The music business is a fickle world. A couple of years ago I had a chat pre-gig in Edinburgh with Gavin Butler about the band’s then new release, the album ‘Start The Party’, and the band’s upcoming festival dates at the Soundwave Festival in Australia. Things were looking very rosy for The Blackout and the guys were on a high.
Fast forward 24 short months and I am in the crowd to witness the band’s second last show before they call it a day, as I say the music business is a fickle world. Tonight though is a celebration of the band’s 12 year career with the guys determined to throw one last party the only way they know how.
Bursting on to the stage they opened with ‘Wolves’ the title track from their latest EP which was financed through crowd funding after they found themselves out of contract. Frontmen Sean Smith and Gavin Butler were running around the stage making good use of the two small risers at the front and encouraging the crowd to bounce along.
The set was of the ‘greatest hits’ variety as you might expect from such a show and no one was complaining. There have always been a couple of things which have made The Blackout stand out from the crowd, the first is the interaction and banter from Smith and Butler, who fire lines back and forward like a good comedy duo, and the other is the level of musicianship from the band who are always as tight as a duck’s posterior.
‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’, ‘Spread Legs, Not Lies’ and ‘Children Of The Night’ passed in a blur as the guys played like men on a mission, especially guitarist Jim Davies who was jumping and spinning around like a man possessed.
During a lull in proceedings Sean Smith asked if anyone in the crowd was seeing the band for the first time, when a smattering of hands went up he jokingly asked where the f**k they had been and had they turned up sooner it may not have been the last tour!
There were a few sincere moments during the course of the show where the band thanked the fans and crew for their support over the years which raised a cheer but the next huge tune was never far away as the party continued in style.
The beginning of the end aptly started with the anthem ‘Start The Party’ which was then followed by a medley of songs from the band’s first album which was well put together. ‘Ambition Is Critical’ was followed by ‘I’m A Riot? You’re a F**king Riot!’ which went off like a hand grenade in a confined space and caused about as much damage.
‘ShutTheFuckUppercut’ and ‘Higher and Higher’ raised things to fever pitch while only one song could round off proceedings ‘Save Our Selves (The Warning)’ complete with major crowd participation and that was it.
As soon as the last chords were struck, the band waved their goodbyes and left the stage for the final time in Glasgow, no long drawn out farewells, they just left the crowd with ringing ears and huge smiles which I think sums up The Blackout perfectly.
I can’t help but think that the UK rock scene has lost one of the most entertaining and honest bands in recent years and that things will be a bit duller without the Welsh wonders. Still, tonight they proved once again that they were ‘The Best In Town’, all the best guys…
Review and Photos by Dave Wilson
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BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
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09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
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BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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