Live Review: Britrock Must Be Destroyed! – Glasgow

With a nod and a wink to The Wildhearts album with almost the same title, the Britrock Must Be Destroyed! Tour is a celebration of some of the British rock bands from the early to mid 90’s… the ones that offered up something meatier than the “great” Oasis Vs Blur Britpop debate/debacle (delete where appropriate). A time when you could catch The Wildhearts destroying Top Of The Pops on a regular basis, Reef on TFI Friday, and Terrorvision making an entire generation bounce around while shouting, “Whales and dolphins, whales and dolphins… yeah”. As chance would have it, most of them have survived the ‘90’s, and someone with a cunning plan put them all together on tour, with each night seeing a different running order. Hence, we have the Britrock Must Be Destroyed! Tour, and this beauty was anything but a last hurrah from bands who could be excused if they had let themselves go. After a short, but well received, set from Dodgy, the backdrop tells us that the next band will be Bradford’s finest, Terrorvision. Each band is getting a full set, so although Terrorvision are on at 6.30pm, they play for an hour and batter the crowd with 16 or so “lairy” anthems. For the youngsters out there, lairy was the keyword in the ‘90’s, none of this “LOL” pish! It meant having a good time and waking up with a half eaten kebab in your jacket pocket. Terrorvision were the kings of lairy, and their hugely popular songs offered up a welcome relief from the day-to-day grind of life in Britain in the ‘90’s. Terrorvision look amazing, no way that it cannot be mentioned. Fitter than a butchers dog, they look incredible. As soon as they kick off the set with ‘Discotheque Wreck’ it’s obvious why they are so fit. They still have the same insane energy on stage that they had back in the day. Vocalist, and everyone’s best mate, Tony Wright is a ball of energy as he covers every inch of the stage. Likewise, guitarist Mark Yates and bassist Leigh Marklew are hard to keep up with as they make the most of their 60 minutes. It really is hit after hit, as Terrorvision set out to remind you just how many songs of theirs that you know. ‘Alice What’s The Matter’ has the crowd blaring out the words, ‘My House’, ‘Perseverance’ and ‘Pretend Best Friend’ has them bouncing. Wright goes for a wander down to the barrier on ‘Some People Say’, and takes a phone from someone in the crowd. He keeps filming as he climbs back on stage and continues with the song. A nice souvenir for someone, or maybe he was sneakily checking out those pics that they had forgotten to delete? The set ends with, what else but, ‘Oblivion’, and as the crowd are bouncing as one, the thought crosses my mind… ”’Kin hell man, it’s only 7.30pm!”. Terrorvision came, they saw, they conquered, and yes… they got lairy. Next up were Reef, and I think that it’s fair to say that these guys were the surprise package of the evening. I knew the band, knew the songs, but I just didn’t expect them to be this good. In all honesty, that shouldn’t have came as a surprise, especially since their latest album, ‘Revelation’, is so strong. Like Terrorvision before them, Reef get a full hour on stage and use the time wisely. The songs are more expansive in a live setting, and they really do spread their wings. Opener ‘Naked’ quickly re-affirms how strong Gary Stringer’s voice still is. He makes it look effortless really, as he leads the band through a set distilled through many decades. ‘Stone For Love’ and ‘Come Back Brighter’ sound massive, and ‘Place Your Hands’ gets a roof-raising cheer despite it’s early airing in the set, but it’s the new material that, for me, really stands out. ‘My Sweet Love’ is a tasty duet with Sheryl Crow, but as she can’t be there, it’s up to Stringer to perform both parts. The barnstorming title track was the first track released prior to the album launch, and the one to make a lot of people lift their heads up and pay attention. Played live, it’s way heavier, and if you needed any more convincing to check out ‘Revelation’, surely this provided it? ‘Precious Metal’ is another new one, and with a title like that, it was hardly going to be a mellow affair, was it? Throw in a cracking cover of ‘Stay With Me’ and a rousing rendition of ‘Yer Old’ and Reef had a lot of the wise old heads in the crowd nodding in approval. When Ginger and CJ Wildheart played Edinburgh late last year on their acoustic tour, Ginger himself confirmed that when they came back to play Glasgow on the Britrock Must Be Destroyed! Tour they would be indeed closing the show that night. Every band tonight played their part in making this a night to remember, but (and you knew there was a but coming didn’t you?) this is The Wildhearts territory. Even before the band took the stage there was a roof-raising rendition of ‘Don’t Worry About Me’. Yep, everyone was ramped up to catch Ginger, CJ, Ritch, and last but not least… Danny. The four of them back together, sharing a big stage. We are talking Infinity War type ensemble here, folks. Danny recently played Glasgow with his band The Main Grains, and it was heart-warming seeing him on stage again. If any proof was needed about willpower and triumph of the human spirit, Danny McCormack is that living proof, so when he walks out and performs opening song ‘Sick Of Drugs’ standing up, the crowd goes nuts. Knowing that he is performing while not totally steady with his prosthetic leg has everyone willing him on. Once the song ends, he steadies himself and takes advantage of the stool provided and performs the remainder of the set sitting down. As for the set, talk about a runaway train! The Wildhearts batter their way through ‘Sick Of Drugs’, ‘TV Tan’ and ‘My Baby Is A Headfuck’ before they pause for a breath. The Britrock Must Be Destroyed! Tour is like a festival of sorts, and tonight it was like a festival in a sauna. Ginger is the coolest guy in the building though, and quickly mentions that there won’t be much faffing around as they are on a tight schedule, but will keep playing until they are told to stop. It really is banger after banger; ‘Suckerpunch’, ‘Caffeine Bomb’, ‘Everlone’, ‘Nita Nitro’… Christ, the list is endless. A few verses of ‘Sunshine In Leith’ leads into ‘Geordie In Wonderland’, and the pub atmosphere escalates into a full blown Saturday down the Gallowgate on a match day. The band look comfortable together again, and it proves that life is really too short to bare a grudge. CJ is as lively as ever and plays with a massive smile on his face throughout, while Ritch is making his presence felt with a lesson in powerhouse drumming. We can hardly see him in the dark, but we can certainly hear him though. As the set nears its climax, and the curfew looms, Ginger mentions that he is “…sick of my voice” and one of his very special friends is going on to join in on a few songs, and bloody hell, it’s only Frank Turner! On to the stage comes a beaming Frank Turner for a genuine fanboy moment. He speaks about how he first saw The Wildhearts on TV when he was a teenager and thought they were the best band he had ever seen and, “18 years later, and I haven’t changed that opinion”. So with Turner at the helm, they steamroller through ‘Greetings From Shitsville’, ‘29x The Pain’ and the ultimate set closer – ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’. Near the end, Turner takes a header into the crowd and goes for a short crowd surf. Short, because he’s still singing through a wired mic! As the set ends, Turner thanks the crowd and the band before making his exit. The Wildhearts stay on stage for a few more minutes, soaking up the applause and warmly hugging each other, Danny gets an extra long embrace from each of his band mates. The best word that I can use to describe The Wildhearts set is life-affirming (wait, is that two words?). You really had to be there. The Britrock Must Be Destroyed! Tour concludes in Portsmouth on Saturday May 26th. If you were umming an ahing whether to go or not, just bloody go. You won’t regret it. Review: Dave S Images: Dave J [gallery type='flickr' user_id='132278830@N06' view='photosets' photoset_id='72157696418005144' columns='3' tag_mode='any' sort='date-posted-desc' per_page='59' layout='square' caption='title' thumb_size='s' main_size='z' ]  ]]>

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