Heavy Pettin @ The Cathouse, Glasgow Oct28

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Heavy Pettin @ The Cathouse, Glasgow

Heavy Pettin @ The Cathouse, Glasgow

Tonight was one that I never thought I would see, 30 years in the making saw the band return to Glasgow and after an incredible set at last years Winterstorm Festival I had very high hopes.

Support for tonight was Anchor Lane who were brought in very late and with a brand new shiny guitarist to show off so I was looking forward to it. Tonight was the first chance for most of us to get our first sighting of Lawrence O’Brien, now when I say sighting it was more like lets spot his silhouette as due to the lighting technician tonight either being blind or an ex forensic scientist who was looking for blood splatters with ultraviolet.

The lighting I can accept(kind of) but when it is mixed with awful sound I am beginning to get a bit pissed off. The boys had a horrible bass bin sound that stayed with them for the whole set. Maybe they asked for the lights down so nobody would know who they were but that is doubtful as Conor happily informed us they were Anchor Lane any chance he got.

I am not sure if it was the sound or the fact that the majority of this crowd was here to relive old memories but this was definitely the toughest crowd I have ever seen the band have to work.

They got down to business though and showed that professionalism that they have garnered this past year as they trod the boards of many festivals. Lawrence may have been a bit reserved at first( he admitted he was shitting himself afterwards) but as the set moved on we saw him come into his own and make full use of that stage.

Tonight was definitely a test for the boys and they shone through with everything against them and proved to me how determined this band is to make it…and if anyone has seen my previous reviews they will know I fully expect them to do it in style. For me they share a lot of similarities with the headliners as I watched Heavy Pettin in the bars in Glasgow and followed their journey to the biggest venue in Glasgow.

Anchor Lane are the real deal and with some incredible songs behind them and a debut album on its way I look forward to watching their journey.

With the light and sound issues I was genuinely worried for the headliners. Only the day before Heavy Pettin had announced they were going to record the show tonight. This was how monumental this show was for them and as soon as “Victims of the Night” started I knew it was going to be a tough night for the band.

The lights were slightly better, the bass din was gone but the sound was not good. I was utterly gutted for the band, both they and me(and a lot in here) has waited thirty fucking years for this show and I was so angry I had to stand at the back of the room and take in the chance missed here tonight.

Roll the Dice” was up next and it is hard to believe the first time I heard this and the incredible Lettin Loose album was 35 years ago. I will never forget seeing and hearing those songs for the first time in the pub the Burns Hauff probably about a year before the album was released. I had just had my normal Saturday of going to the Glasgow Apollo ticket office to see what bands had been announced, checked to see if a band was playing that night to see if I could sneak up the stairs and catch a sound check. After that I had done the rounds of local record stores, Listen and my favourite 23 precinct and after about 6 hours I decided to go to The Hauff for a black and tan before my train journey home.

After ordering my drink I could hear music upstairs so wandered up, sat down and was instantly blown away. The blonde singer thought he was in an arena, the dual guitarists were reminiscent of Downing/Tipton and the bass player…well, I think there was one under all those curls but boy was I taken aback.

This band was a band I would ravel 20 miles to get to the nearest record store to buy an album, This band I would have paid good money to see on any of Glasgow’s stages and I just could not believe I was witnessing something so good from a pub band.

I left that day with what was either a badge, a sticker or a business card(I am getting on a bit so cannot remember) and I followed them intently. I listened every Friday to Tom Russell awaiting word on the next gig and as it panned out I did end up buying their albums, singles, cut to shape picture discs and I did end up going to the hallowed Glasgow Apollo to buy a ticket for Kiss which the band were named as support.

It has been a long journey and with a massive wasteland in-between. I never understood why they didn’t make it as they had everything the 80s asked for(yes, even the dodgy videos) but in 2017 it all changed and we saw the comeback.

As I stood at the back of the hall as “Love Times love” came on I ignored the sound and I judged the now against the then and do you know what…this band still has it. This song is one of my top picks and I think since the comeback I have probably listened to it more than I did back in the day(and that was a lot). Watching Hamie with his scarf bedecked mic stand and the pristine locks it is obvious he has rock star right through his body like Blackpool through a stick of rock. The man has still got the moves but more importantly he still has the individual vocal style that wowed me all those years ago.

Then we get to Gordon Bonnar, like me the hair has gone but the flying V is there with its new paint job and hell, this man can play and he looks like he is enjoying the hell out of it. The new boys all do their piece and this group are as tight as hell considering the rehearsals were limited.

The crowd have accepted the sound and like me just settled in for the ride and as “Rock Me” starts we are all singing and the chant of “when the lights come down” is louder on this side of the barrier. This is hair metal Glasgow style and it stills kicks ass.

This is nostalgia at its very best, if you look at the setlist tonight it is filled with absolute classics and when you think the boys only released two albums the feat is even more breathtaking. “Shout it Out”, Love on the Run”, “In and Out f Love”, “Rock Ain’t Dead” and the stunning “Hell is Beautiful” stand up brilliantly today and it is why I was so bemused when it all ended. I felt there was so much left undone and it looks like the band finally decided that is the case as they hinted at new material.

I have to be honest and admit for me the sound did ruin what was set to be a monumental return to Glasgow but if you take the sound out of the equation the band are still on fire. They still have that magic I saw all those ears ago and I hope and prey they get the full shot at it again as they are too good a band to lose out a second time.

I leave with a smile on my face as I think I am following Heavy Pettin again. For as long as this band keeps going I will be at the shows and I will be buying the albums and merch.

Heavy Pettin are back bitches so make sure you join in the fun.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie

 

 

Heavy Pettin @ The Cathouse, Glasgow

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