Aberdreams, schemes and young teams – Live Review by Kimbo Forsyth – Shambolics, Monza Express, General Winston

It’s been a long time coming to walk back through the doors at Cafe Drummond and I have never had to queue before to get in,  the place was packed out before the first support act  had even got onto the stage , a sight I’ve never seen before but what a delight to know people had turned up early to make sure they heard all of the support before The Shams made their welcome return..

This is the 2nd time I’ve seen Shambolics here with my bro Michael , back in 2019 and here again for the 2nd night of their sold out Scottish tour and if it’s dreamy rock n roll we were after on a cold autumn night in Aberdeen,  then that’s exactly what we got, they were amazing before but if it’s possible,  they’ve got even tighter as a band and with a new addition of Scott on the keys, they blew us away.

We got in and found the Monza Express lads before General Winston took to the stage, I spied Phil Carlietta in the crowd and thought to myself  this is some amount of Scottish talent all in one place.. I had been delighted to see more love and awareness of The Shambolics over the lockdown having seen them before the world went mad and no doubt their incredible covers pulled in the followers and having recently watched their polished TRNSMT set as well, I was expecting it to go off and that it did.. a sold-out Drummonds, even had a barrier up at the stage cause us Aberdeen lot know how to cause a riot.

We didn’t just come here for the Shams though as being pals with the Monza Express lads, we were absolutely delighted seeing them on the bill and knew they had been jamming over this last wee while and would be eager to get up there and all the emotions of being back together ” In the City ” after such a long time. There is no denying they were a little nervous, both Fraser and Deco said that when we arrived but don’t know if that was because it’s been a long time in lockdown or was it because the first band General Winston were putting on such a show and had a crowd of supporters with them screaming their names.

Deco, old hometown pal to me and drummer of Monza at this point said Kimbo ..their drummer is almost too clever ,  we could all hear the screams of their fans down the front and he said you will have to start singing  a chorus of give me a D give me an E give me a C and an O Before we got to Monza and their catchy vibes ,  General Winston were already owning the stage

Describing themselves as an Aberdeen band that make a racket. having only found two songs of theirs on Bandcamp I wasn’t sure what to expect but with their garage rock feel they were having the best time and had their crowd singing along with them and one song that got my attention..I survived My First Apocalypse, expertly named  and even more expertly executed as they shouted out , How’s it Going Aberf**indeen , their confidence and stage presence for a debut gig was soaring and the drum solos absolutely banging to a chorus of teenage girls screaming back at them…  a band to definitely look out for …

The Monza lads quite rightly thanked G Winston for their efforts before kicking off their set with Lady Belle, treating us to some familiar tunes but with a couple of new ones thrown in of which the last one I hope they are recording soon. They had well settled in comfortably back on the stage after the first few tunes and we were treated to some impressive guitar riffs and punchy beats and those Beatle-esque tones,  It wasn’t long before we were all joining in with Crying on the Radio , a track with its lyrical sadness, melancholic vocals but  so catchy you just can’t help to sing along still gets me that broke my heart in two every time I hear it.. it will always be something special, that it was It was lovely to see some dedicated fans in their Monza merchandise and choruses of the jangly In the Sunshine being sang back to them down the front ,  a nod to their  guitarist Shaun who having had a knee operation in recent weeks managed well to stay standing and belt out a number of riffs layering beautifully with Fraser while he belted out the classics , they were finding their stride and the final song..Can’t Figure You Out was my favourite of the night,  the crowd was loving the beat and the epic drum fills from Deco who was sweating at the back cause the fan had been placed beside Kris on keys.

It was then 10pm already and Shambolics made their entrance. What ye saying Aberdeen, no stage is big enough for these lads,  they are and were phenomenal from start to finish, the melodies absolutely spot on, Jake on the drums I’ve never seen the like , performance tight and the crowd making out we’re at a festival with people up on other people’s shoulders at one stage as they belt out Chasing A Disaster and the roof almost came off ..  Sharp as a Razor indeed. An absolute triumph to hear live and when they threw in some covers including Better off Alone and some Fleetwood Mac, the place was absolutely bouncing but before we knew it When She Goes Home was the last song of the night there was a full roar of applause and appreciation for the Fife Rockers… and everyone mouthing the words Incredible…

A wonderful night of rock n roll, three bands you definitely haven’t heard the last of and it was bloody lovely to walk the familiar Belmont Street and see live music back to the Granite City. Well done lads


Peace N Love



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