On a wet and windy Saturday evening, I boarded the 525 to Glasgow with my accomplice for the evening. For only the second time, I was accompanied by Mr A and, compared to our last outing around about this time last year, he didn’t appear to be scared….hee hee.
Despite the stormy weather, we were heading to Glasgow for a double first for my chaperone- his first visit to the city’s O2 Academy and his first opportunity to see Blackberry Smoke play live.
The Weather Gods took pity on us and we didn’t get completely drenched as we walked down to the venue. The Construction Gods then shone on us as we were able to queue under the plank staging of the scaffolding outside the venue. Happy days indeed!
There was only one support act on the bill for the evening – Quaker City Night Hawks. However, security were a little slow in getting folk inside and the support band were very prompt on stage. The end result was that by the time Mr A and I took up our rail positions, the QCNH were out on stage and halfway through their first number. Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, this quartet played a solid forty-five minute set of blues based Southern rock. The rapidly growing crowd around us were certainly enjoying the ten song set. These guys were a new band to my ears but highlights for me were Rattlesnake Boogie, Mockingbird and their set closer Fox In The Hole.
If I was to offer up one piece of constructive criticism here, for my personal taste, they were a little too laid back. I’d have preferred some more lively numbers in the set to really get the fans buoyed up for the headliners. That said, I enjoyed QCNH and will be checking out their new album when it lands early next year.
Earlier in the day, I’d been listening to Blackberry Smoke and had been wondering which songs would make the setlist. I was wishing there was a way to put in a request as there was one in particular that I hoped to hear live.
The Music Gods must have been listening because at eight thirty Blackberry Smoke stepped out onto the Glasgow stage to thundering cheers and opened their two hour set with Six Ways To Sunday. I was a happy girl!
Waiting For The Thunder and Good One Comin’ On made up the remainder of the opening trio.
I could feel a “good one comin’ on”! A good gig! And Blackberry Smoke didn’t disappoint!
On stage, the band seemed totally at ease and all looked genuinely relaxed and happy to be playing for their Scottish fans.
Their twenty song set was a balanced mix of old and new with all albums represented. Several of my personal favourites made the list.
Pretty Little Lie is always a fan favourite and the Glasgow choir didn’t disappoint here or at any other point during the evening. Charlie Starr complimented the fans on more than one occasion for the quality of their singing.
Medicate My Mind from their current album Find A Light was one of the highlights of the night. It was also promptly followed flawless renditions of Sleeping Dogs and another of my personal favourites, Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost.
As the final chorus of Ain’t Got The Blues died away, a fan to my right called out a request. With a glance to his bandmates, Charlie checked that the audience were happy to hear that song instead of what was planned. He never said what had been next on their set list but Scare The Devil Outta You from their 2011 album Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime made a rare live appearance. The Scottish crowd loved it!
One Horse Town and Like An Arrow rounded off the main body of the set.
One thing had been missing all night however….. Charlie was hat-less!
This matter was resolved when the band returned to the stage for their two song encore. Flesh And Bone from Find A Light opened the encore in storming style. Live that is one powerful song!
And after two full hours the appropriately titled Ain’t Much Left of Me brought the night to a successful conclusion.
Till next time, guys. Hurry back.
As we walked back towards the station among many other happy Southern rock fans, a group a few yards behind us started singing and so the music continued into the night……..