The Kentucky Headhunters at the O2 ABC2, Glasgow 10 Oct 2017

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Last Tuesday evening, I boarded the 5:25 to Glasgow accompanied by a new victim…sorry chaperone…. Let’s call him Mr A.  Much to my amusement, he commented several times that he was “scared, very scared.” I’ve no idea why! Lol

We were headed to perhaps the smallest show in my gig calendar this year. We were off to see The Kentucky Headhunters at Glasgow’s O2 ABC2, the tiny wee room.

When we arrived at the venue…have I mentioned before that the O2 ABC is my favourite venue?… there were two distinctly different queues forming. To the left was the longer queue for Gary Numan. To the right was the shorter more eclectic queue for the Kentucky Headhunters.

Shortly after seven the doors opened and we headed upstairs and into the dimly lit ABC2. Maybe Mr A was right to be afraid? Hee hee….

There were three bands on the bill for the evening. The first up were The Swamp Born Assassins, a local Glasgow band. These guys apparently have a loyal following of “Swampers” and the room was already filling up rapidly. They delivered a “swampy” set. The sound wasn’t the best to be honest. I’m not sure whether they were trying to channel their inner Delta blues vibe or where they thought they were going. It all seemed a little sloppy and rough around the edges for my personal taste but the “Swampers” behind me seemed to appreciate it. We’ll chalk this one up to experience.

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Next up were Bad Touch. I’d seen these boys from Norfolk support the Headhunters last year so had high expectations.

Bad Touch didn’t disappoint! This quintet sound so much better live than they do on CD and they sound pretty damn good on there too. They delivered a solid support set, encouraging the fans to cheer for the headliners and politely thanking the Headhunters for having them out with them again.

Highlights for me personally were 99% and Wise Water. Front man, Stevie Westwood, revealed that the Headhunters had asked that they add a song back into their set for the evening. Curiosity aroused, I waited with bated breath to hear what was coming next. Cue an awesome rendition of Whole Lotta Love before Bad Touch rounded things off with The Mountain. Eargasmic!

Almost as an afterthought, Stevie announced that it was guitarist, Seeks’ birthday, prompting a roudy rendition of Happy Birthday to the grinning birthday boy. Where was the cake???

Great set! Loved it! And, yes, Stevie, I still have complete hair envy!

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It might have taken the Kentucky Headhunters some thirty plus years to reach Glasgow, Scotland as opposed to Glasgow, Kentucky but these guys are making up for lost time. The four Southern rock giants may be older than your average band playing only their second UK tour but boy do they pack a punch! From the smile on Greg Martin’s face and the impish grin displayed by Dan Phelps, they were enjoying their return to the ABC2 almost as much as the fans.

Their all too short set (circa 80 minutes) covered tracks reaching back to their early days. Wearing his omnipresent shades, Richard Young told tales of how most of the songs came about, reminisced about their late friend Johnnie Johnson whose songs featured on the Meet Me In Bluesland album and, of course, reminded the crowd of just how proud they were of those youngsters, Black Stone Cherry. (Richard Young is the very proud daddy of one John Fred Young)

Watching Headhunters’ drummer Fred Young execute his drum solo, its clear to all  just who taught John Fred Young all he knows! Where does this man get his energy from? He’d put drummers half his age to shame with the energy and power of his performance. Superb!

Fans enjoyed Headhunters favourites Dumas Walker and Wishin’ Well amongst many others. They were treated to rousing renditions of classic tracks Davy Crockett, House Of The Rising Sun and my personal favourite, Spirit In The Sky. Love it!

Sadly all good things have to come to an end. To bring the evening to a close, the Headhunters were joined on stage, same as last year, by the boys from Bad Touch to bring the evening to a climax with a crowd-pleasing version of Hey Jude. Na na na, nananana, nananana, Hey Jude!

Hurry back, boys! And, judging from the smile on Mr A’s face and the twinkle in his eyes, he may be back on the rail with me next time too!

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About coralmccallum

chaser of rainbows and dreams
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