Tonight’s gig was a showcase for the musical talent on the roster of Off Yer Rocka Records, the label of the HRH franchise and home of some of the finest up and coming bands in the UK. The bands were allotted a 50 minute set with the bill rotating each night allowing all bands the chance to close one of the shows.
Opening the show tonight were a band that I had waited a long time to see following two previous failed attempts, long story! However Trucker Diablo proved to be well worth the wait.
Armagh’s finest rolled their big truck into Glasgow and delivered the goods and then some. Opening the set with ‘We Stand Strong’ from the band’s latest album ‘Rise Above The Noise’ it was clear that the guys were firing on all cylinders. Frontman Tom Harte was in good voice and the Glasgow crowd quickly warmed to the band’s melodic hard rock.
Another new track followed in the shape of ‘Party Like They Started The End Of The World’ and although it was very early in the night the crowd were happy to do just that. The between song banter from Tom and guitarist Simon was rapid fire and comical in equal measure which added to the atmosphere and kept things rolling along nicely.
The ten song set was a good mix from all three albums in the Trucker collection with ‘Voodoo’ and the excellent ‘Drive’ showing off the band’s songwriting skills well, melodic hard rock at its best. The guys did slow things down a bit with another new track ‘Murder Ballads’ which featured some soulful guitar playing from Tom. One thing which did strike me about the band is how tight and together they are, considering that they only get the occasional chance to tour.
Highlight of the set though was the anthem ‘Drink Beer, Destroy’ which had the hall bouncing. Midway through the track the guys broke into Metallica’s ‘Seek And Destroy’ substituting ‘Seek’ with ‘Drink Beer’ of course! ‘Girl In A Photograph’ and ‘The Rebel’ then rounded off a highly entertaining set. This may have been third time lucky for me and Trucker Diablo didn’t disappoint.
How to follow that? With more top notch Irish rock from the mighty Screaming Eagles. The guys released their second album ‘Stand Up And Be Counted’ in 2015 and are touring hard and building a good following around the UK and beyond. The band master in straight forward, no nonsense rock with a big nod to AC/DC.
With the crowd nicely warmed up and the odd drink flowing the band got a rousing welcome as they kicked off with ‘Ready For The Fall’. Frontman Chris Fry has a fantastic voice which is reminiscent of Bon Scott and suits the music perfectly. The band’s theme song ‘Screaming Eagles’ was up next by which time the guys had the crowd singing and clapping along.
As well as playing songs from their two albums the guys also played a couple of choice covers, the first being ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’ which re-inforced the AC/DC connection and ‘Roadhouse Blues’ which again was top notch.
The set went down a storm with the Glasgow crowd who always have time for good, honest high calibre hard rock. The guys ended the set with a snippet of another ‘DC song, ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n Roll), it certainly is but Screaming Eagles are heading in the right direction.
That only left one act to round off the night and judging by the number of Massive Wagons t-shirts in the hall it looks as though they already had the evening in the bag. The band certainly hit the stage with a bang.
Frontman Baz Mills is a pint size powerhouse who takes the crowd by the scruff of the neck and refuses to let go. He didn’t have to try too hard to engage this particular crowd and had fists pumping along to the opener ‘Shit Sweat Death’. Baz has a distinctive voice and his delivery is rabid as is his between song chat, in fact it was hard to make out a word he said, I know, rich coming from a Scotsman!
The set heavily featured tracks from the forthcoming new Massive Wagons album ‘Welcome To The World’. With so many unfamiliar tracks it would have been easy for the crowd’s interest to wander but such was the delivery and conviction no-one seemed to mind.
We were treated to familiar crowd pleasers as well in the shape of ‘Black Witch’, ‘Fight The System’ and the fan favourite ‘Red Dress’ which were welcome reference points amongst the newer material. The new tracks sounded good though especially the rocking ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Ratio’ which are destined to be a set staples for years to come.
Every week there is some pundit or other spouting forth on the death of rock and the collapse of the music industry. Tonight proved beyond doubt that rock is alive and still kicking serious ass and that labels like Off Yer Rocka deserve all the support they can get.
Seeing a show like this with three great bands on a value for money bill restores your faith in music and proves that there are still people in the industry who care, amen to that!
Review by David Wilson
Photos by Simon Dunkerley
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 30 August 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 8 September 2020.
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