Lordi / Dirty Passion / Hollywood Groupies – The Classic Grand, Glasgow (27th March 2015)

(c) Lara Vischi

Photo sets: Lordi / Dirty Passion / Hollywood Groupies (all courtesy of Lara Vischi, ishootmetal.com)

(c) Lara Vischi
(c) Lara Vischi

[avatar user=”Martin” size=”50″ align=”left” /]Bit of a disappointing start to the evening. We turned up at the venue just before 6pm, with our equipment and carefully thought out questions, to discover there were no interviews with any members of Lordi. We were initially pencilled in for a video interview with Mr Lordi himself at 10:30pm which we were very excited about but unfortunately because of the early 10:30pm curfew for gigs at the venue we couldn’t do it. Our interview with Ox and Amen before the gig unfortunately didn’t happen either. Not a great start but still happy about seeing Lordi for the first time.

There are two support bands tonight the first being Hollywood Groupies from the colourful town of La Spezia in northern Italy. The venue was still starting to fill up when their intro tape started and I’d say there were maybe thirty or so people at the barrier when they struck the first chords of “Helter Jester”. Even with the small crowd the band gave it their all.

Front woman Foxy has lots of energy about her and encourages the crowd to clap along during the set. Bass player Condor and guitarist Kelly had some Scorpion style choreographed moments as they swung their guitars in unison. Ace, the rhythm guitar player, had some technical problems early on but these were fixed pretty quickly. “We wanna hear you!” shouts Foxy as they kick into their last song “Sick Twisted Paradise”. I was impressed by their performance and they went down well with the Glasgow crowd. By the time they finished, the hall was about half full. If you like American style 80’s rock then you could do worse than check them out.

(c) Lara Vischi
(c) Lara Vischi

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of glam rock so when I spotted the bass player with a Thunderbird bass, waistcoat, and cloth cap, it didn’t really fill me with joy. Dirty Passion sound exactly how they look and they play a set of 80’s inspired sleazy rock ‘n’ roll songs competently enough but it’s not really my thing. The band are from Sweden but have the sound, and look of a band from L.A. around thirty years ago. They have all the trapping of that style down: lots of chat between songs about women, jokes about selling condoms at the t-shirt stand, a song about bitches called “Bitch” which had quite a few ladies nodding along for some reason, and the obligatory acoustic rock ballad. So far so predictable. They’re a difficult band for me to review as I dislike the genre but they did seem to appeal to the audience, and they managed to have a sing-along on their last song.

The lights dim and the Kiss classic “God of Thunder” plays over the P.A. as an introduction to the main event of the night. The audience cheer in anticipation as the sound of an aircraft’s tannoy fills the hall with the pilot’s “Bing Bong” sound and the following message:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is captain Ruiz speaking.
We’ve reached our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet.
If you look out the window on the left side of the aircraft, you’ll see
an enormous flying object on a direct intercept path with us.
Local air traffic control has identified object as
Scare Force One.

(c) Lara Vischi
(c) Lara Vischi

I defy anyone not to break into a smile when they see Lordi on stage for the first time. As “Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein” thunders through the venue the first impression of Lordi that I have is how physically huge they are. The platform boots and enormous costumes make the stage suddenly seem very small as they lumber around. With hardly a gap between the songs the band go into another heavy high energy song “This is Heavy Metal” from the Babez For Breakfast album. Amen’s guitar strap lights up for this one and Mr Lordi punctuates the words “Heavy Metal” with his fist in the air. It’s not a Lordi show without some theatrics, and a strange Dee Snider’esque clown-like character joins them during the chorus.

I was surprised that “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, being arguably their most well known song, featured so early in the set. The Eurovision winning song is definitely a favourite with the crowd as everyone sings along. “Jump jump jump” and everyone in the hall obeys Mr Lordi’s request; who’s going to argue with a seven foot axe wielding monster?

After Mr Lordi encourages people to buy drinks from the bar he introduces a song from the album Deadache “which is surprisingly called ‘Deadache’”. He shines a torch into the faces of the crowd as a figure dressed as an old woman runs around with a rubber, at least I hope it’s rubber, club whacking various members of the audience. Good stuff. Amen plays a really nice guitar solo on this one and the guitar sounds great.

After Hella’s keyboard solo, all members of the band had their own solo sections, the band run through a mix of material spanning their career so far. After fourteen songs the band leave the stage to an audience chanting and cheering for more. It’s a short wait however before an intro tape starts and Mr Lordi, now wearing police hat and shades starts singing “Scare Force One”, the first of three encore songs.

Setlist - click for full size
Setlist – click for full size

Like Alice Cooper and Kiss, Lordi are a band all rock and metal fans should at least see once regardless of how big a fan of the music you are. Half of the appeal is the actual show itself and Lordi utilise various props, including smoking skulls, circular saws, corpses that just don’t stay down, buckets of babies, and are also joined on stage by various monsters, evil clowns, air stewardess’s, demons and witches. They’re great fun and if you’re in the front row, as I was, being shot full in the face with a dry ice gun can’t help but make you laugh. I met a guy after the gig who was wiping fake blood off his leather coat but he was still smiling away.

Highlights of the gig for me were “Hard Rock Hallelujah” and the crowd pleaser “Devil is a Loser” where Mr Lordi unfurls his impressive demonic wings. Lordi put on a fantastic show tonight and if you can catch them on this tour try and do so. Hope to see them back in Glasgow again soon.

Lordi: [lordi]

Dirty Passion: [dirtypassion]

Hollywood Groupies: [hollywoodgroupies]

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