[Full sets of pictures on flickr – not great quality, I’m afraid, as I left my camera at home and had to use my mobile phone]
Gallus Cooper are billed as one of the best Alice Cooper tribute bands and they regularly play with Talk of the Devil, an Ozzy/Sabbath tribute act. A friend of mine won a couple of tickets and I managed to snaffle his spare. The call of beer in the Solid meant that we missed the opening act.
However, we made it there in good time for Tom Russell (him from the radio) to come on stage and introduce Talk of the Devil. One thing I’d like to say – Tom’s a legend in the world of rock. But his radio voice sends me to sleep. Far more suited to a Santa Claus style Jackanory scenario. On stage, though, he’s far better. If only he could take this stage persona and use it on the airwaves!
The bands… Annoyingly, the sound for Talk of the Devil was a bit poo. This is a shame as what they played sound pretty good. A decent variety of Ozzy solo stuff and classic Black Sabbath, though not including “War Pigs” which happens to be a favourite of mine.
From what I could tell, though, the singer did a passable Ozzy voice. I was a little concerned with “Randy Rhodes“‘ wig. It made him look less like an ageing rock star and more like a transvestite who hadn’t quite got around to putting on a frock.
Appearances aside, a good and lengthy set with many recognisable songs which had a big section of the crowd flinging the horns like devil-possessed loons.
After a short gap, Mr Russell came on to introduce the headliners and then… something happened. I’ve no idea what but I think it involved Tom and some stage blood. Certainly “Alice” was doing something to Tom, but as he’s been tackled to the stage I couldn’t see. If anyone was in the first few rows and could tell me I’d appreciate it!
Their set was varied in everything but quality. Songs from most times during Alice’s reign as king of shock rock from the early beginnings up to the Trash era (I don’t think there was anything from after that, I’m not an Alice expert).
For a covers band playing small venues, the production values were very impressive. Costumes, outfits, monsters, stunts, balloons… obviously not to the extent of the “real” Alice who has just a teeny bit more cash to fling around (and I’m not just talking about the intro to “Billion Dollar Babies“), but damn impressive all the same.
I won’t go into too many details as I don’t want to spoil the show for anyone who’s not caught them before.
I was, however, surprised by the number of other bands they covered. Megadeth’s “No More Mr Nice Guy”, Zodiac Mindwarp’s “Feed My Frankenstein”, Anthrax’s “I’m Eighteen”, even “Elected” by Mr Bean (and that guy from Iron Maiden)!
For £8, this was great value for money. The sound could have been better for the support – it definitely improved for Gallus – but fun was had all the same. They have other shows coming up including one on the 27th December so if I’ve whet your appetite then do keep an eye out for them going on sale.