Finally, almost three years after their last visit, Tragedy – the greatest all metal tribute to the Bee Gees and beyond – have returned to Glasgow. No strangers to hitting foreign shores, the band are regular visitors to the UK, but didn’t make it north of the border the last couple of times they were here.
On this tour, they’re using local support at each venue and tonight we’re treated to The Bill. Playing only their second ever live show (I was informed when interviewing Mo’Royce afterwards), this three-piece threw out a pretty impressive 45 minute set of Police covers.
I did a bit of detective work (clever link to the band name there, see?) and found them on facebook – link below. Stevie on bass/vocals takes on the Sting duties, and was ably assisted by Johnny on drums and a rather manic Liam on guitars. While Steve was rooted to the mike due to vocal duties, Liam was bouncing and gyrating as much as was physically possible on the small stage.
When you turn up for a gig facing an unknown support act, often the first thought it “I hope they’re good as I won’t know any of their songs”. To then find out they’re a covers act – so you do know the material – and add to that the fact that they’re also pretty good at their craft and it really gets your evening off to a good start.
You did well, lads, A warm-up band who genuinely warmed us up – and not just the friends you brought with you!
9:00pm, though, finally brought back Tragedy. A band I’ve waited almost three years to see for a second time after their incredible performance at the ABC2 in 2012. On they strode, resplendent in their glitter, feathers, platforms and… scarily revealing leotards.
Missing was lead drummer Lord Gibbeth as he’s apparently due to give birth imminently. In his stead was The Lord Taketh Away, who thumped tubs in a more than acceptable stopgap fashion.
The rest of the band was present and correct, including hanger-on/towel-boy Lance, a “man” whose role neither I nor the band can fathom. He’s just… there.
Tragedy are a great band for many reasons. First up, they’re genuinely good musicians who – despite the overblown personas and comedy trippings – really give a damn about their performance and the original source material. On top of that, they’re actually good at what they do around the music. They’ve conjured up a great air around the band that’s more than you normally get for a bunch of guys playing other people’s songs.
I was about to say “there’s no ego in the band”, but really there are five. It’s just there’s no one ego that stands out above the other egos, so everyone gets a fair shout at writing and performing. This is made all the more apparent with the current release, The Solo Albums. Each member has picked their favourite couple of songs and performs them, with the backing of the best musicians they could find. As luck would have it, they already work with the best musicians they could find, so the result is Tragedy showcasing their individual vocal talents.
Many of these track were played tonight with a fair part of the set coming from the new album. They were lapped up as happily by the audience as any of the older numbers. And the great thing with covers acts is that, even if you don’t have the album yet, you’ll almost certainly still know the songs anyway.
I’d like to pick out highlights from the set but I can’t. It was so much fun, that the whole thing just flowed together like a stage show rather than a gig made up of individual songs. Despite playing things for laughs, Tragedy really belt out a cracking set without letting things fall flat or drag at any point. Hell, even their walk off-stage pre-encore only lasted about 20 seconds.
Tonight was the fourth date out of thirteen in the UK and I urge you, if you’re not already going and there’s a date near you on this run, to get off your arse and go. For the small venue low ticket price you’ll pay, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more entertaining way to listen to metal, enjoy some classics, have a laugh and support live music all in one go.
Mo’Royce promised me that Glasgow is back on their map again, so hopefully it won’t be three more years before I get to enjoy the awesomeness that is Tragedy live once again.
Glasgow City? Decimated!
The Bill: facebook