Halestorm at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow 24 November 2019

For the second time in a week, we were driving up the M8 in the rain and the dark heading for the SSE Hydro. The difference this time was that I was in the driving seat and it was only Boy Child and I who were heading the venue.

So, who were off to see?

Halestorm!

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve seen these guys. I think this was to be my 10th Halestorm show or thereabouts. However, this was to be the first  time that they headlined the SSE Hydro arena. A far cry from being the support to Shinedown in the O2 Academy a long time ago when I first saw them….

Despite being near the head of the queue we struggled to get a decent spot. (The rail was filled with Halestorm VIPS who had done the whole meet and greet experience) We made the best of the options available and took up a position not a million miles away from where we’d stood to watch Ghost earlier in the week. It turned out to be a dubious choice…. but that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say some VIPs need to learn a little “crowd manners” ……

There were three bands on the bill- all fronted by women. Girls are taking over the mics!

First up were New Year’s Day from Los Angeles, who are fronted by the talented Ash Costello. I’d seen these guys five years ago when they opened for Escape The Fate at The Garage and was keen to see how their sound had matured. They delivered a solid opening eight song set much to the delight of those present. Ash Costello knows how to work a stage and engage a crowd! She is very chatty! Loved their set despite the issues I was having actually seeing the stage. I’d like to see them headline a show in a smaller venue to get a better feel for them but all in all the evening was off to an awesome start!

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As the road crew worked to change the stage round the PA played Bohemian Rhapsody. Cue community singing “Scaramouch…Scaramouch……”

 

Next up were In This Moment, also from LA. The stage was “uniquely” set up with a small fenced in platform and a tent at the back of the stage with In This Moment’s iconic logo mounted above it. Their backdrop was a huge pentagram. I really wasn’t sure what to expect….

Front woman Maria Brink is, shall we say, “eccentric” in her approach. Very dramatic and theatrical. A recent magazine interview with Lzzy hale described Maria Brink as a cross between Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson. I couldn’t have put it better myself!

After an intro of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, In This Moment took to the stage. Shrouded in a sheet, adorned with an ornate halo headdress, Maria Brink appeared on the raised platform being fawned over by two prowling dancers.

What followed was an intriguing forty-minute, eight song set, numerous costume changes and the confirmation that this really was akin to Lady Gaga meets The Pale Emperor himself.

As with New Year’s Day I was experiencing “viewing” issues ( 6’3” over enthusiastic headbanger vs 5’3” wee me wasn’t working out too well). I’d like to see these guys another day, perhaps in a smaller room and without the blight of technical glitches. I suspect their technical difficulties destroyed the flow of an otherwise impressive performance…. bizarre…. very bizarre ….

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At 9.30 pm the lights dimmed for a final time as we waited patiently for Halestorm to take to the stage. The usual Glasgow chant of “Here we, here we, here we f**king go” was ringing out loud and clear.

Appearing centre stage as her boys took up their positions, Lzzy began their eighteen-song, ninety-minute set with the sleazily seductive Do Not Disturb, from their current album, Vicious. Right from the off, it was clear Halestorm were on their A Game. Two of my favourites, Love Bites (So Do I) and Mz Hyde, followed. What a way to open a show!

In her trademark nine-inch heels, Lzzy had the Scottish crowd in the palm of her hand. Glasgow just loves this girl!

As I mentioned earlier, the first time I saw Halestorm they were the support band for Shinedown at the O2 Academy. Over the years I’ve seen them step up a venue size with every headline show. They have played the SSE Hydro before as support to Alter Bridge back in 2013. As Lzzy herself said, it was a dream come true for them to return and headline a show at the SSE Hydro and, as a fan, it was a pleasure to see these guys watch their dream become reality.

A Familiar Taste Of Poison made a return to their set, (I really missed it last time out) closely followed by crowd favourite Amen.

Then it was Arejay’s turn to shine! Who can resist Arejay Hale’s playful drum solo? And as for those “big sticks” …… awesome stuff! Despite the dodgy dress sense, he truly is one of my favourite drummers!

Freak Like Me followed and all of Lzzy’s “freaks” would have happily followed her anywhere.

Chemicals and I Am The Fire rounded out the main body of the set, Halestorm certainly were on fire!

After a few moments off stage, Lzzy returned alone. A keyboard had been wheeled out to centre stage. In the spotlight, behind her piano. Lzzy demonstrated just how incredible that voice really is with a medley of Break In, Dear Daughter and a cover of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You. Absolutely stunning!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuIOsWXE4PQ

Red solo cups in hand, the rest of the band returned to toast the fans with a storming version of Here’s To Us before bringing the show to a climax with She Won’t Mind and I Miss The Misery.

Eargasmically awesome show! Definitely the best performance I have seen them deliver.

Hurry back, folks, I Miss The Halestorm!

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Ghost at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow 18th November 2019

On a chilly, dark November evening Boy Child chauffeured myself, Mr A and a new addition to the group, Master C, through the mania of the M8 rush hour traffic towards Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena.

We arrived slightly later than planned but still safely ahead of the doors opening.

So, who were we braving the biting cold to see?

Ghost!

Boy Child and I have seen them a couple of times but this was to be Mr A and Master C’s first “ritual”.

Luck was on our side and we secured a clear view just one row off the rail. Happy days!

I suspect I may have jinxed us as far as support acts go. During the journey to the venue, I had commented that over the years we’d been really lucky with the calibre of the support acts at shows we’ve attended…….

Personally, I feel quite strongly that if you buy tickets to a show, you go for the whole show. Remember the headliners were once the first support act with the six song/30-minute slot……just an observation.

However, our luck ran out a bit here.

There were two support acts …. let’s just leave that thought there while I adopt my “Thumper Philosophy of Gig Reviews” – “if you can’t say nuffin’ nice, don’t say nuffin’ at all.”

Moving swiftly along.

Gregorian chants rang out over the sizeable crowd, the lights dimmed. In front of us, a plain black curtain shielded the entire stage from view. Gradually, the chanting faded and the haunting instrumental Ashes echoed out before the curtain dropped to reveal the Nameless Ghouls in all their masked glory in a cathedral setting. They opened the set with Rats and as the intro ended, looking resplendent in a scarlet suit, front man Tobias Forge, descended the wide staircase centre stage and instantly had the Scottish fans in the palm of his gloved hand.

Absolution and Faith followed – awesome start to the ritual.

A couple of songs later we were treated to the majestic, soaring instrumental Devil Church but with a Scottish twist as the Nameless Ghouls added a reprise of The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles – if only Cardinal Copia had led the Scottish rock choir in a chorus or two …. maybe next time.

This is perhaps a good moment to mention the current gathering of Nameless Ghouls. There are seven of them on stage this tour and the personalities of the guitar wielding ghouls in particular is shining through. We were treated to a playful and theatrical guitar duel which like several of the instrumentals on the set distracted the fans from the fact that the front man wasn’t on stage. Most of these covered his costume changes as the suit changed from red to white to the cardinal’s robes and finally to a black suit to match the ghouls. But I digress.

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Miasma, another instrumental, was perhaps one of the highlights of this twenty-song set. Who could resist Papa Nihil on sax?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EObe7R-cask

After this, the set took a turn for the heavier/darker side as we heard the mighty From The Pinnacle To The Pit, Ritual, Satan Prayer and Year Zero.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe_BX4ib2jY

The haunting Spoksonat played before Ghost performed my favourite – He Is. I love this song. Simply divine!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZhR1LgCubU

So, from the delicacy of that beautiful ballad, Tobias Forge/Cardinal Copia asked the fans if they were ready for something heavy. “Always” is the response from a Glasgow crowd, along with much chanting of “Here we, here we, here we f**king go” much to Ghost’s amusement. I’m a little disappointed the more mischievous ghouls didn’t join in with a musical accompaniment. Satisfied that the crowd could cope with a “f**king heavy song” next, Ghost played the thunderous Mummy Dust. Awesomeness!

Ghost were really pulling out all the stops. We’d seen flames, CO2 cannons, fireworks and gold confetti littered with “Ghost dollars”.

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I had been minorly concerned about how well their show would transfer to the large arena. The last time Boy Child and I saw Ghost it had been at the late great O2 ABC that only held circa 1000 folk. Moving the show to the SSE Hydro was a marked and bold leap in venue size. My worries were unfounded. Although the show was far from sold out, these Swedish ghouls led by their Cardinal just created a bigger church for us all, albeit that it was lacking in incense and “Body and Blood”.

Everything about this show was slickly done but we’ve come to expect little else from Tobias Forge.

The “pop influenced” Kiss The Go-Goat followed. It was spectacular and well-executed but the jury is still out on this song for me, I’ll confess.

Dance Macabre rounded off the main set.

Having stepped off stage for a moment or two, Ghost returned to end the night with an incredible rendition of Squarehammer.

The ritual was at an end and, covered in coloured confetti, we departed from the venue feeling duly blessed.

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Greta Van Fleet @ O2 Academy, Glasgow 6 November 2019

Several months later than planned, Boy Child and I found ourselves heading to Glasgow on a dark, wet, cold, miserable night in November. No 525 to Glasgow this time- we took the car- but we did enjoy a short ride on the city’s subway. Getting off at Bridge Street, we headed across to the O2 Academy. Both of us were thankful that there was a relatively short O2 priority queue and we were able to shelter from the elements under the scaffolding at the front of the building.

So, who were we standing out in the rain waiting to see? Michigan’s own Greta Van Fleet.

Our patient wait paid off and we were rewarded with a prime rail spot for the evening.

Support for the evening was provided by Yola. This Bristol born Americana/soul queen commands a striking presence on stage. What a voice!!! Awesome! Backed by numerous and varied musicians, Yola steadily won the Scottish crowd over (once they’d recovered from the shock of the opening impression – this fabulous lady was not what anyone expected least of all me) Highlights of her forty minute set were Walk Through Fire, the title track from her current album, and the more mellow countrified It Ain’t Easier. Yola brought a fantastic set to a magnificent end with a cover of Big Yellow Taxi.

Definitely a lady to check out in future. She’s back in Glasgow later this month with a headline show at Oran Mor.

 

https://youtu.be/DrvOgJbqYp0

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As the fans patiently waited, the air of anticipation began to build. Boy Child and I had been among the lucky few to see Greta Van Fleet play an intimate show at St Luke’s in Glasgow about 18 months ago but, for the majority of the capacity crowd, this rescheduled show in the O2 Academy was the first chance they’d had to see these talented young musicians. I was pretty confident that this was one show worth waiting for.

Eventually, after a lengthy wait, around 9.15pm the light dimmed and the clouds of dry ice wafted out over the crowd.

Greta Van Fleet opened their long awaited set with The Cold Wind from their album Anthem of the Peaceful Army. The Glasgow crowd were far from peaceful!

 

https://youtu.be/DrvOgJbqYp0

 

Highway Tune and the mighty Black Smoke Rising, two of my personal favourites from their debut EP From The Fires, followed.

Three songs in, a third of the way through the set, it was clear to see and hear just what a wealth of talent there is in this band. It’s hard to remember that the oldest members of the band are only 23years old. There have been countless comparisons and endless debate about who these boys may or may not be influenced by and I’ll not resurrect that debate here. However, I will add that I felt there were strong influences of Geddy Lee from Rush filtering into the mix. There is no denying that Greta Van Fleet have their hearts in the 1970’s but they have revitalised this iconic period for a stellar 21st Century performance.

Josh Kiszka has an incredible voice – FACT! (I just hope he takes good care of it to ensure longevity here) He might lack a little with regards to repartee with the fans from the stage but I’m sure, as the band continue to grow and play bigger and bigger venues, this will evolve. What he lacks in chat, he more than makes up for in dramatic gestures and poses. Overall there is a hint of “theatrical choreography” to this performance and there’s a hell of a lot of dry ice!

Twin brother, Jake, got to shine during the lengthy guitar solo of Black Flag Exposition. He has so much talent literally at his fingertips.Fortunately, they reeled this one back in just before it began to feel too lengthy.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08d_9gwBq3c

 

Younger brother, bassist, Sam shone all night. He plays an awesome bass and extra brownie points for placing those discarded shoes so neatly together!

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The three brothers somewhat over shadow drummer Danny Wagner and personally I’d like to see him enjoy a few minutes in the spotlight next time out.

By now it was apparent that this show was more than just a gig. This one was something a bit special.

After a mere nine songs- yes a meagre nine songs that included one cover song(The Music Is You – John Denver), Greta Van Fleet closed out their main set with the aptly titled When The Curtain Falls.

Impatiently, the Scottish fans waited for the band to return to the stage, passing the time with the usual “Glasgow chant”.

Greta Van Fleet returned to the stage for a three song encore that started with Flower Power and ended with Safari Song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vU607a0FCU

And like that, after eight months of waiting, it was all over and done with in less than ninety minutes.

Short, very short, but oh so sweet.

Hurry back, boys.

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The Kris Barras Band @ Oran Mor, Glasgow 23/10/19

Last Wednesday evening saw a change in the order of things ….. I was the one chaperoning Mr A to a show. (Don’t deny it – this one was your call) So, in a change to the norm, I was chauffeur driven to Glasgow then we took a short subway ride before enjoying a short, if damp, walk to the venue for the evening.

Literally The Venue at Oran Mor in the city’s West End.

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(credits to the owner via Google)

To give you a brief history lesson- Oran Mor is the former Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church. It was completed in 1876 and served as a parish church until it amalgamated with another parish in 1978. Having closed its doors on it final sermon, the building was converted into a restaurant and music venue and hey presto Oran Mor was born. The Venue is to be found in the former church’s basement.

So, who were we there to see? The Kris Barras Band.

There was only one support act lined up for the evening – Elles Bailey. Hailing from Bristol, Elles is a singer/songwriter with her musical heart soaked in the roots of country/blues/Americana music. In front of a growing crowd, she delivered a brilliant eight song set. Drawing heavily on the track listing of her current album Road I Call Home, Elles swiftly captivated the Scottish crowd. She struck the perfect balance between singing and interacting with the audience in front of her. Elles’s delivery is really quite engaging and easily drew the Scottish audience to her. Some of her songs tell stories and Medicine Man was one such song- definitely the highlight song of her set for me personally. This song was dedicated to her former manager whom she likened to your old style travelling medicine man (charlatan). By the time she reached her final number The Venue was packed and she had every one of them (Mr A included) in the palm of her hand as she closed with The Road I Call Home.

Great set and I could be tempted to check out her headline show on 20 March 2020 in King Tuts. Tickets are sure to sell fast.

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With the PA tape playing John The Revelator from the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack, The Kris Barras Band took to the stage. (Love that song- kind of wish they’d actually played it) Appropriate choice perhaps….

Kris Barras kicked things off with Ignite (Light It Up) from his recently released Light It Up album getting the evening off to an explosive start. Right from the get go these guys had the crowd engaged and kept the energy levels high despite Kris confessing he was feeling under the weather. (Man flu I suspect) His performance didn’t suffer as a result.

Mid-set Kris slowed things down a little with sultry blues number Rain. This track perhaps showed a softer side to the former MMA star and for me was one of the highlight moments of the evening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmanjMdE350

Kris alluded further to his MMA cage fighting past a few songs later as he sang Broken Teeth.

Having seen these guys support Black Stone Cherry a few months back one thing that struck me then and again here was the knack Kris has of knowing when to stop, of knowing when its enough and to turn the tap off on the solos. There are a few far bigger names (I’ll not mention any for fear of offending anyone) who could learn a trick or two from this young man.

I’ve never seen any of footage of his MMA days but Kris Barras is a master at his trade on stage and deserves to be playing to much bigger rooms than The Venue.

Watching Over Me followed Broken Teeth and was perhaps the most poignant moment of the evening as Kris revealed it was the first song he’d written and that it was dedicated to his biggest fan, his late father.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTJrqR4NPjo

I’m sure he’s proudly watching over you, Kris.

The main set was rounded out with my personal favourite (I was beginning to worry that he wasn’t going to play it) – Hail Mary. Love love love that song! – as did several hundred other Scottish fans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0GJQ5AL-CQ

By now it was apparent that Kris wasn’t firing on all cylinders ( you could hear it in his voice) but it didn’t stop him from stepping back up for a two song encore. Proceedings ended with Going Down, a Freddie King cover, and with the vocals delivered by the two talented young ladies who had backed Kris all evening.

All in all, the Kris Barras Band lit up The Venue with an awesome night of music.

Hurry back!

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Volbeat at O2 Academy, Glasgow 24/09/19

A doors open check in the wee small hours of Tuesday morning averted disaster for this outing.

5.30pm! EEK! Cue rapid rearrangement of travel plans for all concerned!

Mr A and I boarded the 3:50 train (not the 5:25 as previously planned) to head towards Glasgow. We rendezvoused with Boy Child in the Central Station. FB Son however was still MIA. (He was in possession of his ticket though and did eventually catch up a couple of hours later in the venue.)

The early doors open time would appear to have caught out more than a few folk judging by the short queue that greeted us at the O2 Academy shortly after 5pm.

So, who had us heading out for the night at such an early hour?

The mighty Danes – Volbeat!

At 6.30, opening act Danko Jones took to the stage in front of a growing crowd. The Canadian trio played their hearts out during their half hour slot but poor sound quality plagued their efforts, detracting from their performance. There is something likeable and engagingly energetic about their front man, Danko Jones. He doesn’t so much wear his heart on his sleeve but in his facial expressions. To paraphrase a Scottish saying, he gives his face a “leathering”.

I’ll give these guys the benefit of the doubt and perhaps check them out again another day when the venue is smaller and the sound clearer.

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Next up were Baroness. There’s no denying that front man John Baizley is an imposing, if somewhat intimidating, sight on stage but like Danko Jones before them, Baroness were scuppered by sound issues. It was impossible to hear the vocals. Baroness’ sludge metal sound isn’t to my taste on a good day so I’ll leave that thought there…….

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Temperatures were rising in the now packed venue as the fans patiently awaited the arrival on stage of headliners Volbeat.

Silently, I prayed that the sound woes for the night were over……

As the lights dimmed and Motorhead’s Born To Raise Hell rang out, I held my breath.

Volbeat opened their set with Cheapside Sloggers, from their current album Rewind, Replay, Rebound, and they sounded sweet. Whew!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFhiMNGFyaQ

One of my personal favourites, Doc Holliday, followed- love that song – and the crowd surfing commenced in earnest.

Glasgow was already showing her love for Volbeat!

For the next ninety some minutes, the band couldn’t put a foot wrong in the eyes of this passionate, lively crowd.

Another firm favourite, Lola Montez, followed a couple of songs further into the twenty-song set and the Glasgow Rock Choir proved it was in fine voice.

(Around this time, I did feel for my Boy Child who currently has a wrecked shoulder. I could see he was itching to get in among the mosh pit but for this evening that was firmly out of bounds to him – sorry, son.)

Up on stage, Volbeat looked relaxed and genuinely happy to be there. Glasgow was only the second stop on the current leg of their tour but they’ve found their groove.

From under his trademark flat cap, Rob Caggiano grinned out at the fans all night. Even the more serious looking Kaspar Boye Larsen was spotted sporting a smile.

Michael Poulsen is a charismatic front man but he seemed a little less “chatty” than on previous occasions. Don’t get me wrong, he still engaged with the fans – perhaps he was saving his voice. He was vocal enough when expressing his love for Johnny Cash before Volbeat played a blinding version of Sad Man’s Tongue. Merely, an observation, but I’d love to hear Michael sing Hurt…. maybe one day…. hint… hint….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtyTVgqsMak

Volbeat’s only guest of the evening joined them for the next song. Danko Jones came out to share the vocal chores on Black Rose much to the delight of the crowd. Awesome stuff!

Black Rose was followed by another song from Volbeat’s latest album. When We Were Kids is as close to a ballad as these guys get. I love ballads but, sorry, guys, this one misses the mark for me. Hundreds of other fans obviously disagree as the audience on the whole loved it.

Volbeat swiftly redeemed themselves in my eyes by moving into Die To Live, also from the latest album, and then the thunderous Slaytan.

And still the crowd surfers came over down the centre, including at one point FB Son! (I’ll have words with him later.)

Volbeat rounded out their main set with four monumental songs- Sorry Sack Of Bones (one of the highlights from Rewind Replay Rebound), fan favourite Seal The Deal, Last Day Under The Sun (another highlight from the current album) and Hallelujah Goat from their 2008 album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood.

Old blood mixed to perfection with the new……but something was missing!

Surely Volbeat weren’t going to let me down and leave this one particular song off the set list?

I needn’t have worried.

Volbeat opened their four-song encore with it! I absolutely love The Devil’s Bleeding Crown and, judging by the reaction it received, so do hundreds of other Scottish Volbeat fans!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THsS5u8_UBg

Glasgow was treated to a premiere performance of Rewind The Exit next, another great song from the current album that will hopefully find a permanent home in the setlist…. hint!

As ever, Michael Poulsen asked for the younger members from the audience to join Volbeat on stage for their final song of the night – Still Counting.

A handful of enthusiastic junior fans joined the band within a few moments. It was heart-warming to see those kids rocking out with Volbeat, creating memories that they will carry with them for days, weeks and years to come.

Awesome show!

Hurry back, Volbeat. Glasgow loves you.

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Massive @ Stereo, Glasgow 21 August 2019

The weather miracle ended… it was pouring as Boy Child and I boarded the 6:24 to Glasgow last Wednesday night.

6:24? Why so late I hear you ask?

Well, the venue for the evening, Stereo, was a hop skip and a jump through the puddles from the station.

A new venue to us both, Stereo is to be found in the basement of Stereo Café Bar in Renfield Lane.

Who were we headed into the bowels of the earth to see?

The mighty Massive from Melbourne, Australia.

As we rounded the corner coming into the narrow, cobbled lane, we met Brad Marr, front man with the band, getting out of their van cum dressing room. Together the three of us headed inside. We lost Brad in the restaurant area as someone called him over to their table.

There were three bands on the bill for the evening and it was reassuring to see this small basement venue steadily filling up.

First on stage were Concrete Kingdoms from Dunfermline (according to their Facebook but from all over Scotland might be more appropriate). The small stage seemed more than a little cramped as this five piece delivered a blistering eight song opening support set. Loved the energy of vocalist Mark Hawthorne who reminded me on more than one occasion of David Draiman. Great engagement with the crowd. Would love to see these guys on a bigger stage with more room to really move around. At times the lack of space seemed to clip their wings. Check them out!

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Next up were The King Lot and this trio had brought their own fanbase with them en masse. Again, this was a new band to me but boy did they make an impression! There was a fabulous chemistry on stage between bass/vocalist Jason sweeny and guitarist Jay Moir. (Jay’s eyebrows may have stolen the show! LOL) One highlight moment during their set was when Jason introduced a song (Sorry, the title escapes me) by advising the audience that it was time to “do the Macarena”. Two young ladies down at the front ably obliged! Kudos to the band who managed to play through their suppressed laughter. Great set!

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One thing that truck me about both support acts was their willingness to talk to the crowd. Too many support acts at far bigger venues than Stereo steer clear of the whole talking to the audience.

I’m never sure if a Massive show is a rock concert or a rock party. Sadly, more than a handful of The King Lot fans bailed before the Aussie boys took to the stage but it was their loss.

Massive played a blinder!

No set list…. just good old RnFnR fun for ninety odd minutes.

More than a little tongue in cheek, Massive came on stage to the strains of “Down Under” by Men At Work. Who remembers that one from 1981? I’m pretty sure none of Massive were born when that was a hit!

Opening their high impact set with Generation Riot from their current album Rebuild Destroy, Massive started in explosive style.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyN0D59MjqA

 

I know I’m biased but I love these guys. Personally, I think they are highly under rated and, three albums in, deserve to be playing to much bigger rooms.

These boys give 100% every night to every aspect of the show…including the beers!

Their set was a balanced mix of songs from all albums (OK maybe less from the “poofy” second album as one of the band described it) but every song is awesome!

Massive soon had the room jumping and what Glasgow may have lacked in numbers they made up for in passion and enthusiasm for the band.

Highlights of the set were Dancefloor and One By One plus Roses, another anthem from the current record.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFPbVfUNLPo

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2KFWi3pWI4

 

 

Both Brad Marr and guitarist Ben Laguda actively engaged with the fans…or they friends?…throughout the show. As on previous occasions, Ben’s Scottish family were in with one cousin making a couple of impromptu visits on stage. All good fun and added to the party vibe.

During a rare lull, Ben began to play and sing “You’re The Voice” by John Farnham. Both he and Brad seemed surprised when the Glasgow crowd sang along to the 1991 Australian classic hit. Boys, Glasgow loves its music and loves to sing!

Bassist Brenton Kewish seemed to be suffering slightly from “mechanical failure”. A bottle of superglue was omnipresent to deal with the situation. I was just relieved to note that he never stuck the injured digit to his bass strings! Heal fast, young man!

Highlight song as always for me was Ghost. From the very first time I heard that song I’ve been in love with it. Judging by the fans’ reaction, it’s everyone else’s favourite too.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYt6Vl6DFGo

 

Brad, I’d love to hear an acoustic version of this someday… HINT for when you return next June.

 

The party… sorry, the set… ended with a riotous rendition of Long Time Coming. Awesome stuff!

Success and stardom have been a Long Time Coming for these guys but they deserve it.

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Hurry back, boys!

 

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Crobot @ G2 Glasgow 22 July 2019

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The weather miracle continues…. on a hot sunny evening Boy Child and I boarded the 525 to Glasgow again chasing musical entertainment for the evening.

On this occasion we were destined for G2, the small  ground floor room at The Garage in the city’s Sauchiehall Street.

We were heading there in search of “beardos” Crobot from Pottsville PA.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a huge soft spot for these guys and have supported them since I was first given their debut EP to review more than five years ago.

I made a promise to Brandon and co then that I would be on the rail every time they came to Glasgow. It’s a promise I’ve kept. (OK I missed them supporting Airbourne in 2016 but only because I was elsewhere).

That first time I saw them in the sadly departed O2 ABC2 on 26 Sept 2014 there were only a handful of people there.

As Boy Child and I waited outside G2 I began to fear the same for the evening ahead. With only a few minutes to “doors open” there was no queue and very few likely suspects hanging about.

My fears proved to be unfounded, despite this show being dropped into the tour less than two weeks ago.

There were four bands on the bill.

First up were a young Glasgow band, Salt River Shakedown. You can’t fault their youthful enthusiasm, particularly when the small crowd looked to be made up largely of friends and family, nor their gratitude at being afforded the honour of opening for Crobot. Perhaps it was nerves…..perhaps it wasn’t……I’ll leave it there.

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Next up were another young band from Glasgow, Black King Cobra. Their beanie wearing frontman was oozing personality. Offering a much heavier set than the opening band, Black King Cobra got the growing crowd engaged and on side during their short set. Definitely a band I’d like to hear more from.

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The third band of the night were Wolf Jaw, formerly known as The Bad Flowers. Hailing form Cannock in the Midlands, this trio swiftly made themselves at home on the small stage and had the crowd on side. If their support set suffered from anything, it was the presence of the pillar on the stage. Front man, Tom Leighton, restricted himself largely to the one side of the stage, rarely venturing past the pillar. Personally, I’d have like to see him make better use of the whole space. That said, these guys delivered a solid set. Their debut album starting Gun is out now so do yourself a favour and check them out.

Finally, it was time for the mighty Crobot!

The opened their high energy twelve song set with Legend Of The Spaceborne Killer. The line up may have been revised since their last visit but the groove was there from the off with a renewed passion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB3ctH6tW5Y

 

There’s no frills to these boys – just good old-fashioned, raw talent and passion from their swampy fuzz-laden unique sound and a lot of gyrations from slender frontman Brandon Yeagley.

Skull Of Geronimo, again from their debut album followed then the we were treated to the first track of the night from their forthcoming new album, Motherbrain, Keep Me Down. Nothing was keeping these guys down…literally!

My favourite Crobot song followed -La Mano de Lucifer, again from Something Supernatural. I know I am somewhat biased here but this song to me is Brandon at his finest. Love it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7nLg_Mlh_c

 

Plague Of Mammoths from their second album, Welcome To Fat City, was a real crowd pleaser. How the rest of the band held it together while Brandon stomped around the stage acting like a mammoth is beyond me. Brilliant

I suspect the low ceiling restricted stage space and aforementioned pillar curtailed the band’s energetic delivery somewhat. However, Chris Bishop still managed his impressive guitar swinging trick without decapitating anyone and the pillar was given some close personal attention by Mr Yeagley. (Yes, Brandon, we saw you hitch your pants back up after “embracing” said pillar!)

During the set we were treated to two more songs from the forthcoming album- Burn and the awesome Alpha Dawg. Having heard these live I now cannot wait for Motherbrain to drop next month.

I still have a preference for the older stuff and loved Wizards, The Necromance and Queen Of The Light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xByMxOh7u0

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTbByTKXrDk

 

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end. All too soon Crobot were closing the show with Nowhere To Hide – not even behind the pillar!

Despite it being over three years since Crobot last rode into town, Glasgow showed that we love these crazy “beardos”.

Hurry back, boys. Sleazy’s is buying in more Buckfast in anticipation!

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