Bulletboys @ Bannermans, Edinburgh Mar19


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Bulletboys @ Bannermans, Edinburgh


Bulletboys @ Bannermans, Edinburgh


A lot of things ran through my head on the journey to this gig, 29 years ago I made the same journey, to see the same band for their first ever gig in Scotland…and all that time later they came back. I was more than a little excited.

Due to the 2 hour journey I missed most of Budderside’s set, I got there with about two songs from the end but the Bannerman crowd had already accepted them and even with two songs I could tell why.

They play an up tempo, in your face, fun slice of Rock,N,Roll. They love what they do and they play up for the crowd and photographers alike. They were a great start to the night and I was gutted to have missed most of their set but hopefully they will be back soon and I can rectify my serious error of judgment tonight.

Next up were another bunch from the 80s in Enuff Z’Nuff. A band most will be familiar with and a band I saw many times back in the day. Back then they just did not grab me, they didn’t have the rough edge I needed from my bands but I am always willing to give bands another chance and although I doubt I will ever be a massive fan I thoroughly enjoyed their set. They were way more fun than I remembered and the fact that they are still going strong says a lot.

Chip strolled out in the usual sparkly hat and pink shades and proceeded to show me what entertainment is all about. They burst into “Baby Loves you” and for most here tonight the party had started.

Highlights for me were when chip took over guitar duties whilst some red wine was drunk, a great version of “Gene Genie” and listening to the crowd sing on “Wheels” and “Fly high Michelle”. This was a solid set from a set of pros and it shows why they can still get onto the back of Kiss tours.

The moment I had waited 29 years was at hand. To be fair Bulletboys left on a sour note all those years ago. The venue was tiny and the band had just come off an arena tour as support back home. Whether it was this or another reason but Marq was not a happy bunny and he left the stage early.

Not that I held a grudge but I maybe forgave him about a year ago(or more likely when I saw this gig announced). Back then I had played their debut album to death and to be honest it’s an album I still play regularly today(I still have the original vinyl).

I am well aware that the original band is no more and they have seen more line up changes than Spinal Tap has had drummers but I didn’t care. I was also very happy that the short 10 song set was mostly from that Debut.

29 years on and Marq still has the rock star looks, the blonde hair may be gone, the flowing locks a thing of the past but he oozes god status. He has also surrounded himself with some brilliant musicians who by tonight’s performance you could have swore they had been together for those 29 years…even if they were not even born.

The first big hitter was “Hard As A Rock” and my youth came streaming back. That thundering drumbeat, the riffs and that voice and the voice is still there and then some. The sexual innuendos had been released like flying monkeys and they were not going back into the box.

Next up was “Hell On My Heels” and I reckon I probably sang “Want To Fuck You” louder than Marq. This sleazy track oozed its way around the venue and left you feeling like a hooker after a fully packed night…dirty, knackered and with a sore throat.

THC Groove” slithered its way from the speakers and I just stand there and watch Marq as he works his magic. He didn’t have the guitar last time round but he can sure play now. He also plays to this hall as if it is an arena but the thing that hits home to me is he is enjoying this way more that before.

The classic cover in “ For The Love of Money” is next up and we are all screaming about the mean green like yesteryear. This takes me back to when M stood for music in MTV, when you could switch it on any time of the day or night and this band was not far away.

When they started they may have been a bit of a supergroup but now they are a band. I have to be honest and say I had low expectations for tonight, I wanted to set aside nostalgia and see where the band were but I suppose you can never take that part out but I was thoroughly impressed. I have seen lots of bands with only the original singers left and it was a bit of a shambles but these guys really like each other, you can tell and that pays on the stage. If they can keep the line up I expect a major resurgence here.

As if to hammer that last point home we bring out another cover in “Bitch is Back” before finishing on what else but “Smooth Up In Ya” and that scream!!! the first song I ever heard and luckily I had recorded it on headbangers ball so I played it over and over. By this time Marq was down to 4 strings, no spare guitar, no stopping to restring, no, lets get on with rocking your asses off.

A blast from the past in the present and the long journey, a night in a hostel and up mega early to return home was all worth it. I hope I don’t have to wait so long to see the band again(as I will be dead) but if they never return they left on a high and the wait was more than worth it.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie




Bulletboys @ Bannermans, Edinburgh

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