Nu Blood 2 @ Hard Rock Cafe, Glasgow Jul31


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Nu Blood 2 @ Hard Rock Cafe, Glasgow


Nu Blood 2 @ Hard Rock Cafe, Glasgow

Take a bow Shock City Promotions, tonight heralds the second incarnation of Nu Blood, a night to promote local talent. Far too often promotion companies are all about the dollar so it is brilliant to see the team at Shock City put a little something back and a welcomed shout out to Hard Rock Cafe who offered reduced rates and fed every band member at the famous restaurant.

Now that the kudos is out of the way lets get down to why we we’re here in the first place, the bands and Glasgow never comes up short in this department. There is a wealth of brilliant young bands so it must have been hard to actually scale this back to three bands, who knows, maybe for Nu Blood 3 they could go for an all day event and really show off exactly what is out there to offer, maybe split the day into genres to bring in different punters and hopefully get them to stay and support the other bands.

So after the success of Nu Blood last year who is coming in to fill the boots of last years bands, some of whom were in the crowd mingling and supporting the scene, which was also great to see. I have been in contact with many bands over the years and one of the complaints I have heard from bands south of the border is that support bands come in, borrow your kit then disappear straight after their own set. I have explained time and again how much of a brotherhood the scene is amongst bands in Glasgow and tonight just personified this once again.

The band opening the show tonight were the incredible Black King Cobra and I can assure you I was not the only one blown away by their performance tonight. I will lay down my gauntlet right now…this band will turn heads and quickly. They were on a bill I attended as openers earlier this year and I am ashamed to say I missed their set that night, something that will never happen again after the show they put on tonight.

Sometimes you see a band and instantly know they are deemed for bigger and better things, two of the lads from Mason Hill were in attendance tonight, they played last years Nu Blood show and they gave me the same feelings the first time I saw them, there have been a few others I have seen along the way that ticked the same box, Iron Maiden back in 1980, Blackfoot when they played a support slot in the old Glasgow Apollo, Diamond Head, a band who I caught in a pub in Glasgow who just announced they are reforming in Heavy Pettin and most recently the band The Brew who I would say emanate musically with Black King Cobra.

You will hear the phrase X Factor banded about and no, not the crappy Maiden album or the even crappier Tv show, no, that little thing that puts a band head and shoulders above the others, sometimes it is really hard to tie down what that X factor is but with this band it is all down to a shade of complete originality, yes we could band about some names, Red Hot chilli peppers, The Brew, Broken Witt rebels but none of those band really captures the spirit I saw tonight. The band throws too many curve balls, songs like “Ruin of youth” hits you with some funked up Maroon 5 for starters.

This band ties in blues, funk, jazz and even some disco, they never stand still with a musical direction. The aforementioned “Ruin of Youth” is a near 5 minute lesson in some incredible bass, guitar and sultry assed vocals. Singer, Callum Moran owns this song with his punchy lyrics and laid back verses and reminds me of Danny Core from Broken Witt Rebels, another man with incredible stage presence and a band I also see going very far but it is when Callum takes his mike and leaves the stage to let the music do its talking you are left gobsmacked, Johnny Keel on Bass becomes possessed by Flea from RHCP and man does he batter those frets, tie that in with the baseball capped Ross Clark on guitar just going batshit crazy. If this band had one song to impress the devil or go to hell, there is no way the devil is winning this one, nope the devil goes down to Glasgow and goes home with his red ass in his hands.

The thing is the band came out firing with each and every song, they love what they do and singer Callum looked genuinely humbled by the crowd’s reaction tonight…a little point from me sir, get used to this shit, there is so much more coming.

As hard as It is to pick standout tracks in their set, “Wrack and Ruin” and “Harvest Moon” got me going from start to finish. If you get the chance go see them support Manifold in ABC in Glasgow on 8th September, if you are not from Glasgow get a hold of their EP, Blood Rush…It has been on constantly in my house since I bought it at the show.

After a set like that Neon Hurricane were going to have a tough job but they brought their A game tonight. They as a totally different proposition to the two bands they were sandwiched between but the crowd enjoyed every song. Although they are definitely rock orientated they have a real punk tinge to them.

When you see Graeme Craig’s guitar you also know where a big influence comes from and when you hear “Sexy Lady” it could well be Eddie Van Halen playing the licks. The song “Hex” reminded me a lot of NWOBHM back in the day. That punky edge you heard on Iron Maiden’s first two albums.

A good, solid set from a band who have not even released their debut yet, With songs like “King Kong” and “Shady Little Faces” this promises to be a great release so I will be waiting patiently.

Headliners tonight are Last Alibi and based on their recent performances it was well deserved. The band have just released their debut single “Vice City” which I have already reviewed and fell in love with the first time I heard it.

Going by their last gig in support of Stone Broken I was expecting a lot from the boys, with a longer set and good prep time I was after something a bit special and boy did they pull it off. The crowd may have been drinking for a few hours by the time they got on stage so it was a very rowdy, Glasgow Friday night crowd who greeted them…and took them to their hearts.

I expect each band brought a big chunk of their own audience so it was good to see so many still at the end of the night and embrace every band and for all those there who had not seen Last Alibi I know for sure they were not disappointed.

Andy,Allen and Callum took to their instruments and with the intro blaring on sauntered singer Jamie Ramage, put down his cup of water(???) and blasted into “Angel Instincts”. Jamie’s vocals were on fire tonight. The sound was brilliant for all bands but as the they tore through “Burning out” and “ Drive Me To Distraction” you could hear just how perfect everything was. Andy’s guitar was as crisp as you could ask for and Allen and Callum were battering us with their bass and drums, everything just clicked tonight.

Prophet and the Thief” was next up and this has to be one of my favourite songs from the boys, It just captures everything I ever loved about the late 80s. With an extended set there was always going to be some covers and the first up tonight was “House of the Rising Sun” a song I had heard them do previously and a song they just nail. It is notoriously difficult to sing this one but with Jamie’s raspy vocal range this is sublime. For a song covered by so many they own it and make it sound completely different.

The next cover of the night was a surprise, they took on Slade’s “ Cum On Feel The Noize”. Rather than the Slade version this was much closer to Quiet Riot’s version and Jamie could very well have conjured up Kevin DuBrow’s ghost. I remember seeing them play this live a long,long time ago and man the boys nailed this tonight just as surely as QR did back in the 80s. This song made my night as I was only just talking about Randy Rhodes with the band on facebook that very day(and they didn’t even let slip they were sneaking this one in).

They followed that up with single “Vice city” and “generation Dead”. The setlist had “Honkey Tonk Woman” on there but they ran out of time but that one left me intrigued guys so I am holding you to play that live very soon.

Last alibi deserved to headline this show, they deserve a big break and if they work their asses off I reckon they will get all they wish for.

Images and review Ritchie Birnie


Nu Blood 2 @ Hard Rock

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