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Bannermans, Edinburgh
Wednesday 11th November 2015

Ian Sutherland: Photos by Claudia Andrei
ian sutherland

cherie currie
Cherie Currie

It was good timing that when Scots all girl power rock trio The Amorettes were looking for a warm up show for upcoming European dates with Thunder, ex Runaways singer Cherie Currie was in town.

Added to the bill at the last minute most of the sold out crowd didn't know them but they soon warmed to their fiery and in your face rock and roll attitude. Armed with an arsenal of punchy, catchy, guitar driven tunes like 'Bull By The Horns' and 'Heartbreaker' plus a chin up, we're just going to rock the place whether you like it or not philosophy they are an impressive force when in full flow.

Drummer Hannah seems committed to testing how robust the fixings are holding the drum kit in place are, while sister Heather is prowling every inch of the small stage available to her relentlessly.

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Gill's furious riffing and spirited soloing on her guitar are as intense as ever while all the recent touring seems to have added a little rock and roll rasp to her voice which didn't sound out of place at all.

By the time their thirty minutes are up they have gained a host of new admirers and I hope Cherie got to see them as they are a fine example of her legacy at work. Women can rock just as hard as men, see The Amorettes for proof!

Following all that youthful energy were The Last Great Dreamers who are at a rather different point in their career. Having had a nearly moment in the early nineties then drifted apart afterwards, they have come back to have a second bite at the cherry.

Still doing their powerpop meets glam rock style thing they seemed content to let the music do most of the talking. They have a kind of cheeky London diamond geezer vibe going on and wearing a hat is compulsory if you're not playing the drums apparently.

The band are tight and together and the songs show their influences, a bit of Mott The Hoople here, a bit of The Faces there but the mix is all their own. I found it difficult to really grab onto any particular tune myself though and the set kind of ran them all together.

cherie currie
The Last Great Dreamers

They got a warm response from an Edinburgh crowd friendly enough to let singer Marc Valentine get away with saying he was enjoying being back in Wales! Overall though they developed pockets of support in the venue but didn't really grab the whole audience the way they might have.

I don't think Cherie Currie has played live in Scotland since The Runaways played the Glasgow Apollo in 1976 so I wasn't quite sure what to expect when she makes her way through the crowd and onto the rather smaller confines of this stage.

The first thing that everyone notices is that she looks great. Even almost forty years later she can still turn heads in her Bannerman's bar t shirt and leather trousers. She still has plenty of rock and roll attitude too and backed by an excellent band she easily charms her way into the audience's affection.

The set was packed with Runaways songs which is of course what the crowd really wanted. 'Queens Of Noise' and 'American Nights' are the simple, sleazy riffing rock and roll anthems they are supposed to be. Currie's voice sounds pretty much like it always did and she has a devil may care kind of vibe about her performance giving the set a feeling of organised chaos.

When she forgets a lyric or argues with the drummer as to what song is next on the set list it's all just accepted as part of the live gig experience and adds to rather than detracts from her stage presence.

The set is stretched out a bit by throwing in a song she did with a band called Shameless and an unusual cover medley featuring 'Pretty Woman', 'Rebel, Rebel' and 'Do You Love Me?'. I have never heard anyone segue Bowie into Kiss before but it worked pretty well.

The choice of 'Roxy Roller' from the soundtrack of the movie about the band was inspired as its' infectious, groovy riff and chorus was a highlight of the night.

Tonight's audience was more mixed age wise than you might have expected but both the younger women here to see an icon of women in rock and the dozens of guys clutching their Runways vinyl from the old days to get signed were all ready to party to one song in particular. 'Cherry Bomb' was launched into with little fanfare but was a joyous singalong anyway and ended a good night on a high note.

With so little to go on from this side of the pond I wasn't sure exactly what we'd get from Ms Currie in a live environment these days but this show was a lot of fun.

A good band, some memorable songs and a charismatic and interesting leading lady at the head of it. I'm very glad I got the chance to catch her.

cherie currie

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