If you’re of the superstitious disposition then you may not have ventured outside or if you did, been extremely wary of people in hockey masks. For many though, people wanted to see a couple of rock bands in Glasgow on a Friday night. I can’t think of anything much better. Making another visit to the Garage which wasn’t for the Quireboys after Tuesday’s outing for Fozzy, this time it was for the Answer in tow with the wonderful Bad Touch, it had the makings of a great night.
After racing up the stairs, it was straight over to the merchandise to claim my own copy of Bad Touch’s debut album, exclusively available at their shows before general release next month. Then after claiming a spot at the barrier, it was time to watch some great rock and roll.
Kicking off proceedings were a German duo called The Picturebooks. Sporting a look and sound reminiscent of the Graveltones, it didn’t hit the spot that the Aussies hit effortlessly. Raucous and bluesy in equal measure, I hadn’t been overwhelmed when hearing their album and whilst they received cheers and applause, it wasn’t anywhere near the quality of the following bands.
As the stage is quickly given over to Bad Touch, the Garage has filled out considerably, a few people in Bad Touch t-shirts and the atmosphere has noticeably grown. I had already wanted to see the Answer but their addition to the bill was only going to improve the night. It’s fair to say they have a good following here. What followed was a band who have become even more sure of themselves since their last tour (supporting Tyketto). Bad Touch then provided a short but fantastic set with half a dozen or so songs taken from their debut album. Hard rock smothered in blues to set the tone for the Answer. Stevie Westwood effortlessly tackled his vocals, strolling across with the stage with a cool air of effortless charisma, introducing “Good on Me (Jeans Song)” with good humour and “New Day” with a mention of the Cathouse. Guitars screeched and wailed, revving the crowd up and with George Drewry thumping the drums combined with meaty bass lines, making for their best performance yet.
Time for the main attraction and as the Answer jumped onto the stage, they didn’t waste any time in delivering a career-spanning show. Launching straight in with “I Am What I Am” before Cormac Neeson informed us we were a spectacular crowd, cue the song of the same name. And for seventy five minutes or so, as the Answer worked to a tight curfew for the young things to dance the night away, they gave an electrifying performance. The Answer showed how under-rated they are and should be playing to much bigger crowds than last night.
Hammering on the drums, James Heatley was bathed in sweat to combine the grooves of Micky Waters’ bass. Paul Mahon on lone lead guitar provided some raw blues-tinged hard rock licks to create, musically, a fantastic modern sounding band.
It wasn’t all hard rocking numbers though, we were treated to the soulful “Last Days of Summer” from new album, Raise a Little Hell complete with extended instrumentals and “Strange Kinda’ Nothing” as a stripped down acoustic affair. That being said, the up-tempo ones are where the band’s strengths lie and the ones which receive the warmest welcomes. “Red” sounds even better in a live setting than on the latest album, becoming bluesier and rawer whilst descending into a singalong moment.
“Raise a Little Hell” became a collaborative effort with Cormac Neeson jumping into the crowd with a small following crouching with him. Not wasting much time between songs, Neeson didn’t spend too much time chatting in order to fire ahead with songs (which I’m more than happy with). He invited us to tonight’s Newcastle show to which someone shouted “Fuck Newcastle!” Replying with a wry smile and “we’ll try”.
For encore we were treated to my favourite song “Nowhere Freeway”, a perfect way to end what was a blistering show and ending on a high note. And with a quick chat with old faces and Bad Touch, another gig was at an end. As a performance, it was nothing short of brilliance. Nothing less than what you’d expect from a band with five albums to their name and one of the tightest live bands I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.