Another night, another gig. Glasgow – indeed the UK – is heaving in live acts at the moment, with every week a veritable smorgasbord of choice when it comes to which bands are worth catching at one of your local venues. Steel Panther are a gimme, though, and it’s no surprise that their current tour is sold out in many venues. Twice over in London with the addition of a second date.
Accompanying them on tour this time around are a pair of mainstream rock bands, first of which is the Jepson-fronted Wayward Sons. With just the one album to their name (Ghosts of Yet To Come, reviewed by Sheggs) despite the wealth of experience of the band members, they sit in the opening slot and stalk on stage to a venue that’s already got a fair number of people in it.
It’s obvious from the off that they already have some fans. One woman behind me doesn’t stop dancing for their entire set, and there are raised hands and voices for a couple of their songs. With around half an hour to fill, the band seemed quite rushed to ensure they squeezed in as many songs as possible which is a bit of a shame, but what we got was good… only marred by the usual poor sound at the Academy.
During “Something Wrong” ironically enough, something went wrong as most of the track was spoiled by what I can only describe as “bass feedback”; A low vibration that you could feel more than hear trampled over the rest of the sound. During the rest of the set, the guitars were mainly buried in the mire and overall an excellent band weren’t allowed to shine as brightly as we know they can. Hopefully they’ll get better treatment when they come round again on their headlining tour later this year.
Taking the main support slot were Inglorious, who have toured with Wayward Sons recently and who we’ve encountered numerous times, including Wildfire a couple of years back. Fronted by Nathan James, a man with a hell of a set of pipes, they benefited from the sound engineer seeming to have come back from having an exceedingly long poo so the audience could actually hear them.
They seemed more relaxed than Wayward Sons, as they had a longer set to fill, and fill it they did. While their brand of rock is a little too mainstream for my tastes, what they do they do very well indeed and there was no denying the level of support in the venue. James’s hand gestures and high notes were accompanied by a band who were as tight as the drums Phil Beaver was thumping.
But the roar as aging drug addicts and perverts Steel Panther took to the stage would have left nobody in any doubt as to who the audience were waiting for. Ploughing through an opening salvo of “Eyes of a Panther” and new number “Goin’ In The Backdoor”, the set ground to a not unwelcome halt as the band essentially insulted each other for almost ten minutes.
Thing is, when you go to see a Steel Panther show you get a show. Not just a bunch of songs and an attempt at audience interaction, but a quartet who can play, sing, and engage an audience with filthy improvisation. They know what makes a live show and they know how to appeal to the (gutter level) sense of humour of their audience. Comments about their ages, Lexxi’s transition (which direction I’m not sure) and Michael’s penchant for smearing warm German Shepherd jizz over his chest were passed before the set properly continued with “Asian Hooker”. For the first time at a Glasgow show I’ve attended, a particular Asian woman didn’t crowdsurf to the front during the song (a fact the band mentioned later on), but it didn’t detract from an audience favourite.
Second Opinion (Taylor Barnes) What an absolutely fantastic performance by Steel Panther and their superb support acts Inglorious and Wayward Sons. Seeing a band live often transcends the emotions which are triggered by their records. I personally consider this concert to be in the top five concerts I have ever attended.
Don’t get me wrong, I wish they had some more of they’re popular songs on their set list, but other than that, it was outstanding. Highlight for me was the track “Wasted Too Much Time” off the new record Lower the Bar. I’ll definitely be looking out for more gigs from the support bands and both bands have gained a new fan.
Thanks to the Ricky Fleming at Moshville Times who provided me with free tickets.
The set was made up predominantly of songs from Feel the Steel despite it being the Lower The Bar tour, but I doubt there were any complaints. London are in for a treat when they play that album in full later in the tour. When you’ve got four albums you’re always going to have to start dropping some people’s favourites, but from talking to enough fans most prefer the first album anyway.
We got one of Satchel’s better guitar solos, complete with drumming and including riffs from a bevy of classic songs, more than 17 girls on stage for that song, boobies (yay boobies!), jokes about drug-taking, and absolute belters such as “Gloryhole”, “Death to All but Metal”, “Community Property” and “Party All Day (Fuck All Night)” – the four tracks which finished the night very much leaving the audience wanting more.
You can’t go wrong with a Steel Panther show unless you’ve got no sense of humour or live by the politically correct bible. In which case you have no sense of humour. If you can still get a ticket for this tour then grab it. If not, get your feet in the starting blocks for next time. You don’t want to miss out.
Photos by Gavin Lowrey / Gillian Avart