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The Classic Grand, Glasgow
Sunday 21st September 2014

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.

johnny main

electric boys

It's been nearly three years since the Electric Boys last played a gig in Glasgow, although they have toured England/Wales more recently, so anticipation was high as the audience waited for the band to appear onstage.

Surprisingly, there was no intro music or lighting effects and the band simply wandered onstage, plugged in and jumped straight into 'Spaced Out'. As the crowd at the bar realised the main act was on, there was a sudden rush as they left drinks at the bar and friends in mid-conversation to make their way down to the front of the stage.

The band's new album, 'Starflight United', has only so far been released in Sweden and Finland and those who were hoping to bag a copy tonight were unfortunately disappointed as front man Conny Bloom explained that the bands merchandise van broke down on the way to the gig – which is where copies of the new CD were. Still, that didn't stop the audience enjoying a healthy selection of tracks from it.

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As well as the set opener, 'Desire' goes down well with the audience. Bloom ditches his guitar which gives him the chance to put on a great dramatic vocal and visual performance and he encourages the crowd to clap along during the guitar solo from guitarist Franco Santunione, and the audience doesn't need to be asked twice to join in.

Of the five new tracks in the set list, it's 'Ain't No Gettin' Over You' which gets the best reaction. It slows the pace of the gig right down and gives the band a chance to catch their breath but it also gives Bloom one of his finest moments as he pulls a great guitar solo out of the bag and manages to get the full audience singing along to the chorus – even though a majority hadn't even heard the song before.

electric boys

Its place in the set is well deserved, though, and its conclusion is met with loud applause. If the reaction at other gigs is the same then it's safe to assume that this number will be in the set for some time to come.

Of course, it's the old classics that the audience came to hear too, and these make up the rest of the band's set. "Can you dig it Glasgow?" asks Bloom to a rapturous reception before they burst into 'Knee Deep In You', one of only two tracks from 1992s 'Groovus Maximus' album, to loud cheers signifying that some have waited a long time to see the band live, and their patience is rewarded with a full on Electric Boys experience.

Bass player, Andy Christell, really drives the song as Bloom bounds about the stage with obvious glee. Quickly following that is one of their most successful numbers (and certainly a favourite of mine) – 'Mary In The Mystery World'. The audience are more than happy to sing along without needing prompted by Bloom before his passion filled guitar solo takes him from playing a succession of simple notes to an aural showcase highlighting his guitar skills.

electric boys

The band's 1989 debut album, 'Funk-O-Metal-Carpet-Ride' is plundered for the remainder of the set (with the exception of a lone track from the band's 2011 opus, 'And Them Boys Done Swang') and these songs sound as fresh as they did back in the day. 'Electrified' has Bloom throwing out the signature guitar lick from which gets a roar of approval from the audience. This song takes me back to Hammersmith Apollo in November 1990 when I first saw the band in action and then, as now, the audience joins in with the "na-na-na"'s before Bloom has some fun as he jumps off-stage to mingle with the audience and dance with a guy down the front who he describes as having "amazing footwork"!

'Psychedelic Eyes' has the over-driven tremolo guitar intro before the rest of the band kick in and it this fast paced number has the audience punching the air. Drummer Niklas Sigevall puts in one of his best performances of the night using every drum and cymbal at his disposal to great effect before Bloom takes centre stage once again with a short but funky solo.

As the band exit the stage the crowd shout for more and the band are happy to oblige as they return to a huge reception, and the volume of the audience only gets louder as they hear the opening notes to 'All Lips And Hips' - let's face it, what else could the band finish with? Bloom, sans guitar, commands the audience as he struts about, but when he does finally don his Stratocaster, he plays his best solo of the night.

electric boys

The band also manage to squeeze in a short impromptu version of 'Roadhouse Blues' by The Doors which segues into 'American Woman' by The Guess Who, but with the venue curfew looming, the band leave the stage for the last time with another great roar from the audience ringing in their ears. It seems that the band have been genuinely missed here since their last visit, so let's hope they don't leave it too long until they return to Glasgow.

Electric Boys Set List:
Spaced Out
Knee Deep In You
Mary In The Mystery World
If Only She Was Lonely
Angel In An Armoured Suit
Ain't No Gettin' Over You
Rags To Riches
Psychedelic Eyes
Gangin' Up
Captain Of My Soul
All Lips N' Hips

Electric Boys are:
Conny Bloom – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Franco Santunione – Guitar
Andy Christell – Bass Guitar
Niklas Sigevall – Drums

Electric Boys Online:

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electric boys

As a recent convert to the sound of Bad Touch thanks to a two-set appearance at Les-Fest back in June, I was keen to see the band again.

The band gathers onstage and jostle for position during the intro to 'Dr Heartbreak' and as vocalist Stevie Westwood finally makes an appearance the band are off and running. From here on in, the audience is treated to a great set from one of the UKs best up and coming bands.

Westwood Introduces drummer, George Drewry, before 'Mother Load' which doesn't let the pace drop. Guitarist Daniel Seekings helps out with some backing vocals on the long notes of the songs title whilst Westwood encourages the audience to get involved - something they are more than happy to do, and as the track reaches its finale, it's met with generous applause. Westwood comes across as a really affable guy as he frequently jokes with the audience in between songs, which helps to endear him to the growing crowd at the front of the stage.

electric boys

'Half Way Home' slows the pace as a subtle drum beat from Drewry adds an extra dimension to the sound before the full power of the track in unleashed. There's a powerhouse performance from Westwood here, and he can be justly proud of his performance. There's even time for a short bit of audience participation which gets the crowd happily joining in again, and it seems to be a firm favourite of the audience having as it does, one of the loudest cheers of the night.

We're treated to a brand new song, 'Something, Someone', which has a slow start courtesy of Drewry and bass player, Michael Bailey, who really comes to the fore here. The audience are content to sway from side to side as Westwood gives a performance packed with emotion. I'm not sure who the 'Something, Someone' of the title is, but they have inspired a truly great song and one that I hope stays in the bands set for some time to come - a real highlight of their set for me.

The final two numbers are old favourites – 'Good On Me' which has Westwood joking that guitarist, Rob Glendinning, played the song wrong the previous night in Sheffield and the incident has become something of an in-band joke. Written about "guys who wear ladies trousers", the audience don't need any encouragement to dance along to the jaunty number.

The final number is 'Down' and it brings the metaphorical curtain down on a great performance. There were a few people who hadn't heard of the band before but they went away knowing they'd just witnessed a band who are definitely going places – so watch out because Bad Touch Rocks!

electric boys

Bad Touch Set List:
Dr Heartbreak
Mother Load
Waste My Time
Half Way Home
New Day
Something, Someone
Words I Never Said
Good On Me

Bad Touch are:
Stevie Westwood – Vocals
Rob Glendinning – Lead Guitar
Daniel Seekings – Guitar
Michael Bailey – Bass
George Drewry- Drums

Bad Touch Online:

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