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Gig Review : BulletBoys @ Audio, Glasgow

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Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM

I cannot believe it is 2024 and this is the first time BulletBoys have played Glasgow. Luckily I did see them in Edinburgh way back in 1989 and in 2018 so I knew what was coming and if I didn’t I had bumped into Marq Torien outside the venue when he left me with the words of wisdom of lets rock the shit out of this place…and boy did he.

The Blonde hair may be well gone but that cheeky smile and the glint in his eyes have never diminished, Marq is an entertainer and after more than three decades he is still hungry for a show and he does not let up for one minute on that stage.

I do have to say that the sound was awful tonight but the band did not give a shit, they were there to put on a show the Lemmy way…no bells, no whistles, just sheer Rock’n’Roll.

The band opened with “What Ya Don’t” from 2018s From out of the Skies and from the chaotic start the band never let up. Marq is behind his guitar and strutting his stuff and his collection of faces and audience pump ups comes thick and fast.

Second song of the evening gets the crowd super hyped and everyone is “Hard as a Rock”. From the debut album and to date still one of my favourite debuts albums ever. The songs power and pomp fought and won through the dodgy sound tonight and it was party time. This was followed up with “Hell on My Heels” and that opening line of want to fuck you was screamed at the top of everyones lungs.

The boys set up a mid song coordinated bounce off during the mid section and the crowd reciprocated with aplomb.

It was time to go for a trio of debut songs with “For the Love of Money” next up and as you listen to these songs you realise just why this band set the world on fire and when you see Marq still has the voice and the moves you can see why he is still here, doing this all these years later. A three song set of excellence right there.

As if to accentuate how good this was the next track is “Holy Fuck” which is a banger from 2022 and features some immense guitar work from Ira Black.

It is back to the debut and again the crowd chants in with the intro of 24 Blue on “Crank me Up”. This song was where thee Van Halen/ Dave Lee Roth comparisons came from. The fun parts, the guitar and the relentless drumming.

This band never saw the heights that they deserved, as per a lot of bands, Grunge put an end to that but here we are three decades later and where is that grunge? Talent will always outstrip crappy shirts and a hard done by attitude.

We headed back to 1991 for another cover in “Talk to Your Daughter”, a song that the band has played live for years and always slots in beautifully. A little light hearted romp before we go full on with Hayley Norton taking the stage for “Ace of Spades” and shit really does go down. Marq is let loose, Ira lets rip and Hayley goes full helicopter mode…what more do you want from a live show?

We visit the very underrated Elefante album for “Symphony” after we had witnessed Ira’s many skills on the fretboard during his solo. The tempo is slowed down, the audience get a chance to grab a breath and witness a song we have not heard in a while.

It looks like that reprise was the first and last of the night as we head into the final throws of the show with a drum solo, “Bringing Home” and “Rollover” before bowing out with one of the best hair metal songs ever written in “Smooth up in Ya”. The first song I heard of the band on MTV’s Headbangers Ball. I had recorded the episode as it was on at stupid o’clock here in the UK but I wore out that old VHS copy. I refused to tape over it and tonight I sang the song with as much oomph as I did in 1989 in Edinburgh.

One song does not make a band but boy this monster helped. I still have that debut on vinyl and I played it before heading out to this show and it still holds up to this day and that is why BulletBoys are still here, still touring and still kicking ass.

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