ZAL CLEMINSON'S SIN'DOGS - RIGID SOUL - South Beach Sessions, Troon 17.08.18



Troon Town Hall is the unlikely setting for tonight’s South Beach session.The South Beach sessions are the brainchild of local music entrepreneur Ian McCaig, the man behind the successful Winterstorm festival, and it’s his idea of using the local town hall as a venue for bringing live music to the Ayrshire coast.


Tonight’s latest offering is Zal Cleminson’s Sin’Dogs, the newest band from the erstwhile guitarist best known for his SAHB & Nazareth days.


First up, at extremely short notice, are local Prestwick lads RIGID SOUL, who start the nights proceedings with ‘7/4’which immediately grabs the crowds attention and this is followed by ‘Floating Around’ and it’s catchy solo at it’s conclusion. A track from their 2018 E.P Head In The Clouds is next and, by this time, the crowd who had been milling at the sides of the room, have moved in front of the stage, attention firmly gazed towards the band and appear to be appreciating every minute.

‘Doing Nothing’ is up next which seems to be entirely contradictory to what these young guys have been up to. Kyle Hood (guitarist/vocalist) then introduces the next track ‘Lost & Found’ which he says has been stolen from his dad’s band along with tonights bassist Norrie Dixon filling in for the night. The song is dedicated to a friend John Hunter and has some intricate guitar playing from Hood. Lewis Ross makes up the trio on Drums and a cover of Black Sabbaths ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ with Lewis providing the familiar beat and what a stonking version it turns out to be, we even have a couple at the front dancing which must be a first for a Sabbath track.

The set is rounded off by ‘Fire’ and the band receive a handsome ovation. This is the second time in a week I have had the pleasure of seeing this young band, the first time with an extremely young crowd present and tonight with, shall I dare to say a senior crowd, but they were equally well received by both. Keep your eyes peeled for Rigid Soul, big things are looming.


Rigid Soul are:

Kyle Hood – Guitarist/Vocalist

Lewis Ross – Drums

Norrie Dixon – Bass (1 night only)


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Alistair MacDonald “ZAL” Cleminson, a Glaswegian by birth, formed sin’dogs when he decided to come out of retirement in 2017. He is best known for his days dressed as a clown in a Green jumpsuit, guitar slung low in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band & as riffmaster for Nazareth. Tonight, he takes to the stage eyes blackened behind dark sunglasses and literally launch into ‘Pray to the Darkness’, a no nonsense heavy track which I would describe as industrial grunge type guitar with echoing, almost distorted vocals, which made it difficult to hear the lyrics. Without pause ‘Evolution Rd’ follows with a similar style to the first track.

Next track ‘Guns of God’ is followed by an absolutely tremendous version of SAHB track ‘Isobel Goudie’ which has the crowd cheering and singing every word of it. At its conclusion, Zal announces that this is drummer Scott Cowies final night as the bands drummer and this is received with a sad but appreciative applause.

Most of the night’s banter from the band is provided by bassist Nelson McFarlane resplendent in Top Hat. The band’s second guitarist is William McMonagle who has his guitar slung low for a new song ‘Devils Dream’ and this is followed by the song of the night for me ‘Hungry Heart’ from their 2017 EP. The remaining member of the band is David Cowie on keyboards and he fits perfectly into the sound the band try to portray. Euphoria goes down a storm and in the lull between this and next track ‘Stickman’ a wag in the crowd shouts about playing Delilah and Zal responds with “Shall we say an old Glaswegian phrase for no?”, which gets a round of applause and much laughter. The set albeit very short comes to a close with one of The SAHB’s best known songs ‘The Faith Healer’ which erupts into a mass singalong and great applause at its conclusion.


To be totally honest the sound for me started a bit poor but got a lot better midway through the set and, although I thoroughly enjoyed the show, felt that the size of the room in the venue may just have been too small for the big sound the band project.


Zals sin’dogs are:

Zal Cleminson – Guitarist/Vocalist

William McGonagle – Guitarist

David Cowan – Keyboards

Nelson McFarlane – Bass

Scott Cowie – Drums


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