A packed out Limelight Belfast was host to two fine veteran bands in the form of Girlschool who formed way back in 1978 in England and Rose Tattoo who formed two years prior in Australia. Worlds apart but meshed by their love of good old-fashioned Rock ‘N’ Roll! Wall to wall sweaty bodies provided a warm welcome for the longest running all female Rock band to take the stage, sirens ringing out as they do followed by a wall of distortion to melt the faces of the front row.
Kicking off with ‘Demolition’ they lit up the stage with their larger that life personalities, lead guitarist Jackie Chambers straddling her Strat leaning back has all the guys drooling in their droves, by the end of the first song the Belfast crowd has been won over and eating out of their hands. ‘C’mon Lets Go’ carries on the set to a ravenous gathering, bass player Enid Williams takes charge of vocal duties for a change and rips her way through ‘Hit ‘’N’ Run.’ The crowd is really digging the set and as the girls mix it up between dual vocals duties and wailing guitar solos you get a sense that there’s a lot of pent up frustration getting let out on and off the stage tonight. The penultimate track ‘Race’ gets the loudest roar of the evening as the girls start and stop it on a dime. A fine set indeed left its mark on a passionate and grateful Belfast audience.
Rose Tattoo enters the room to a massive roar and as Angry Anderson himself takes the mic he says, “I had a spiel worked out, but I forgot it!” so without a due they rip into two bluesy numbers, ‘One Of The Boy’s and ‘Juice’. From an eight bar blues to a gritty gnarly number the glided their way from track to track like the seasoned pros they are. Without hesitation one track would end and another would start before you could catch your breath, four decades of slick sumptuous Blues, Rock and Metal enveloped the room like a warm blanket and had the Belfast crowd worked up into a frenzy. They threw everything but the kitchen sink out this evening and got it back ten-fold, from sultry Blues to hefty riff laden Rock, duelling guitar solos and wailing vocals Belfast belonged to Rose Tattoo tonight, as I scan the crowd as far as the eye can see if an army of deranged fans throwing vocals back at the stage with all they’ve got!
It’s a rare thing to see an audience so invested in a band, as devoted and passionate as tonights crowd, maybe it’s an age thing? From days of old when we all were more invested in our music, the feel of vinyl and stories that unfolded between those sleeves. Tonight’s crowd are not the millennial’s of today but of a different time altogether, and bonded by their love of hard-hitting in your face Rock and that’s exactly what they got.
The band were as slick today as they were four decades ago, with some sublime guitar work, intricate solo’s and tasty slide work the quality within was there for all to see, backed up by a solid back line on bass and drums and Andersons vocals, his words ring out loud and true.
“This is fucking amazing, this is fucking amazing”
Rose Tattoo Set List
One Of The Boys
Girls School Set List
C’Mon Lets Go
Hit ‘N’ Run
Take It Like A Band
Kick It Down
Watch Your Step