ANDREW ROBERT EUSTACE / GERRY JABLONSKI BAND / RIGID SOUL - Queen Margaret Union 08.06.19
PHOTO CREDITS: STEVEN SCOULLER
Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow is the Student Union of Glasgow University. Tonight it is hosting the album launch of Glaswegian Blues guitarist ANDREW ROBERT EUSTACE. There are 2 support acts, Aberdeen based GERRY JABLONSKI and his band, and up and coming Glasgow blues rockers RIGID SOUL who get tonight’s proceedings off and running.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing RIGID SOUL several times before and have not been disappointed so far and tonight will be no exception.
Frontman Kyle Hood plays a mean guitar for his tender years and has the vocal ability that matches his playing, they open tonight with ‘Looking Down’ to a sparse crowd which unfortunately as the night goes on doesn’t get a whole lot bigger but the people that have come in early are clearly enjoying what they are hearing.
This song is followed by ‘7/4’ and new track ‘Miss Red’ which is a belter. ‘True to You’ and ‘Triplety One’ are in tonight’s set and Hood ably backed up by Liam Brown on bass & Lewis Ross on drums are going down a storm. A short set tonight is closed by an epic cover of an old and unusual Black Sabbath cover, ‘Wicked World’, which other than the handful of us oldies there watching tonight may never have heard before it receives great applause and finishes their set tonight. Rigid Soul are on the local circuit of bands trying to get a break and it can only be a matter of time before they do.
Rigid Soul are:
Kyle Hood – Vocals / Guitar
Liam Brown - Bass
Lewis Ross - Drums
2nd on the bill tonight are the GERRY JABLONSKI BAND. They describe themselves as high energy blending blues roots with influences of classic rock. Having also seen Gerry a handful of times I know exactly how tonight will go. He is an energetic, enthusiastic guitarist, ably backed up by a band of top quality musicians.
They literally hit the stage and are straight into ‘Breaking the Stones’ followed by ‘Hard to Make A Living’. This is a no nonsense set by the band and Jablonski’s guitar work is exquisite throughout the night. ‘Trouble With The Blues’ is one of my favourites tonight but is followed by an outstanding version of ‘Anybody’ which sees drummer Lewis Fraser get out from behind his kit to take lead vocals and is obviously a man of many talents as his voice is amazing and I would imagine if he ever gave up drumming he would make a big living in singing.
I cannot fail to mention the other two talents in the band, bassist Grigor Leslie has a constant smile on his face the whole night and the undisputable talent of Harmonica player Peter Narojczyk who is centre stage the whole night, and has the crowd affixed to his playing at times. The band look as if they enjoy being there and actually like each other which can’t be said all the time. ‘God Damn’ and ‘Soul Sister’ are great songs and Gerry takes centre stage for a solo of ‘Nessum Dorma’ where his guitar playing is second to none. Last song of the night for them is ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ and they leave the stage to a healthy round of applause.
Gerry Jablonski Band are :
Gerry Jablonski - Vocals / Guitars
Grigor Leslie - Bass
Peter Narojczyk - Harmonica
Lewis Fraser - Drums/ Vocals
Headline act and the main reason for being here tonight is to see ANDREW ROBERT EUSTACE who is promoting his new album tonight. Hailing from the outskirts of Glasgow, not too far from where I was brought up myself, Andrew is a blues musician of some standing and is a well-known name on the British blues circuit.
His last album ‘Stories’ which was released in 2017 was well received and tonight he is previewing his second album titled ‘Different Sides’
As I mentioned earlier the crowd tonight isn’t huge which may be down to a couple of factors, that this gig had been rescheduled from March and to be honest tonight’s venue isn’t the easiest to get to and is a bit out of town in the West End of the city. Nevertheless the ones who have turned up are treated to some great songs from Andrew.
Opening tonight’s set is ‘Broken Down and Beat’ from his first album followed by ‘Don’t Cry One Tear’ and ‘Can’t Wait To See That’. There is some ongoing banter with the crowd, who I assume are his friends and one has even made his own unofficial ‘Different Sides’ T-shirt which draws a few remarks from the main man.
The title track of the new album, ‘Different Sides’ is next and is a brilliant song. ‘Blues Kind’, ‘Keep It To Yourself ‘and ‘Lost Soul’ all follow.
Andrew is backed tonight by his band, comprising of Gordon Irvine on rhythm guitar, Ryan Reilly on bass and drummer Michael McGee all who add to the tightness and musicality of this band .
‘North of the Tracks’ and ‘Soul in Glasgow’ bring the night to an end and encore ‘Crooked Old Dog’ send the crowd home happy.
I look forward to seeing Andrew again soon as it’s good to see the local Blues scene thriving with local artists.
A footnote to Glaswegian music fans reading this, get out there and support local musicians playing live music. Two minutes down the road, the fancy bars charging big money are heaving with punters and for the price of a couple of pints you could have been here watching a superb night of music and supporting local artists .
Andrew Robert Eustace Band are:-
Andrew Robert Eustace – Guitar / Vocals
Gordon Irvine - Rhythm Guitar
Ryan Reilly - Bass
Michael McGee – Drums
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