O2 ABC, Glasgow
Friday 6th December
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid
I was lucky enough to go to see the original line up of Status Quo play two nights at the O2 Academy in Glasgow earlier this year as part of the reformation tour, and the sole support band on the whole tour were Cambridge based band The Treatment who managed to hold their own against the mighty Status Quo.
When The Treatment were announced as support for Australian Rockers Airbourne, I was expecting nothing less than the excellent performance that I had seen previously – but what I wasn't expecting what such a difference in the performance of the band.
Clearly the nine Status Quo shows have given The Treatment the impetus as they grabbed the opportunity tonight with both hands and put on a stunning performance much to the delight of the packed crowd.
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It was clear from doors open time that The Treatment are a popular draw in central Scotland as the venue is already buzzing as the lights dim and the band saunter onstage to a warm welcome. This is a band who don't muck around when it comes to live performances though and they dive head first into 'Drink, F**k, Fight'. Vocalist Matt Jones and bass player Swoggle urge the crowd to get involved while guitarists Tagore Grey and Jake Pattinson swap sides to greet the audience crammed down the front.
Pattinson (who recently joined the band as a guitarist to replace Ben Brookland who left last month due to personal reasons) does a sterling job on guitar all night, and you'd never know he joined the band less than two weeks previously as he just seems to be so in tune with the rest of the band, and the audience for that matter!
As the band strike the opening of 'Don't Look Down', Jones notices a sudden influx of potential fans who were unaware of the band's early stage time and he does his best to drag them away from the bar and get down the front to enjoy the bands set up close – something which is very successful as a steady stream of them make their way down to the barriers.
New song 'I Bleed Rock + Roll' (from the band's second album which is due early next year) is another track that goes down well, but for me it's the hard rocking strains of 'The Outlaw', which is one of the best the band have to offer tonight. What the track underlines for me, is that this band will be huge in another few years. You just have to watch their performance, their musical ability, the catchy songs and they way they interact with the crowd (and each other) on stage – very few bands come across as genuinely nice as these guys do, and it's a pleasure to watch them and be entertained by them.
'Shake The Mountain' brings their short set to a close and has the band giving their performance everything they have to offer. As Jones notes just before they leave the stage, they will be back in Glasgow at the start of February for a headlining show at the legendary King Tut's, and it's clear from the roar of approval tonight, that if they aren't already sold out, tickets for this particular show will be selling fast indeed.
Drink, F**k, Fight
Don't Look Down
I Bleed Rock + Roll
Alley Of The Dogs
Shake The Mountain
The Treatment are:
Matt Jones - Vocals
Tagore Grey - Guitar
Jake Pattinson – Guitar
Swoggle - Bass
Dhani Mansworth - Drums
If you've ever been in Glasgow then you'll know that Friday night and Saturday night are party central in the middle of town – if add in a kick ass rock n' roll into the mix, then you have the makings of an unforgettable night – and that exactly what Airbourne at the O2 ABC was all about!
When the band ask "are you 'Ready To Rock'?" then the audience, jam packed (the place was packed to capacity), answered with a resounding "Yes!" As the band burst onto stage, the audience as one jump in the air before thrusting hands and fists in the air to welcome a band who just get better every time you see them.
Some people would say that playing (arguably) your most popular tune second in the set could be a mistake but Airbourne play the game by getting it out the way so that you can enjoy the other treasures they have to offer. 'Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast' comes and goes and turns the whole place into a carnival as those expecting it later realise too late and try to dash down to join bouncing throng at the front of the stage.
Tracks like 'Back In The Game' and 'Diamond In The Rough' gel together seamlessly despite bring written six years apart which demonstrates how timeless these songs are. There's a massive cheer as the 'Black Dog Barking' banner is unfurled and the song too gets a rousing response. As vocalist/lead guitarist Joel O'Keefe says, the entire UK tour has been sold out for over six months which is an incredible feat for any band – but then you look at the crowd and you think, yeah I can understand why.
'Girls In Black' gives O'Keefe his usual sojourn in to the crowd and ends up atop the merchandise desk for his solo while the rest of the band do their best to keep the audience jammed against the barrier in front of the stage entertained as rhythm guitarist David Roads and bass player Justin Street run from side to side while O'Keefe's brother, drummer Ryan, holds down the beat like a metronome.
'Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women' has O'Keefe encouraging the ladies in the audience to get on the shoulders of their friends - much to the dismay of the bouncers, before he counjours up a searchlight during 'No Way But The Hard Way' to make sure that everyone in the audience is singing along to the chorus.
As happens at this particular venue on a Friday and Saturday night, the nightclub opens at 11:00pm so with time against them the band batter through the rest of their set. 'Raise The Flag' gets the place jumping once again and offers O'Keefe a second trip into crowd on the shoulders of a roadie before the gig is brought to an end with a triumphant performance of 'Runnin' Wild'.
The band soak up the atmosphere and bid the audience farewell but before leaving the stage, O'Keefe offers the audience a few words of wisdom: "As long as we're are loved and as long as you're alive - we will Rock", he tells the crowd to which he gets rapturous applause.
Let's hope they don't wait too long before returning to Glasgow and let's hope that they are booked into a bigger venue next time, so that they can play a bit longer too!
Ready to Rock
Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
Girls In Black
Back in the Game
Diamond in the Rough
Black Dog Barking
Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women
No Way But the Hard Way
Chewin' the Fat
Stand Up for Rock 'N' Roll
Live It Up
Raise the Flag
Joel O'Keeffe – Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar
David Roads – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Justin Street – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Ryan O'Keeffe – Drums
Official Website: http://www.airbournerock.com