the last minute due to illness, it was left to Ten Ton Tabby to fill the evening with an entire set of their music, not that anyone seemed to be complaining about that in the slightest. Opening the set with ‘9-5’, the heavy guitars sounded immense in the small venue, as the bass and drums pounded the room, before the excellent vocals of singer Tom complimented the heaviness of this monster track. The next track was ‘Addictions’ which according to Tom was all about erm addictions, as the harmonies on the track blended well, and with guitarist Quiny and Tom playing back to back through the massive sounding guitars, the band were getting into the gig as much as the crowd were. ‘Ride On To Me’ was next with its major sounding riffs that played through the entire track and Ten Ton Tabby were sounding on top form. Introducing a new song with a working title ‘Lowlight Loving’, this started with a lone guitar before the rest of the band crashed into the song with their trademark heavy sound, and although slower than some of their other tracks, it was still a massive sounding song, with the 5 string bass of Ian sounding filthy on the track, before the drums from Aaron kicked in with a powerful beat. With Tom telling the crowd “we are just going to play as long as possible” due to the other band “wimping out,” which was said tongue in cheek, it was then on to an older song ‘Voice Of The Free’ which was an odyssey of massive guitar riffs behind powerful vocals. Tom apparently is not so keen on that song, although you wouldn’t have known from how brilliant it sounded. Asking the crowd if they should take a break, to which there were cries of “carry on” and with the band deciding if they stopped playing now, “they may never start again”, it was on to ‘Modern Living Lie’, but not before Tom had told the audience Aaron was once interviewed about this song, and never get a drummer to do an interview was the consensus from the rest of the band. Aaron may not be the best at interviews but he certainly is the best at drumming, as the massive sounding drums thumped around the room and the guitars kicked in to an immense sounding beat. With a mini celebration as they hadn’t played the song for over 2 years, it was more of their excellent sound as they launched into ‘Bar Brawl’ that was fast-paced high-octane guitars with another impressive guitar solo, and after an hour of playing at a frenetic pace, it was time for a much deserved small break for the band.
And so it was onto a massive encore, which would be an entire set for some bands, as Ten Ton Tabby picked up their instruments and started with another new song ‘Your Life Or Your Money’ which had a slower stoner-influenced sound to it but was still full of those epic sounding guitars and vocals, before playing the popular ‘Stone By Stone’ which sounded positively massive in the venue. Then it was on to a Black Sabbath cover ‘N.I.B’ which had the crowd singing along to the chorus before ending the song with some killer riffs. With the crowd still shouting for more despite the band having played an extensive set already, it was left to the official last song of the night, a Budgie cover of ‘Breadfan’ which saw the band throw everything they had at it in a crescendo of sound, and ended what had been a fantastic extended set from them.
The band always put on an excellent performance but tonight was just that extra bit special, and the crowd had thoroughly enjoyed what had been a truly mammoth set from Ten Ton Tabby.