Home Gigs Gig Review : The Almighty @ Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow

Gig Review : The Almighty @ Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow

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Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM

Just look at that title above. How beautiful is it to see again? This has to be the gig I have been most pumped for since I was a teenager, I have been buzzing for weeks and so has social media and purely based on fan interaction and basic hysteria.

To add to the special event the band were inducted into the Barrowland hall of fame and it is totally warranted. This band played the venue, they frequented the venue and they made it their proverbial home so tonight was a homecoming filled with nostalgia, noise and balls out Rock’n’ Roll.

I felt a bit sorry for Balaam and the Angel, they played a great set and they added to the nostalgia of the night. I saw both bands when they played together back in the day but tonight was always going to be about the headliners and a lot of fans unfairly wanted their set to be over so we could see the Strathavan / Belfast boys once again but they slowly won everyone over.

I first saw this band supporting The Cult and they were a perfect fit for that tour and it basically kicked off their career. The band took to the stage with that Cult riffage on “The Wave” and the atmosphere was set up with style. With backing vocals the band got down to setting down a groove before bursting in with “Light of the World”.

The band were tight, the vocals were spot on and the Glasgow boys done good. They had a very gracious 11 song set list with the highlight being final number “I Love the Things you do to me”. This one would have tickled the old grey matter but if like me the 80s are a bit hazy you just knew the song, not the whole package.

The band pulled back the years and got everyone in the mood for the main course. Just one little niggle, if you are going to go quiet and let a crowd take over…make sure they know what is happening, it tends to leave a bit of a hush.

Next you would think we had The Almighty but on troops some pipe and drummers to help us celebrate St Andrews Day with “Flower of Scotland” and as good as it was it didn’t quite match a Murrayfield crowd but it got us singing.

The lights went down, the intro tape to “Resurrrection Mutha” kicked in and 34 years rolled back on the opening track to the debut and when that guitar fades in and that very personal Stumpy drum sound comes in we are all in Heaven but to be honest I cannot tell which smiles are bigger, the ones in the audience or the ones on the stage.

Any doubts you my have had on how the boys would sound were drowned out immediately, they were tighter than a seals sphincter. We then blasted into that beautiful riff from Powertrippin’s “Over the Edge” and Ricky spat his way venomously through the song.

Ricky was on fire tonight, I am sure like many out there we have seen him in many different incarnations over the years. I can say honestly every single show I have seen him perform was dwarfed by tonight’s set. The Almighty made the man (and probably broke him a few times) but this is where I have always wanted to see him.

It was back to the debut for “Power” and by now everyone is in a different world. The stage crew are dealing equally with crowd surfers and giving out much needed water and the band do not want to let up so burst straight into “Addiction” and the endorphins are going crazy.

I am determined to take in everything tonight and I watch the crowd jump, sway and basically go apeshit. I also take in the band and you have to wonder how it feels for them all to be back on this infamous stage, where memories were made and futures set in place. Did any of them think it would ever happen again and if so did it live up to their expectation as everyone this side of the barrier have been utterly blown away.

The set goes by at a blistering pace throwing all manner of first four album tracks at us and the first time it let up was on the first outing from Soul Destruction with “Little Lost Sometimes”. The acoustic was out and the voices of the crowd soared. This rendition was as good if not better than the live shows back in the day.

It was a huge set tonight and I know some people just do not want all the spoilers but there were some gems and there were some deep cuts I would never have expected but loved them all the same. You had your expected bangers and they went off big time but it was the final run in and the last seven songs that blew away cobwebs, blasted your ears out and reminded you exactly why you loved the Almighty in the first place.

Pre encore was “Blood, Fire & Love”, “Jonestown Mind” and “Crank and Deceit” and they drained the batteries and sent adrenalin round your body at the same time before giving a little respite with the awesome “Free’n’Easy” and to heighten every sense you had Ricky says you never know, we might be back and to be honest once they tally up the merch sales tonight it is a no brainer. In all my times going to this venue I have never see a que out the first floor and up the stairs and that never wained till the boys were well into their set.

I hope the vibe, the re release sales, merch sales and basic all round awesomness of these events makes it so. Everyone needs The Almighty in their lives.

As the boys thank us all and go through the we are going home now, honest, nonsense it gives us the time to get a beer at the same time as we scream The All fucking Mighty and then the boys burst onto the stage and that drum beat starts and everyone knows “Crucify” is about to bust our nuts and it sure as hell does.

It is obvious this encore is plotted out to get the biggest reaction from the crowd and “Jesus Loves You” gets us all bouncing on those half tennis balls under the floor and as the acoustic plays on the crowd outmatches Ricky’s amplified vocals. This version is the best I have heard and probably my favourite song of the night.

The audience were bouncing by now so when the boys settle for the last song and the acoustic guitar is placed in front of Floyd and that flamenco intro of “Wild & Wonderful” kicks in all hell lets loose and as Ricky approaches the mic the Glasgow choir decide sit back my son…we have got this and the intro was incredible, I had never thought I would scream “I’m Fucking loving it” in an arena again so whether it be the last time or not we sang so loud we shook the stars on the ceiling above us.

Tonight will go down as one of those historical gigs, one you will speak of for decades and the amazing thing is so many people from so many countries came together to view the boys in their hometown and now they know what a live show is meant to be and just how loved The Almighty are here, they are our loud, greasy and dirty mutherfuckers, we will share them but They are ours.

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