Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
It is time for a 10th anniversary celebration with a UK top 10 album thrown in to boot.
This is a hell of a triple bill and to kick it off in style we have Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. This band have been cutting a path with incredible live shows and some brilliant albums and proving they are a major draw in their own right as the many Motorhead and band t-shirts prove.
If you didn’t know who this band are they let you know straight away with “We’re the Bastards” and the high octane night is off to a flyer with this belter.
New singer Joel Peters has cemented his place as he prowls on the monitors. We are one bastard down with Todd not onstage but the show is not lessened although the sound was not the best(which was ongoing throughout the night).
Another one from album We’re the Bastards in “Bite my Tongue” and I wonder how many times I get to say Bastard in one review without reprisal.
Time for the Motorhead fans to go batshit crazy as we jump into a manic version of “Going to Brazil” and the Welsh godfather of rock is on fire.
Age of Absurdity makes an appearance in “High Rule” before we blast into another Motorhead classic in “Born to Raise Hell” and the early start is forgotten and the quickly filling up venue is bouncing.
Now with 40 minutes to play the boys go for the throat with a huge battering ram of a finish with “Get off your Knees”, “Freak Show” and one of my favourite tracks “Dark Days” before knocking us for six with “Ace of Spades”
PCATBS are just one of the best rock bands on the circuit and they show no signs of letting up so make sure you check them out.
It is time for the showman now in Michael Monroe. The last time I saw this man was a good few years ago in the Cathouse where he done a high kick and knocked the fire exit sign off the ceiling and just like then he is like a whirlwind, he is five years older than me but makes me feel like a hippo stuck in the mud.
The Hanoi Rocks singer takes entertainment to a new level…even Dave Lee Roth can’t do this shit anymore and no matter your favoured genre you are going to be entertained whether you like it or not.
The set is kicked off with the punk fueled “One Man Gang” as Mike dances on the monitors with an Led light. The frenetic energy is kept up on “I Live Too Fast to Die Young” and the crowd are really heating up and I think there were a lot of BSR fans here who would never have seen this band but they were quickly coming on board.
On “Dead, Jail or Rock’n’Roll” the sound problems raised their heads again with the PA flicking out shorty(I don’t think it could handle Monroe’s energy) and this rocker of a number came over well as Mike ended the song with the splits and a huge smile.
We delve way into the past with the song “Hammersmith Palais” from his band Demolition 23 with Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens.
From here on in it is bangers all the way and no amount of PA failure is going to slow down this bettering ram of a band.
We are barraged with “78”, “Ballad of the Lower East Side” with its ass kicking punk swagger, the almost poppy but highly addictive “Last Train to Tokyo”, “Trick of the Wrist” and “Murder the Summer of Love”.
No show is going to go by without a Hanoi Rocks classic and “Malibu Beach” is the one tonight but with no saxophone as he broke it which left final number a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover of “Up Around the Bend” which always goes down a treat.
This band are outstanding live and with Mr Monroe you never know what you will get, splits, high kicks, barrier dangling or falling flat on your ass but you will not be bored for sure. High Octane live brilliance.
Now to the Anniversary boys in headliners Black Star Riders and they plan to celebrate in style. As well as a 20 song set, a great stage show and some very fine musicians they will take you through songs that span five decades.
They kick off the show with Ricky Warwick standing between two smoke machines as they belt out new track “Pay Dirt”. You can tell instantly from Ricky he has returned to his second home as he recognises so many faces he know, people like myself who during the 90s bumped into the then The Almighty singer almost weekly at shows across Glasgow and those days are not forgotten as this almost sold out show proves.
With five albums in the bag we get treated to numbers from all in the opening part of the set and although the sound issues are still present the boys get down to business.
The first big surprise is the cover of Osmonds “Crazy Horses” with newbie and former Wayward Sons guitarist Sam Wood getting out the slide tube for the high pitch scream.
For next song Scott Gorham emerges to a massive cheer and at that point I realise just how much this band has changed in 10 years. The players sadly gone and the current line up but with Scott on that stage none of that matters as “All Hell Breaks Loose” comes forth.
After “bloodshot” and “Soldierstown” we get the first Lizzy number and the first guest appearance as Phil Campbell strolls on for “Don’t Believe a Word” and this takes you back to how this band started, how they moved away from doing just the Thin Lizzy songs to standing up on their own and now 10 years later having two UK top 10 albums and selling out venues. Yes, these boys have well and truly arrived.
As the party rocks on and the songs keep on coming we get the second guest spot as Michael Monroe joins the band for “Tonight the Moonlight let Me Down”. Another memorable moment in a spectacular night.
As we slot into the finale the classics come thick and fast in “Kingdom of the Lost”, the awesome “Bound for Glory” before sending us all into rapture with “Jailbreak”. The show is settled with “Finest Hour” and after 10 years this show probably is.
BSR have solidified their place in Rock and they have plenty more to give. The tank is still full and the road stretches out before them so make sure you join them on the journey.
Black Star Riders are:
Ricky Warwick (Lead Vocals/Guitar),
Sam Wood (Guitar),
Robert Crane (Bass Guitar)
Zak St. John (Drums)
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