SCOTLAND CALLING - O2 Academy, Glasgow 27.04.19
PHOTO CREDITS: STEVEN SCOULLER
Punk Rock is showing no signs of disappearing into the annals of music history, in fact quite the opposite, as new generations of music fans are discovering the first and second wave of punk music as well as those original punks who are still flying the flag. As a collective we’re lucky that the vast majority of these bands are still going strong or have come out of a hiatus to jump back onto the stage. There’s been an insurgence of new bands who reject the ‘Millennial’ lifestyle and they draw direct inspiration from the original sound and look of their punk heroes and contemporaries. As I look on at the old bands and the new I feel that the future of Punk is in safe hands.
We’re in Glasgow for SCOTLAND CALLING. JS Promotions really did an outstanding job in pulling together an incredible punk rock music festival. The line-up was stellar, accumulating with Scottish punk icon, WATTIE BUCHANAN AND THE EXPLOITED. The highlight for punk fans in Scotland is SCOTLAND CALLING where a whole host of bands come together for a one-day music festival. Due to the tragic fire at the Glasgow School of Art that affected The ABC music venue on Sauchiehall Street, the event was moved to the O2 Academy, Eglington Street, just south of the city. This venue was an ideal place for a festival like this.
It’s a humbling experience to see two and three generations of punks coming along to watch their favourite bands. It’s equally good to see youngsters getting a musical education that’s from the heart and these bands sure played with heart. The doors opened to the public at 12:00 sharp with the first band on at 12:20. The timings were stringent and adhered to, in order to make the event run smoothly.
Hailing from Dundee, DELINQUENTS were the opening act for SCOTLAND CALLING. The three-piece band, not to be confused with Texas punk band The Delinquents, took to the stage with David Hennessey on vocals. The band’s sound is pure 1977. If you’re not aware of them yet, you will be after this performance. Go and check them out. You’ll thank me!
A welcome addition to the line-up is DUNCAN REID and his band THE BIG HEADS. Duncan is a flamboyant character in his pink suit and matching Rickenbacker bass! Duncan found fame with his band The Boys, one of Joey Ramones favourite groups, and he found himself at the forefront of the beginning of the punk movement. Duncan has gathered 3 very talented musicians around him to bring his unique Pop-Punk music to the masses. Absolutely fantastic set! The band gelled together well and sounded superb.
From Newcastle Upon Tyne come CRASHED OUT, a 4-piece who played a belter of a set. Take Motorhead, add a dash of punk and Oi and you’re close to the sound this band generates. With 6 albums under their belt, there’s a great catalogue of music to explore. Check them out.
A much-anticipated band for the event was DISCHARGE. Fronted by Jeff Janiak, the band exploded onto stage and powered through their set. The band played impeccably. New fans have been drawn to the music of DISCHARGE by contemporaries such as Metallica who are advocates of DISCHARGE and have covered some of their songs. James Hetfield proudly wears his DISCHARGE patches on his battle vest. The respect these guys get is well earned and they’re considered to be one of the hardest working bands out there on the scene. Their presence and musicianship put them into a class all of their own.
PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES always make me smile. They are so fun and they have a repertoire of such great songs! The musicianship is flawless as these guys have really honed their craft. What actually makes me smile is the jovial lyrics and the themes of the song like ‘Up Yer Bum’. I must have played my ‘Pissed and Proud’ vinyl a thousand times as a teenager. Great show guys!
CONFLICT don’t mess about. They’ve a job to do and it’s executed with military precision. They came onto the stage and, like machine-gun fire, ripped through their set, much to the enjoyment of the crowd. Their passion and commitment aresecond to none. Colin Jerwood’s focus and delivery wascaptivatingly excellent!
The Godfather of Punk, the legend that is CHARLIE HARPER has just turned 75 years young and shows no sign of slowing down. His delivery and performance is on-point. As one of the most respected and loved musicians in punk, it was humbling to see the welcome he received. U.K. SUBS sounded great and played all the big crowd pleasers. It was a privilege to see these guys perform with such conviction.
Aye up, let’s sup! If you don’t know THE MACC LADS, you must have been living under a rock! This four-piece from Macclesfield have caused much controversy in the past with their unique brand of ironic humour. The lad’s reemergence back onto the music scene is a welcome one that has seen them play sold out shows wherever they go. I’ve been lucky enough to see these guys play numerous times over the years and they get better every time. The banter is excellent and well received. What a nice bunch of boys…just ask Charlotte!
I was really looking forward to seeing these guys perform and perform they did! WOW. I’ve seen ANGELIC UPSTARTS many times, but this time around they were incredible. They were tight and from where I was standing in the pit, they sounded great! One of my all-time favourite songs is ‘The Murder of Liddle Towers’. The arrangement of the song and the vocal style is powerfully haunting and meaningful. Thomas Mensforth really feels the music and the photos corroborate that. Fantastic set!
SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS are some of the best musicians currently working today. The look and sound of this band instantly delights. Since 1975 the music that they have produced has helped shape the punk movement and they have always been a staple of the genre. Wayne Barrett is an exceptional frontman and has a unique charismatic way about him. Likewise, Mick Rossi, as well as being a tremendous guitar player, has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ quality about him. The band all fit together like a rock n’ roll jigsaw! Superb!
There’s one band who can define a whole musical genre based on their image and sound and that band is THE EXPLOITED. Their place in Punk Rock history is firmly cemented, and Scotland’s Punk-son are here to headline this event. Singer Wattie who has experienced serious health issues is back and looks to be in much better health. It’s good to see the band back after taking time off so Wattie can convalesce. A highlight for myself was when Charlie Harper came on stage and sang ‘Troops of Tomorrow’ with THE EXPLOITED. What a perfect way to end another successful SCOTLAND CALLING.
The next all day Punk festival produced by JS Promotions will be NORTH WEST CALLING on 1st June at the O2 Ritz, Manchester where you can see SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS, UK SUBS, ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE, CONFLICT, DIRT BOX DISCO, DISCHARGE, PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES, SUBHUMANS, CRASHED OUT, KID KLUMSY, LITTERBUG and VOMIT.
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