Living Colour/Stone Broken, The Garage, Glasgow Oct09

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Living Colour/Stone Broken, The Garage, Glasgow

 

After a string of cancellations funksters Living Colour finally made it to a stage in Glasgow. Having not seen them since their heyday how did they fair?

Before we get to the big question we have the big support. Stone Broken are the reason I am here tonight, I make no bones about being a massive fan, so much so I have not missed one of their shows in Scotland.

It has been a hell of a year for the band, touring Europe with Glen Hughes, Download, Ramblin man main stage and one of the biggest crowds I saw at Camden Rocks, yes, this band are going places. Bizarrely I don’t even feel I need to cover the show tonight, they were awesome, they always are. Every time I see them they get better, even though they had no room to move with all Living Colours kit. The guitar pedals had more room than the support band tonight.

Every time I go to a SB show it is like de ja vu. I speak to punters who have never seen them before and they are blown away. The merch stand after their show is always packed and the band are always there to say hello, sign anything and pose for photos. A huge part of my love for this band is down to the individuals and their attitude. They always have a huge amount of time for their fans and they are the most down to earth, humble people you could meet. This makes it all the more satisfying when you see them go from strength to strength.

As usual the set tonight is made up mostly from debut release “All In time”, a stunning debut that to me feels as if it is a decade old I have listened to it so much. There is not one weak track on that album and it really makes for a hard follow with album number two. More than any other second album, from any band I will be very, very nervous that first listen(no pressure guys).

They opened with “Stay All Night”, always a cracking opener and it always gets the newbies on board straight away. We slam straight into “Better” with its ZZ Top sluggish guitar riff. It is at this point I see how much the band and the individuals have grown since that first show. Kieran is a different person on that stage, he has matured and found himself. He enjoys the time up there. Rich Moss was always the front man, he always will be but that cheeky smile and his banter is backed up with so many shows now his confidence is sky high. He could get a crowd of armless zombies to clap. What can I say about Robyn? She is just the happiest, most smiliest person on the planet. Maybe Rich can tell me different but I could not even imagine a frown on her face and do you know what? She can hammer those drums just like her mascot. This leaves Chris, the emperor of moves. He loves his spins, his flicks, his behind the back playing and yes, a good old pose.

The good ole redneck riff for “Be There” is next with the follow up the band’s lighter in the air moment, the beautiful “Wait For you”. There is no doubt that this is a huge fan favourite with everyone singing along.

The new songs are slowly being squeezed into the set and “Doesn’t Matter” is first up tonight. The new album is all but done and dusted but no matter how much I dug for information from the band they let nothing slip, no name, no title, no amount of tracks, jeez, this is frustrating…I reckon I will need to resort to violence shortly.

Just A Memory” is up next and although this will be on the new album it feels like an old track now as I have heard it live a good few times. Based on these two tracks( as that is all I have to go on, hint, hint) we are in for another treat from the band. No pressure but this album could break the band big time.

They finished up with thought inspiring “This Life” and “ Not your Enemy” and they leave the stage like they found it, empty(well, apart from those pedals) but for me it was just another step to greatness. Maybe there were Living Colour fans there who were just expecting a filler, someone to keep them warm prior to their main event but I bet every one left with an opinion…the stage may be empty but this band live with you long after the last chord is struck.

Stone Broken’s legacy could be hundreds of empty stages and thousands of fans who have had their asses rocked off. In this day and age this is how a band goes about their business and Stone Broken are at the top of their game.

Now to Living Colour and to see how they fair after all these years. Well to be fair they came out firing on all cylinders. We saw a very dapper Corey Glover stroll out with his phone videoing away and as the crowd went crazy he stood and smiled from ear to ear. He went to the front of the crowd and shook hands before the band got down to business with “Preachin’ Blues” and the years rolled back, back to a time when this band took the music scene by storm. They shook the tree for sure no matter what you think of them. They brought a new sound, a funked up, jazzy and blues tinged rock to the masses.

The first part of the set showed this off to perfection as they jumped from genre to genre and you can see why they paved the way for bands like Rage Against The Machine and Sevendust. As the huge pedal boards get their first outing on “Wall” we get a mention for their president for all the wrong reasons. As Muzz skillings is squeezing every possible sound out of that bass you can focus on the lyrics and see how pertinent these words are in todays fucked up world.

For me this show was split evenly into three parts, the opening that showcased the talent and versatility they always had. The sounds that turned a generation onto them and going by tonights sold out show…stuck with them. Nobody could have taken anything from them with this part but as we moved into the second part of the show it told me why I never really got the band totally. I understand band members love solos and yes, so do the punters but for me it just turns me off big time. For me it just got too indulgent, the show seemed to lose its impetus and far too many people were heading for the bar.

The band, however, redeemed themselves once again at the end as they fired into the big hitters. “Elvis Is Dead”, “Cult Of Personality” and the brilliant cover of “Sunshine of your Life” shook the walls and the punters were in heaven.

So, the band still have it, maybe a bit indulgent in places but maybe they have earned that. I didn’t see too many disappointed people tonight and that is all that matters. They will pack the place out when they come back that is for sure.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie

Lc

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