With the autumn sun shining, I boarded the 5:25 to Glasgow last Monday, heading for a night in The Cathouse.
A couple of stops further up the track my rock chick friend joined me, looking the part in her ACDC hoodie.
When we reached Glasgow we met up with two fellow “Aussie rock” fans, put the world to rights over a coffee then headed across to the venue in time for doors opening.
Who were we gathered to see?
Well, we were all convened in The Cathouse to experience the Aussie Wrecking Crew Tour 2016, featuring three of Australia’s finest bands. From the selection of T-shirts on display around the room, the diehard fans had arrived early.
The first band on stage however were a Glasgow based band called All Suns Blazing. As Thumper says in the Disney classic Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
Moving swiftly on….
Black Aces burst onto the small stage like a stick of dynamite. There’s a cliché that all Aussie bands sound like ACDC or Airborne wannabes. Front man, Tyler Kinder, has obviously been brought up with a healthy appreciation for both as he powers energetically through their thirty minute set. In true Joel O’Keeffe fashion, he leapt from the stage, leaving bass player Alex McMillan conducting the vocal chores, and ran through the small crowd, still playing his guitar, then bounded up onto the bar and continued to dazzle the crowd. Highly entertaining. One of the highlights of set was Take It To The Wire – and they most certainly did. Loved them!
Tequila Mockingbyrd (love that name), an all-girl trio, were up next. With their energetic punk influenced rock, these young ladies played an all too short thirty minute set. Estelle Artois (Yes, that’s her real name) shone throughout on vocals. Mz Lzzy Hale may have a rival for her rock queen crown! On bass, Jess Reilly bewitched the fans with her dancing. Does this girl ever stay still? Their set comprised of songs from their debut album Fight And Flight. At the back of the stage, in the shadows, Josie O’Toole did a blistering job on drums. Don’t be fooled by this petite little lady. She’s one powerful drummer! Not only did she dislodge the bass drum a few songs in but she also destroyed a snare drum towards the end of the set. She’s a real wee powerhouse! Highlights of their set for me were Money Tree, Everybody Down and Somebody Put Something In My Drink. Like our headline act, these girls have crowd funded their relocation from Australia to Europe so there was an air of poignancy when they played Never Go Home.
Please don’t! We love you! Hurry back to headline your own show in Glasgow, girls!
Finally, the wait was over! Two years and three days since they first played Glasgow, Massive took to the stage to headline their first ever Scottish show.
With front man, Brad Marr, sporting a snazzy shimmering jacket, Massive launched into their hour long set with Up In Smoke, from their second album, Destination Somewhere.
The addition of Brendan Forward on guitar to the line up has created a different dynamic to the original line up from two years ago. He’s energetic, talented and in desperate need of a new pair of Converse! (It has to be said, bass player, Aidan McGarrigle, seemed to have lost his altogether!)
Massive’s set was made up from a fairly even split of songs from both their albums.
The drum kit continued to display a bit of attitude causing Jarrod Medwin to have to adjust its position a couple of times during the show.
The venue hadn’t filled up as I’d hoped but Massive played as though they were performing in front of twenty thousand fans instead of a couple of hundred.
Massive powered their way through songs like Lacey, Dancefloor and One By One. Frontman, Brad Marr nailed the vocals on every one. They even threw in some of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs for good measure.
I have to say it’s the first time I’ve been to a gig where a member of the crowd asked the band to “keep it going” until they went for a pee! And you know what? – Massive did! A bit of joke telling, some slow hand clapping and a few observations over the length of time it was taking. Brilliant moment filled with much hilarity.
Ghost was the highlight of the night for me. I absolutely adore this song and Brad had promised me that he would “rip it out live in Glasgow” for me. Well, he sure did! Awesome performance of a slightly different arrangement. Loved it!
The boys ended their set with Now Or Never. Blistering end to an amazing night of Aussie rock!
I really hope it is “now” for these guys because they deserve to be headlining shows to sell out crowds across the globe.
Safe travels, boys. Get that van fixed and hurry back to Glasgow!