Gig review: HRH AOR TOUR – ABC, Glasgow, 17 March 2016

QUIREBOYS - HRH AOR TOUR – ABC, Glasgow, 17 March 2016

Walking along Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow towards tonight’s venue was like being transported to Grafton Street in Dublin. It was St Patrick’s Day and the streets were awash with green, Guinness hats and people looking for drinking, dancing, good music and more drinking, much like a Quireboys gig in fact.

As luck would have it Spike and the boys were in town headlining the HRH AOR tour, the latest product of the ever expanding HRH franchise. A value for money package with a four band bill following on from the HRH AOR festival in Wales. Opening things tonight were Thirteen Stars who I unfortunately missed due to an early start time so taking to the stage when I finally arrived were Swedish rockers Bonafide.

BONAFIDE - HRH AOR TOUR – ABC, Glasgow, 17 March 2016

Bonafide are a bit of a cult band in Glasgow as their song ‘Fill Your Head With Rock’ was adopted as an anthem by a local rock radio station so the band got a great reception. The band’s AC/DC like sound went down a storm with the crowd, this is honest, no nonsense rock which is always welcome in Glasgow.

Playing a selection of older numbers interspersed with songs from their latest album ‘Denim Devils’ they played an entertaining set. Frontman Pontus Snibb was in good voice and as the opening staccato riff to ‘Fill Your Head…’ rang out the crowd joined in with the vocals with little encouragement. A solid set from a band who always deliver.

Next up we should have had Faster Pussycat but at some point they were swapped for Hardcore Superstar. Although the band have been doing the rounds for many years this was the first time our paths had crossed. Opening with ‘Sadistic Girls’ things got off to a promising start with some good melodies and a lively stage show. However things soon became repetitive both musically and with the stage antics.

HARCORE SUPERSTAR - HRH AOR TOUR – ABC, Glasgow, 17 March 2016

Frontman Joakim Berg bounced about like a kangaroo on speed and pulled out every cliché from the classic rock book, if he had said ‘scream for me Glasgow’ one more time I certainly would have but for all the wrong reasons. With songs like ‘Last Call For Alcohol’ and ‘We Don’t Celebrate Sundays’ it should have been fun all the way but for me the overall performance felt forced and lacking a spark. The band did go down well but for me the Hardcore Superstar performance was all show with little substance.

If you want to see how a rock n roll show should be done then look no further than Newcastle’s finest The Quireboys. Spike made his way to the stage through the crowd led by a piper, now that’s show business!

QUIREBOYS - HRH AOR TOUR – ABC, Glasgow, 17 March 2016

With the Quireboys you know you are in for a good time and once again they didn’t fail to deliver. The guys were working against the clock to fit in as much music as possible before the dreaded curfew. The set was crammed full of classics like ‘Hey You’ and ‘Mona Lisa Smiled’ but there was also time for a couple from the band’s latest album ‘St Cecelia and the Gypsy Soul’.

The musicianship, as always, was first rate with Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin effortlessly churning out the rocking riffs whilst Keith Weir played some stunning honky tonk piano.

All too soon Spike was asking ‘what time is it’ heralding the arrival of the anthem that is ‘7 O’Clock’ which had the crowd singing and dancing as one. There was time for one more song and no Quireboys show would be complete with the heartfelt strains of ‘I Don’t Love You Any More’ which brought the evening to a close in fine fashion.

This was a great show overall and excellent value for money. Hopefully the HRH crew will look at expanding the post festival tour element to cover the likes of Hammerfest and the Hard Rock Hell weekend as it looks as though they are on to a winner.

Review and photos by David Wilson

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