Bring Back Rock Radio Bash @ The Garage, Glasgow Sep09

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Bring Back Rock Radio Bash @ The Garage, Glasgow

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Bring Back Rock Radio Bash @ The Garage, Glasgow

No doubt anyone outside Scotland will be wondering what all the fuss is about with Bring Back Rock Radio. Rock Radio in it’s many guises has been an integral part of the Scottish Rock and Metal scene since the 90s. It was the only radio station geared especially for your average Scottish Metal heads and do you know what? We fucking miss it. Ever since it was taken off air and replaced with crappy, mindless mainstream twaddle we have been left in limbo.

There are many people (like me) who remember the days as a teenager tuning into one of the DJs, The Beard Of Doom, Mr Tom Russell at midnight every Friday night for two hours of every sort of rock and metal you could imagine. It was in the days before Youtube or MTV, it was our only way of hearing new music without buying it and it started a love for bands that are still close to my heart to this day.

Bringing back Rock Radio can bring this influence to a whole new generation. It will have a massive impact in Scotland and beyond as it pushes out young and new music. It will impact those bands directly and also stir up the Scottish community, Gigs will likely be more well attended and hopefully we can expect regular gigs like tonight promoting new and old bands alike.

It is also not just the punters who are pushing Ofcom to issue the license back to Rock Radio, oh no, we have had the stars lining up to give their backing. All the bands on tonight as well as the likes of Anthrax, Black Stone Cherry, Machine Head, Papa Roach, John Tempesta, La Fontaines and the one and only Alice Cooper himself.

I urge everyone out there to log onto rockradioglasgow.com and find out how you can help. It won’t take you long and let’s face it, there is never too much rock out there.

Now onto the music and it was an early start tonight but unfortunately the weather decided it was not going to make it easy to get there. It would have had Noah saying “we need a bigger boat”. For this reason I only arrived about two minutes from the end of Keiran Robertson’s set. I had no time to see how this up and coming youngster sounded and I am a bit gutted about that as I am hearing lots of great things. From the audiences reaction he went down well and I think the fact that he had two scantly clad dancers went down well with the guys. I intend to rectify my failings of tonight very quickly as I know he is playing a headline set in Glasgow soon so I will let you know how that goes.

Next up was local band We Were Hunted. The Alt Rockers with a big slice of Indie are unsigned and the fact that they are being showcased tonight tells a story on why we need Rock Radio back on the air. I hadn’t seen these guys before but I was extremely impressed especially as they have only been on the go since 2013.

They are stuffed to overflowing with talent and with songs as powerful as “The River” and “you Know Me Now” and their Biffy/Idlewild vibe they have good things ahead and I will be keeping my eye out for them and any future gigs. Check them out, you will not be disappointed.

Tonight’s not so secret special guests were Scottish trio The Amorettes,not so secret as in their merchandise on sale in the foyer being a dead giveaway.The band are on a bit of a roll at the moment with latest album “White Hot Heat” (produced by Luke Morley) gaining the band new fans at every turn.The Amorettes play no frills rock n’ roll,it’s loud,it’s frantic and it’s as subtle as a kick in the jigglies.Vocalist/guitarist Gill Montgomery along with the McKay sisters,Heather on bass and Hannah on drums,are very accomplished and confident onstage and waste no time in knocking the crowed for six with “Stealing Thunder”.It’s a fast paced set and they steamroller through a handful of tracks laden with big riffs,crushing grooves and lashings of gang vocals.”Let The Neighbours Call The Cops” and the stonking “ White Russian Roulette” are standouts as the band leave their mark on the crowd.

Each band is introduced by a Rock Radio DJ who would take it in turns to mobilise the crowd to get involved in the campaign to get the station back on air.Father Ted introduces The Virginmarys to the stage by describing them as a band that makes “one hell of a fucking racket” and he was not over exaggerating.

Another trio,this time from Macclesfield,they take to the stage awash in white lights and there is a palpable sense of the quality ramping up.Lauded by critics,fans and fellow musicians (including Slash),these guys are an all out assault on the senses and it’s astounding that it’s just three guys making such a forceful “racket”.For all the ferocity and power that the band displays the songs never suffer,the set is mostly culled from recent album “Divides” with “I Wanna Take You Home”,”Halo In Her Silhouette” and “Free To Do Whatever They Say” amongst the handful aired.On record the band crush but put them on any stage and they will totally nail you to the wall,heavy garage rock played loud is the order of the day.The star of the show is drummer Danny Dolan,cutting quite a figure he knocks the living hell out of his kit and at times resembles a blacksmith hammering an anvil.Very visual,especially when he pours water on his drums before battering them and sending an arc of water skywards,or when he pours beer over the cymbals to the same effect.An incredible set that put some pressure on the headliners…

Prominent DJ,promoter and nightclub owner Donald MacLeod took to the stage before the headliners with his acoustic guitar and some filthy sing a longs but since this is a family site we couldn’t possibly repeat!.

Headliners Gun are old hands at this malarky and play a shortened greatest hits set to remind the crowd of exactly how many memorable songs that they have at their disposal.It might have been a nostalgic trip down memory lane but these guys sounded better than ever and produced an astounding set.With guitarist Alex Dickson back amongst the ranks the band waste no time and open up with their ball busting cover of “Word Up”.Live it’s much beefier than I remembered and Dickson along with Jools Gizzi and his rather nifty Flying V bring the house down with some powerful playing.Dante Gizzi took over the vocals some time ago and gave the band a new lease of life and I highly recommend that you check out his work with El Presidente.

With the exception of “Hold Your Head Up” from recent album “Frantic” this was a “best of” set that blew the roof off,”Don’t Say It’s Over” is the one that got away for Gun,it should have been massive,hard edged yet commercial it’s as catchy as hell and still sounds fresh all these years later.It’s hard to believe that debut album “Taking On The World” is three years short of its 30th anniversary and when “Better Days”,”Money (Everybody Loves Her)” and “Shame On You” are aired they provide flashbacks to 1990 when Gun opened for The Rolling Stones.”Steal Your Fire” from the “Gallus” album flows into a riotous cover of “Fight For Your Right To Party” and the crowd does indeed go wild.The band are having just as much fun as the audience and the smiles are etched permanently on their faces in Joker style,hey guys ! the Garage called,they want their roof back !.

The guys from the Rock Radio team put on a hell of a show tonight, as did every one of the bands. It had a real family atmosphere(in a metal sense) as I bumped into so many local bands in the audience and also the many friends I have made solely through my gig going in this city. Everyone was smiling, happy and rocking out with abandon. We need more of this, not less so please help to Bring Back Rock Radio by writing directly to Ofcom. My tuner is still preset to 96.3 and I hope that rather than static there is some banging tunes blasting out of it in the not too distant future.

Review and Images Ritchie Birnie

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