The Tubes At Glasgow Art School, 9/8/15

So The Tubes are in Glasgow and celebrating 40 years of mayhem. Are they still as relevant after all these years? Can they still cut it and just as importantly does Fee Waybill still strip off? Well read on and find out my friends.

[caption id="attachment_6110" align="aligncenter" width="436"] The Tubes[/caption]

My links with The Tubes don’t go back quite the 40 years but they were part of my introduction to rebellion in the punk years. I loved the whole visual attack to the senses as well as the music but then I veered more towards the heavier rock and metal genres but I still have the white vinyl’s and I do keep an eye out for the guys in the press. It has, however, been a long time since I have seen them live but this is one gig I have been looking forward too eagerly.
Before the band are on-stage we see a slideshow of their career, spanning 40 years in pictures, some well know, some just newspaper cuttings but all relevant to what they have achieved over that time. The band kick off tonight with the instrumental “Get Overture”. This is no doubt to give Fee time to get ready but what it does do is let you see the sheer class of the rest of the band. You do not tread the boards for this long to be shabby or lazy. The talent is obvious and the work is seriously enjoyed by all.
We then brace ourselves for what may be the most underrated front man of all time. Fee strolls on with drink in hand, Bogart overcoat and hat in place. He then bursts into “This Town” which gets everyone up and standing to attention. At the end he proceeds to let us know it’s not Glasgow he was referring to and after some shouts from the crowd he agrees it is Edinburgh( The Weegies dreaded enemy) so I hope anyone from Edinburgh does not see this before he plays there in a few days.
We then move on and the coat comes off to reveal his rather spiffing suit. The man has more costume changes than Madonna. As we go through the bands catalogue we have the songs littered with stories and rants of all fashion. If you took the talking out I swear this would be a half hour set at the most but the man tells a story well and if he was not a singer I am sure he could easily have been a comedian. We get to hear his hatred of smart cars, his hate of certain baseball players, his love of sushi and his confiscated hamster wheel.
I spoke to a good few fans who have travelled the country with the band on this tour, They love these guys with a passion and have been with them every step of the way and it is good to see the band acknowledge individuals with a nod and a wink throughout.  For all their ups and downs over the years I have never seen a band so happy and complete on a stage. They certainly love this life of theirs and are happy to rub it in that they don’t need to get up for work in the morning.
Some more classic songs pass by as does the costume changes. We get the Alice Cooper style straight jacket and prison suit( which is very itchy it seems), a hat with bars on it and the brilliant “Mr Hate” and “Amnesia”. In fact there are a lot of parallels to Alice Cooper here and I am sure there were days in the past when many a drink was downed between them. They both appreciate the art of visuals and the simplicity of just an outfit to convey a song.
All in all this was a fantastic show and I am glad I got this chance to reconnect after all these years and at such a landmark time. I got to see Fee as a stretched Steel Panther lookalike(or is that vice versa). I got to see way too much flesh of his. I enjoyed seeing and hearing “White Punks on Dope” live after all these years but most importantly I got to see a band that can still cut it, see a man with an amazing voice and vision own the stage, the punters and the 40 years from 1975 till now.
You just need to think how many bands are still going after this length of time and why, the reason is talent pure and simple. Thank you guys for a very, very memorable night.
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”22″ gal_title=”The Tubes”]
Review & Photography  Ritchie Birnie

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