BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB / QUEEN KWONG - O2 Academy - 30.07.18

GAVIN ROSS

(PHOTO CREDITS: GAVIN ROSS PHOTOGRAPHY)

Housed in the former New Bedford cinema, the 2,500 capacity 02 Academy venue has recently been hosting gigs from Glasgow’s other 02 owned venue, the ABC, which was severely damaged by a fire. A popular venue with bands, the seated balcony was closed off when I arrived and the lower level allowed the large crowd to fill up to standing capacity level.

 

With the venue more than half full the opening act of the evening, QUEEN KWONG, took to the stage. Fronted by Carré Kwong Callaway, who recently announced she is one of the few Asian people to be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, the band wasted no time in getting the crowd into the mood with the track ‘Prehistoric Blues’ from their new album Love Me To Death. 

 

The song starts off with a slow build up of instrumentation, thrashing guitars and rock solid bass and drums from the other band members. This is before the vocals come in and I am quickly reminded of early Iggy Pop in the style. 

 

At its conclusion the crowd meet this opener with an enthusiastic response and we were left in no doubt as to the dark journey we were about to be taken on. The give away to the dark theme was also evident in the very poor lighting, all rear lit in dark colours with absolutely no white light and no front lighting at all. It seems as if this band are playing in total darkness which is making it difficult for the band and the crowd to interact with each other.

 

The lack of lighting is more than made up by Drummer Sarah Shaw, Guitarist Elise Poirier and bassist Drew Rollo who are clearly very accomplished at their art and compliment Callaway perfectly.

 

The short set continues with a trip through tracks from previously released material, with only one more track from their current release in ‘The Happiest Place’, and comes to a crescendo with Callaway dropping to her knees as she plays her guitar during the closing track ‘Purrfiction ‘ from the 2015 Get A Witness album. Bassist Rollo finishes the set by throwing his guitar face down onto the stage as the band make their exit to the cheers of the Glasgow crowd.

 

Queen Kwong are:

Vocals - Carré Kwong Callaway

Drummer - Sarah Shaw

Guitarist - Elise Poirier

Bassist - Drew Rollo

 

Check out more from QUEEN KWONG on the following links:

www.facebook.com/QueenKwong

www.queenkwong.com

www.instagram.com/queenkwong

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

Through the sea of dry ice, perhaps too much dry ice, and a wall of white light, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club emerge to the roars of the Glasgow crowd with their set opener ‘Spooks’ from their latest album Wrong Creatures. This clearly sets the tone for those of us in the audience, mainly composed of die-hard fans who know exactly what they came for.

 

Having been together as a band for 20 odd years, the band members know each other inside out, with guitarist Peter Hayes and bass player Robert Levon Been trading not only vocals and instruments, but also positions on stage as the set progresses.

 

With additional keyboards from both of the musicians, ably assisted by Leah Shapiro on drums, and the occasional roadie helping out, the crowd are clearly enjoying the show which is only marred by the occasional plastic tumbler of beer being hurled around the auditorium.

 

The set is full of the staples you would expect from the band and there is precious little chat from the band between songs, they just get on with it running through well received tracks with ‘Berlin’ and the somewhat newer ‘Question Of Faith’ being especially received by the partisan crowd.

 

As the set progresses it is clear that this is going to be a long set with no let ups in pace until the slower acoustic numbers ‘Faultline’ and ‘Echo’ make an appearance to the delight of the fans right at the front.

 

The bands lighting rig, although basic in design, is put to good use with absolute walls of reds, greens and blues and the most intensive white light I have seen at a gig and, although at times it meant we could not properly see the band clearly, it did not really detract from the show and everyone is clearly having a good time.

 

Moving into the latter portion of the set, the crowds’ adoration intensifies and it is clear from the little chat forthcoming from Hayes that the band wants to keep playing but are running out of time.

 

‘Six Barrel Shotgun’ from the Take Them On, On Your Own album is swiftly followed by 'Spread Your Love' from the B.R.M.C. album which gets the crowd at their most intensified as the set comes to a close with ‘Whatever Happened to My Rock‘n’Roll (Punk Song)’ also from the B.R.M.C. album.

 

The crowd of already converted before they arrived fans head home happy having enjoyed a 2 hour fest of good music from a band that really did want to keep playing, having been beaten only by the curfew.

 

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are:

Peter Hayes - vocal, guitar, harmonica

Robert Levon Been - vocal, bass, guitar

Leah Shapiro - drums

To find out more from BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB take a look at their links:
www.blackrebelmotorcycleclub.com

www.facebook.com/BRMCOfficial

www.instagram.com/brmcofficial

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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