Given the combined decades of experience from Cambridge’s perennial road warriors The Treatment and Boston, Mass five-piece Rubikon, it’s fair to say that chances are neither act will have experienced a tour quite like this one. Performing as part of a triple bill that features Buckcherry in the headliner position, both acts have had many obstacles placed in their way, and at extremely short notice. Buckcherry vocalist Josh Todd is battling a chest infection serious enough to force multiple cancellations on a tour scheduled to run through to February 16th with dates in the UK and Europe, and some of the shows have been cancelled only a few hours before doors were set to open.
Tonight’s gig in Glasgow was called off mid-afternoon, and immediately the hope was that The Treatment would be able to repeat what happened with the cancelled date in Nottingham and play a headline show of their own in a smaller venue. And to their great credit, the guys were able to work their magic again at such short notice and word went out on social media that they would play a free set in the basement at Nice N Sleazy in the city centre, and this time the tour opening act, Rubikon, would also perform.
With a vast wealth of experience, the self-described “…Greatest (Opening) Band of All Time” have been gearing up for these dates for some time. Led by Jae Sims on vocals (is the manic guy onstage really the same mild-mannered individual that was just at the merch desk 15 minutes beforehand?) Rubikon are difficult to pigeonhole, and it’s easier to say that they are a rock band that might just fuck with your head when it comes to comparison’s sake.
They play with a level of intensity that hints at an Audioslave/Soundgarden influence here and there – set opener ‘Chickfight’ in particular has that fantastic mix of energetic rock music, and big-ass basslines, as does ‘Live That Lie’. Fleshing the set out with killer versions of Stone Temple Pilot’s ‘Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart’ and Living Colour’s ‘Love Rears Its Ugly Head’, the band ends on the rather excellent new single ‘Lose It All’ which sounds way beefier in a live setting than it does in the studio. While it would have been a different proposition altogether to catch them on a larger stage with full production, Rubikon makes an impression so strong that immediately after their set there is a queue at the merch desk with punters eager to part with their cash. Connect with Rubikon here.
“We travelled too far, and we sat in that car for too long to drive back again and we know that you did the same which is why we are fucking here!” – pearls of wisdom from The Treatment vocalist Tom Rampton, and if ever there was a band to grab this opportunity to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat, then it would be The Treatment. Fucking hell, they were born to be onstage and it’s fitting that after the walk-on music of ‘Highway To Hell’ they batter into ‘Runaway Train’ because that is what they sound like.
Performing like it was their last night on earth, The Treatment are one of those acts that no one would want to follow. You go on after The Treatment then you better up your game because you will just look pedestrian by comparison if you don’t. Even when they slow it down a gear or two on the new single ‘Back to the 1970’s’ they still play with such a confident swagger that leaves many other acts in their wake. Powered forward by the immense Dhani Mansworth on drums (ably supported in the engine room by Andy Milburn on bass), The Treatment are a blur of activity even on such a small stage (essentially a raised corner in a basement bar) with both guitarists – the Grey brothers Tagore and Tao – constantly swapping sides working the crowd. Rampton joined the band in 2017 and to be honest, he looks and performs like he has been there since day one. A fantastic frontman, he expertly coaxes participation out of everyone in the audience and refuses to take no for an answer, going as far as pointing to anyone not bouncing on ‘Let’s Get Dirty’ and coaxing them into some exercise, well, it is leg-day after all.
Instead of a 50-minute supporting set, the audience squeezed into Sleazy’s (as it is affectionately known) is treated to 80-plus minutes of what The Treatment does best: melting faces with their infectious brand of ‘DC-inspired rock and roll. With such a strong back catalogue to call on, the five-piece are having fun rolling through the albums, as well as having fun struggling to decipher what songs punters are shouting for. ‘Wrong Way’ is still one of the strongest songs that they have written, as is the party anthem from earlier in their career ‘Get The Party On’. ‘Running With The Dogs’ always hits the spot, as does the energy of ‘Shake The Mountain’ and the good-time in-it-all-together AC/DC feel of ‘Hang Them High’ (belting solo from Tagore on this one).
The Treatment could have taken the night off and binged on Netflix, instead, they chose to make some calls and see where they could put on a show at short notice. Not many bands would have made that effort to put on a free gig in a basement when they should have been playing to a sold-out crowd in a venue upgraded from the original due to demand. So when they say that we are all in this together, and thank the audience for coming out and being “…committed to us, and committed to rock and roll…”, then they mean it. With a new album on the way, as well as a headlining tour, The Treatment needs to keep this momentum going because now that they have built up a head of steam, they are untouchable.
This tour runs in the UK until February 9th in Southampton, keep an eye on The Treatment’s socials for any further developments. Connect with The Treatment here.
All live images were captured during 2023 by Celtography.