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Audio, Glasgow
Saturday 2nd May 2015

Johnny Main

johnny main

eureka machines

I've seen Glasgow based band Rank Berry a couple of times before and every time I do see them, they improve bit by bit, and this gig was no exception.

As I made my way down to the venue, the band had already begun their set and the noise as I drew closer and closer to the venue sounded positive as they launched into the second half of 'Down The River'.

As I made my way to the bar, they carried on their set with 'Love On The Battleground' with its great guitar riff as drummer Grant Dallas thrashes out the beat at the back before guitarist Brain Kerr took centre stage for his short guitar solo. Frontman Jamie O'Donnell had his own (longer) guitar solo later on and on the whole, it's a mighty fine song, and certainly put a smile on the faces of those standing in the front row of the audience.

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'What You Need' is announced as an "older song" by O'Donnell, and it's a ferocious slice of rock. Bass player, Marc Doherty, took the song in his stride, though, as he nonchalantly does his thing with his hair draped across his face, occasionally clearing his view to gaze out at the audience. O'Donnell equips himself really well here as he gives a passionate vocal performance.

A cover of 'Loveshit' (taken from the 1993 album, 'Earth vs The Wildhearts' by The Wildhearts) may look an odd choice but as the Eureka Machines are a similar genre, it was a safe enough song to play. Indeed, there seems to be a lot of Wildhearts fans in the audience as the crowd dance along while the dry ice machine kicked into overdrive!

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'Good Times' (from the band's first EP) had Dallas working at the back of the stage as the pace really picked up. O'Donnell sometimes struggled to get the lyrics out at the right moment whilst Kerr encourages the audience to clap along. Good Times indeed!

There's no time to waste as they continue straight on with 'Use Your Imagination' which had Kerr bouncing around the stage before he and O'Donnell engaged in a bit of fun trying to knock each other off balance. Kerr had a fine looking guitar solo but somehow his sound is dwarfed by the rest of the band so it was slightly disappointing in its execution, and it shows on his long face that he's not happy either.

These things happen, though, so he just got on with the job at hand as the band finished their set with 'Fortunate Son'. "I don't know the words - can you help?” jokes O'Donnell during the intro but once the song got going it was a classy ends to another great set from the band. With their gig diary filling up fast and solid performances time and again, I'm looking forward to seeing this bands stature rise and rise.

Rank Berry Setlist:
Tumbling After
Nothing Lasts Forever
Down The River
Love On The Battleground
What You Need
Good Times
Use Your Imagination
Fortunate Son

Rank Berry are:
Jamie O'Donnell – Vocals/Guitar
Brian Kerr – Guitar
Marc Doherty – Bass Guitar
Grant Dallas – Drums

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As the clock struck ten past nine, Huddersfield based quartet Scaramanga Six are onstage and ready to rock. With their back turned towards the audience, it was up to frontman Paul Morricone to raise his arm as the music on the PA is cut to a huge roar from the audience as the band kicked off their forty five minute set with a huge crescendo before bursting into 'The Stepford Bands'.

Bass player Steven Morricone, resplendent in his turban, bounced around the stage during the long instrumental intro to the delight of those wedged against the crowd barrier. By the time the vocals started, a good portion of the audience needed no encouragement as they sang along.

'Misadventure' saw guitarist Julia Arnez concentrating hard on her guitar playing, the sound of which was tucked away in the back of the mix but she still managed to have some fun judging by the grin on her face whilst drummer Gareth Champion thundered away at the back of the stage whilst the Morricones' share vocal duties. 'I Can See A Murder' has Steven Morricone taking the lead vocal on another fast paced number whilst it was left to Paul Morricone to lead the way with the guitar riff on this thoroughly enjoyable song.

The band have a new album (which is being crowd-funded here: scheduled for release in June, and 'Seven Chances' is taken from the upcoming release. As Champion counted into the song, nothing happened as Arnez and Paul Morricone discussed who should have come in with the guitar riff, much to the amusement of the audience, but a second attempt gets the mid-paced number underway. The tracks got a good solid guitar riff and when you add in the easy to remember chorus so it doesn't take long for the audience to get into the swing of it, even though most of them haven't heard the song before.

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'I Wear My Heart On My Sleeve', on the other hand is more well known and gets a huge cheer before the audience as they have another chance to sing along. 'Blunt Force Trauma', another taken from the upcoming album, has Champion kicking off with a mighty beat as Steven Morricone plays a (blink and you miss it) piano intro before putting on his most aggressive vocal of the set.

It's a passionate performance as he shouts his way through the song as Paul Morricone stands high on the riser at the front of the stage as he throws out the guitar riff before the song comes to its sudden conclusion.

"Not The Kinky Song" jokes Paul Morricone "but 'The Cakey Song'" which had him and Steven Morricone sharing vocals again as the guitar riff came in hard and fast. They're a pair of dynamos as they darted about the stage compared to the relatively laid back Arnez who very much stays on her side of the stage, but the track comes off as one of their best with its galloping rhythm.

'You Should Have Killed Me' is another ferocious number before the band wind up their set with 'Pincers', and as the band left the stage to loud applause, it's fair to say they're an entertaining band who have a solid fan base in Glasgow, so I expect to see them headlining in the city before the year is out.

Scaramanga Six Setlist:
The Stepford Bands
I Can See A Murder
Seven Chances
I Wear My Heart On My Sleeve
Blunt Force Trauma
The Cakey Song
You Should Have Killed Me
Walking Through Houses

Scaramanga Six are:
Paul Morricone – Vocals/Guitar
Julia Arnez – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Steven Morricone – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Gareth Champion – Drums

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By the time the Eureka Machines finally stepped onto the stage it was clearly party time as the audiences welcoming roar hits the band as the readied themselves. Once set, though, the band didn't hang about as they begin their sixty five minute set with 'Paranoia', from their as yet unreleased album, 'Brainwaves'.

As dry ice fills the stage, it was a high octane start as front man, Chris Catalyst, bounced around the stage in between verses. Despite being a new song, the reception as its climax is almost deafening.

With the album not due for release until this Monday (11th May), the audience are treated to a healthy slice of tracks from the upcoming opus including 'Televison' which comes across as a well rehearsed performance which is appreciated by the masses in front of the stage as they jumped arpound and sang-along before guitarist, Dave, played a short guitar solo at the behest of Catalyst. 'Nuera Buelo' had drummer Wayne Insane working hard during the intro before the simple guitar riff and voice takes over before the track bursts into life, as does the audience.

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I can't help feeling that 'Welcome To Our Shangri-La' has a familiar ring to it, but the audience are certainly familiar with it and were in full voice once again during the chorus as they punched the air in unison much to the delight of Catalyst. After the song, Catalyst tells the audience: "I know it's a cliché, but we're genuinely pleased to be in Glasgow" to much applause before adding "(the band) counts Glasgow amongst one of the band's hometowns" which garners even louder cheers.

The final track from the new album, is 'We're Going To The Future' which had Catalyst laying down the guitar riff that gets the crowd clapping along once again. If this is an indication of material on the bands upcoming album, then it definitely seems like it could be the band's most polished release to date.

"You didn't fancy Take That (who were playing The SSE Hydro that night)?" joked Catalyst before telling the audience: "We're going to play a mix of old and new songs" before adding "you've been to concerts before yeah, you know the drill?" causing fits of laughter on and off stage and true to his word, the band treated the audience to a journey through their back catalogue.

Amongst the best tracks were 'Do Or Die' (title track from their 2008 debut album) which Catalyst says they don't actually play that often, so it was a real treat for the audience. The slow pace gave band and audience a breather from the otherwise manic pace of the set, with those at the front swaying from side to side as Dave lays down a great guitar solo. It might be a slower paced number, but it certainly doesn't lack any power and judging by the noise at the end, the audience certainly appreciated its inclusion.

From the same album, came 'The One Who Wouldn't Change You' which had normal service resumed as Insane thrashed out the frantic beat once again which had the audience jumping around like a bunch of loonies, and as the song finished it got one of the biggest cheers of the night.

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Tracks from the bands previous album, 2011s 'Champion The Underdog', are left to very late in the set, though, and get the best reception of the evening. 'These Are The People Who Live In My House' is a firm favourite, it seems, and keeps the party vibe going from those down in front of the stage to a small group of girls towards the back dancing away, and everyone in between. It's a great performance of the song and it's hard to workout who' was having more fun – the audience or Catalyst.

The band closed their set (and the evening) with 'Zero Hero' which had Insane punching out the intro to which the crowd clapped along with before the main guitar riff got the crowd jumping one last time. As Catalyst alluded to earlier, Glasgow is definitely a stronghold for the band as the audience proved in no uncertain terms here, and there's no doubt the band will return – it's just a question of where and when, I guess. Let's hope is sooner rather than later though.

Eureka Machines Setlist:
Being Good Is Okay
Neuro Bolero
Pop Star
Sleep Deprivation
Welcome To Our Shangri-La
Do Or Die
The One Who Wouldn't Change You
These Are The People Who Live In My House
We're Going To The Future
Zero Hero

Eureka Machines are:
Chris Catalyst – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Dave (aka Davros) – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Pete Human – Bass Guitar/ Backing Vocals
Wayne Insane – Drums

Rank Berry photo - (c) Pat McGuire 2014 (
Scaramanga Six photo - (c) Scaramanga Six 2015 (
Eureka Machines photos - (c) Stephen Curry 2015 (

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