Anyone who mentions how Cambridgeshire hard-rock quintet The Treatment are playing a genre of music which seems to have fizzled out in recent years certainly isn’t saying anything original. The notion itself riles the band, as vocalist Matt Jones expresses midway through the band’s set in a mini-tirade against the voices that argue for rock’s death in the wake of the current electronic insurgence. The band’s tours with the likes of Slash, Mötley Crüe and Kiss, alongside the majority of their audience at EVAC this Sunday, reflects that perhaps classic rock is somewhat out of favour right now. Where The Treatment however prove an exception is that they are not only a relevant band but an important one in modern music, with their show in EVAC’s loft reflecting the emphatic marriage of passion and performance the band possess.
The two support acts however both reflected something very different, but nonetheless supremely enjoyable. Aussie boys Massive are especially worthy of note as being as close as I’m likely ever to get to a Jack Black gig. Tight as a band and sprouting off endless chugging riffs and bass lines, they came complete with guitar-held-aloft guitar solos and feverously passionate sweating and shaking from their vocalist/guitarist Brad Marr. They also performed what was arguably my favourite part of the night, when Marr, again, leaning right up against the crowd, held a beer aloft in one hand to much applause. Holy Grail eat your heart out. Buffalo Summer were a more refined outfit, in that the passion was still there, it’s just the beer was replaced with sass. Lead man Andrew Hunt slunk across the stage while the band around him chucked out riff after riff after riff. It was a real performance, and, most importantly, exactly the sort you don’t get outside of rock ‘n’ roll.
If we are to talk about the openers putting on performances however, then our headline act out on an entire tour’s worth of dramatics and over-the-top antics. Intense from the word go, The Treatment had a seemingly endless supply line of faces to pull and ways to shake their body, all in the name of entertainment. Vocalist Matt Jones was fully clad in leather jacket, vest top, gloves and even sunglasses (the gloves eventually came off, the shades didn’t). As the band tore through newer tracks from their most recent record Running With The Dogs as well as older ones, such as crowd favourite ‘’Shake The Mountain,’’ Jones and co. gave the crowd an evening of stage theatrics which bordered on the ridiculous. One particular example of this occurred when Jones decided he wanted to spray the audience with beer, before having to wait a couple of minutes until he was brought one, remaining resolute despite the delay.
It’s rare to witness a band who encompass a style of music as naturally and as playfully as The Treatment do, and this is why, despite the general lack of attention given to their genre, they are able to draw a crowd and an increasing amount of attention. Their gig on Sunday reflected the desire with which they clearly approach their art, and all I have to say is: good luck to them.