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O2 ABC 2, Glasgow
15th July 2015

Ian Sutherland: Photos by Allan Twiname

ian sutherland


It's a good thing that in many venues when a touring act comes into town a local band is given an opening slot and have a chance to show off what they can do to a larger audience. Tonight that opportunity was given to Semper Fi, a local five piece band with a Rage Against The Machine like groove matched with some real Glasgow swagger.

Vocalist Paul Burns is as happy making expletive filled rants to the crowd and taking the piss out of his guitarist overcoming a technical issue as he is roaring over the heavy groove this band love to lay down. It's all part of the vibe on offer though but an unexpected cover of Bill Wither's classic 'Ain't No Sunshine' survives its translation into a groove Metal setting intact and still poignant reinforcing their music credentials. Their original material backs that up in fine style too.

Semper Fi made a real impression tonight and were as they say locally, gallus (Glasgow slang meaning bold and reckless) as well as very good indeed. One to watch I think.

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Next up were Portsmouth based Dendera, the official UK tour support for Anvil. An experienced Metal band with three albums under their belt they put on a show of technically proficient and fully committed Metal. Their sound is reminiscent of Iron Maiden at times and vocalist Ashley Edison is certainly able to hit some air raid siren notes when the mood takes him. Fortunately that's not overdone though and the band rattle through a well received set based around their latest album 'Pillars Of Creation'.

They went down very well here after a low key start but for me there was that special something missing which would make them stand out from the crowd of bands now playing this traditional power Metal sort of style.


There is just something downright likeable about Anvil. The Canadian three piece have been through decades of trials and tribulations since their near miss with Metal stardom in the mid 1980s but having seen them then and now one thing hasn't changed. When guitarist/vocalist Lips stands up on a stage with a big grin laying out licks from his traditional flying V you can't help but grin along with him.

Tonight starts with the instrumental 'March Of The Crabs' and they keep it almost literally old school through '666' and 'School Love' from their first couple of albums. At this point there is a full blown love affair going on between band and audience with much chanting of the band's name (answered by the band with a chant of "Glasgow, Glasgow") and a full on Glasgow roar greeting every song.

This continued into a singalong to 'Badass Rock And Roll' from their latest (and 15th) studio album 'Hope In Hell' and personally I found it surreal to hear the row of guys behind me bellowing out the chorus to 'Winged Assassin' which is not a song I would list among Anvil's finest!


Everything was swinging along perfectly then, in what was shaping up to be a classic Metal gig but for me the momentum got lost during some self indulgent soloing through what seemed like a fifteen minute version of 'Mothra' and the songs which followed. Lips has always done his guitar solo with a vibrator thing but this time it went on too long and a drum solo in 'Swing Thing' didn't help either.

The intensity was lost a little through that middle part of the set but a fine version of the title track from 'Hope In Hell' restored some order and it wasn't long before it was time for the classic 'Metal On Metal' to get the venue really bouncing again.

I was surprised that the encore was a version of rock classic 'Born To Be Wild' but it really worked in uniting the band and audience once more and was a fine, rousing end to the evening.

Anyone who has seen the excellent documentary 'The Story Of Anvil' can't help but respond to the band and wish them well and the good news is that there has been a happy ending. Glasgow's ABC 2 isn't exactly a huge venue but showed Anvil are going through a well deserved resurgence. They are touring, recording some new Metal anthems and spreading the joy of Metal on Metal across the world with happy smiles all around. Every Metal fan should see them at least once.

Line up:
Steve "Lips" Kudlow – lead vocals, lead guitar
Robb "Robbo" Reiner – drums
Chris Robertson – bass guitar

Semper Fi




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