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Gig review

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Walking into the Barrowlands always gives me a feeling of excitement in the pit of my stomach, all the memories of great gigs I’ve seen there throughout the years come flooding back as I walk up the staircase. That is of course after negotiating the obligatory somewhat over-zealous Barrowlands security search that I always seem to be subjected to; I guess I must have one of those faces. The usually sticky ballroom floor was strangely clean and as I made my way to the bar my Converse didn’t make those familiar squelching noises. However, the lack of the familiar dirty Barrowlands floor was more than compensated for by the presence of a night of dirty Rock ‘n’ Roll courtesy of BRMC. Beforehand, the main attraction Nine Black Alps warmed up with the crowd (those that were there early enough to see them) with a raucous set. Pulling material from their first album Everything Is and new album Love Hate, singer Sam Forrest snarled his way through a short set with old favourite ‘Shot Down’ and new single ‘Burn Faster’ getting the best reception from the ever growing crowd.
There’s no doubting BRMC are ultimately a very “cool” band, you look at them and think “this is what a Rock ‘n’ Roll band should look like” and when they start playing you definitely think “this is what a Rock ‘n’ Roll band should sound like”. By the time BRMC took to the stage the Barrowlands was filled almost to capacity and the floor was starting to take on its familiar sticky complexion from launched pints and beer spillage. The band started with a driving version of live favourite ‘Berlin’ from new album Baby 81 before ripping straight into ‘Weapon of Choice’. As the dirty bass sound of ‘Stop’ resonated throughout the Barras the combination of the Smokey stage and lights intensified the contrast between the black leather clad band and the bright blue indigo drum-kit that was taking a pounding. BRMC had no problem getting the crowd jumping with songs such as ‘Ain’t No Easy Way Out’ and unofficial BRMC anthem ‘Spread Your Love’ leading the way. One of the most beautiful moments of the night came when Peter Haynes plucked his way through a flawless version of ‘Faultline’. This moment was however marred slightly by the previously mentioned over zealous security shining a spotlight and rushing into the middle of the crowd to eject someone for climbing on their friend’s shoulders. Undeterred by the commotion BRMC continued their set ending with fan favourites ‘Six Barrel Shotgun’ and ‘Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song)’. The legendary Barrowlands floor was bouncing as the crowd cried out for an encore and BRMC didn’t let them down. They returned to play Baby 81 opener ‘Took Out A Loan’, gorgeous piano driven ballad ‘Promise’ from Howl and ‘Heart + Soul’ from ‘Take Them On, On Your Own’ before climaxing in a jam that ended with Robert Levon Been in the front row screaming into the microphone. The gig was also being professionally filmed so it’s highly probable that a live DVD of the tour will surface in the not too distant future, which on tonight’s performance would definitely be worth a watch.