The Tubes @ The Art school Glasgow Oct24


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The Tubes @ The Art school Glasgow

The Tubes @ The Art school Glasgow

This one is always difficult to explain. If you have seen The Tubes live you will know what I am talking about but to try and explain to someone who has no comprehension of the band is very difficult.

40 years into their career and they are incredible live, musically you cannot fault them. Visually they are a dream to watch and to photograph and to add to that you have Fee Waybill’s constant humour and antics.

You know you will get costume changes, you know you will get the hits but you also know there will be something new every time. So lets focus on some of the different angles tonight. There were a good few surprises tonight, the biggest of which was the inclusion of the song “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”. Yes, from the stage play and movie. Fee told us all about how they grew up loving the old black and white westerns and how all the major stars played roles in these before they made it big. The man does not have to tell me about it. I bought my father a 40” smart TV when his eyesight was going a bit. It’s an all singing, all dancing Tv and he still watches those old black and white westerns so I know all about it and to be honest they nailed this song. The crowd loved it even after being called sheep shaggers and his even more crude story about his big hairy Chaps.

Now the alluding to our Scottish pastimes was not the only error tonight as Fee pulled off the biggest faux pa you can do up these parts and that is call us English and boy was he shot down and booed. I do have to say he got it back on track quickly(as I have seen venues empty at this point) by apologising and saying they have done 11 dates already and he knows we want to leave the right wing English behind. This then followed onto a very political rant which sat nicely with a certain persons t-shirt (I will not mention it just go check the photos).

I wish I knew where the man gets his energy from, he never stops, he is either singing, dancing or changing costumes. He is a freak in more ways in one. Maybe his own t-shirt at one point let you in on where that energy comes from and this lead on to another rant all about the pharma industry which I loved. He threw all manner of drug references at us, some of which I didn’t even have a clue about.

The old faithful Straight jacket was there, the Marlon Brando sketch which this time saw him throwing the crappy hat straight into the crowd as he was fed up wearing it and his original had been stolen. Fee does strike you as a right grumpy old man but one you can laugh at like a drunk uncle at a family wedding.

The other surprises tonight were covers from Chuck Berry(You Never Can Tell), Captain Beefheart(Gimme Dat Harp boy), oh and one one more for the encore but “Mr Hate”, “Stella” and “Mondo bondage” were just outstanding as always but it was the final run in that took us over the edge.

With five songs to go Bill digs out the spandex and little platform boots and goes for “White Punks On Dope” which I remember the first time round…and it still has the vitality and energy it did then. After this we rolled into “She’s A Beauty” to the Beatles “I Saw Her Standing there” which was just outstanding. This packed crowd were in fine form(maybe very drunk but they had their singing voices out). That just left “Talk To Ya later” and “ TV Is King” to close us out.

22 songs, almost two hours and not one minute of quiet or boredom. This band never fail to amaze me live. I was with them back in the 70s before my love of Rock and Metal kicked in but I just cannot let this band go. They were pioneers then and they carry the flag now…long may it continue.

Images and review Ritchie Birnie


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