Hayseed Dixie/ Thirteen Stars @ The Garage, Glasgow
Hayseed Dixie/ Thirteen Stars @ The Garage, Glasgow
The hillbilly hoedown rolls into Glasgow once again, this time we are the first date of the tour and going by what went down I reckon we were a testing ground as there were a few new tracks in the set and where else do you want to try out new material?( anywhere really guys as we are not the most subtle people in the world).
As a support band for Hayseed dixie you have a tough ask. The majority of the punters are out for a party so they will tend to leave it till later to turn up rather than pay high drink prices at the venue. Mix that with an early start due to a curfew it means you have an uphill battle to a small audience. This, however, did not phase Thirteen Stars in the slightest. As well as myself a good few here had caught this band at the brilliant Wildfire festival earlier this year and we knew what to expect.
Cumbria doesn’t strike you as a breeding ground for a band steeped in Southern Rock but ignore their accents and focus on the music and you cannot go wrong. They are a no frills band that just get on with playing damned fine music. They tinge their Southern songs with a shot of Country and some blues.
They have tailored their set for the tour but they even stuck in some new numbers which went down well. The guys got on with the job at hand and with songs like the opener “Tired Of Waiting” and “Steel Horse” you are going to get a crowd going. It was not long before the barrier at the front was full and even those not venturing forward were enjoying the show.
For me the highlight of their set was the final song “Soldier” which was dedicated to all servicemen and woman around the world. Whether you agree with what they are doing you have to take your hat off as it is a job that not many people can do. The song itself is brilliant but when Hoss Thompson has finished with the vocals he strolls off the stage and stands at the barrier and puts his heart and soul into an amazing extended solo at the end of the song. Being at the front and with Hoss right in front of me I just stared in awe at his work. As soon as he was finished he just dumped the guitar on the monitor and the set was over.
I know tonight they picked up some new fans and I truly hope that anyone going to these shows gets there early and checks them out. This band deserves your attention at the very least.
Standing in the photographers pit before Hayseed Dixie takes the stage is a surreal experience. In all my long years of attending gigs I have never seen anything like it, a completely barren stage. No drumkit, no huge amps, no backline…just the monitors at the front. If this was a western there would have been tumbleweed rolling by.
Then the band stroll on with their instruments in cases, they unpack and plug in then go off again only to appear with many an ice bucket loaded with beer. I actually think this was carried on more lovingly than the instruments. You have to love these guys.
Although I have seen this band many times I have never shot or reviewed them as my previous employer did not believe they were worthy of inclusion within a metal magazine. This always perplexed me. Yes, they may be tongue in cheek but Hayseed dixie can play and John Wheeler has a voice that many a failing rock star could only dream off.
I still remember the first time I heard this band, It was a summer evening and I was on an Island in the middle of Loch Lomond, Scotland, huddled around a bonfire with a beer in my hand. I was told |”have a listen to this” and my love for this band began. It was a perfect introduction to the band and just like tonight the band sound all the better with a beer in my hand surrounded by drinking buddies. I also have to say this is the only band that actually stops a show to give you a chance to sup your drink. They kick off with none other than “Dirty Deeds” which just so happens to be my favourite AC/DC album…it is going to be a good night.
I think as we have so much space on stage there should be one of those stadium score boards at the back which should tick over every time we hear the word “Testify”. One thing apart from testify and a drink that you can expect from a hayseed Dixie a good mash up and the first we get tonight is “War/War Pigs” which works a treat.
The band are on fire as always. Say what you will but the talent of these guys cannot be questioned. The way they adapt a song to those instruments is just amazing. We move through set regulars and favourites “Eye Of The Tiger” and “Don’t Stop believing”. Follow that up with the song that got the loudest cheer of the night in “Ace of Spades”. This is obviously a very Motorhead week for me as I had seen Attica Rage perform “Overkill” earlier in the week and I have Phil Campbell’s gig on Sunday but hey…you cannot get enough Motorhead.
Next up is the surprise of the night as we are informed the band have only played this song five times and two of those were at the sound check today. This was put in place to basically give them some leeway but you don’t get that in Glasgow, however, they did not need it as their version of “Buffalo Soldier” was spellbinding. The crowds were singing their heads of and it went down a storm.
One of my favourite covers of the set was the recently included “ We’re Not Going To Take It”. Very fitting in this Twisted Sister’s last year in existence. It also lets the band touch a little on politics, something they strive to steer clear about but as Americans they must be as frustrated as much as the rest of us at the circus that is going on in their homeland. In fact it is probably why they booked their tour to start now.
The set weaves through Queen, German drinking songs a song about poo before it finishes on “Highway To Hell”. The band are truly humble and salute us for letting them basically drink in different countries for a living. Hayseed dixie never fail to entertain, to impress and to have a good time doing it. They may have went all posh on us now that they drink proseco (from a paper cup) but they are not too big for their dungarees. This band live should be on everyone’s bucket list, nobody could ever go home disappointed.
Images and review Ritchie Birnie