An Andrew W.K. gig is always some thing to write home about and he’s not shirked recently on chances for us to do so. This is his third visit to Glasgow in a shade over three years.
Openers were a local band, judging by the accents, called The Jackhammers. Very much old-school punk in both sound and attitude (spitting beer on each other, high-kicking around the stage), they definitely had a bunch of their mates in to help get the atmosphere tingling. They weren’t on for long – twenty minutes by my reckoning – but they didn’t waste a minute of it.
Some might think them an unusual choice of opening act, but given that Andrew W.K.’s last tour was fronting Marky Ramone‘s Blitzkrieg, then perhaps not.
Mr W.K. himself took to the stage a little after 9pm, being built up by a pre-recorded message which ran on for nigh on five minutes. Unsurprisingly, he strode on in a white t-shirt and matching jeans to a stage populated by one keyboard and one microphone. He was joined by a chap I later found out was called Blake (my contact for the interview) who acted as backing vocals and mad dancer, showing the crowd how it’s done.
The Classic has quite a generous amount of space on the stage, but despite the two-man act, they filled it – at least for the first couple of songs. Blake was bouncing all over the place while Andrew banged at the keyboard, or left a backing recording playing while he strode to the front and high-fived crowd-surfers.
Movement by the two main performers became less necessary – and more difficult – as the evening progressed as first one or two people made it onto the stage… then about half a dozen… then twenty-ish… then more than I could possibly count. Forty? Fifty? It was rammed anyway. Frankly, I’m astounded that the keyboard was only bashed once, causing a song to stop abruptly. Credit to Andrew – where other performers would go off in a swear-tastic hissy fit, he popped on another beat to keep the crowd going and brought the track back in.
The set-list was a good selection of the obvious – “Party Till You Puke”, “I Love New York/Glasgow City”, “It’s Time To Party”, “Party Hard”… to be fair, you’d be hard pushed to come up with a bad set given the songs available.
At a few points, the performance went a bit improv and I think the time could have been better used to play a song or two more… especially with the set being as short as it ended up being – barely an hour. I’m certain I wasn’t the only one surprised by this, as the crowd were baying for an encore for over five minutes until it was made clear that the gig was over. Despite the typically party-licious preceding sixty minutes, the disappointment on a lot of faces was obvious.
Being an Andrew W.K. show, though, even if he’d played for two hours, people would be disappointed at it finishing.
However, there should be another chance to see Andrew – I think with the full band – in a year or so as he’s working on rock album four with an expected release sometime in 2015. You (probably!) heard it here first!