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Hard Rock Cafe, Glasgow
Friday 25th March 2016

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid

johnny main


The Hard Rock Cafe's opened in Glasgow back in 2013 and has supplanted itself as one of the newer live venues within the city. It's position near the top of Buchanan Street makes it ideal for music fans of all areas of the city and the upstairs room itself is of a large enough size to hold a good couple of hundred fans.

Indeed, the venue was fairly busy as we walked in and headed straight to the bar, naturally. This was the first Stoneface gig we'd caught for a while and with the promise of new material to be aired, it looked to be a good night as they were supporting popular Edinburgh based Bon Jovi tribute act, Bad Name.

As Stoneface's show time drew nearer the crowd were still filing in at the back whilst those down the front were beginning to get a bit restless. It was up to local legend Chris Glen (ex- bass player in the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Michael Schenker Group) to introduce the band and as he took to the stage, the audience gave him a warm reception. As he finally announced Stoneface to the stage, the audience response got noticeably louder so it was good to see a lot of support for this local outfit. As the band prepared themselves there was a general hush before, as if on cue, there was a huge clatter as someone dropped a pint glass on the floor just as Stoneface kicked off their set!

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Opening up with a new track, 'Spitting Blood', the audience were firmly behind the band from the first note. There was an issue with some feedback from one of the microphones early in the set, but the soundman's quickly on the job to rectify it. Frontman Stewart Storrie did his best to get the audience involved with a group at the front happy to join him in clapping along whilst guitarist Grant Walsh showed his colours early on with a short solo. For a new song, though, it got a solid enough response at its finale.

Indeed, this wasn't the only new song aired. Further into the set the band kicked into 'Fight' which was another well received number despite it being fairly new to most of the audience and the band showed how well rehearsed they are as they gave a seamless performance. If these two songs indicate the direction of the band for album number two, then it's certainly going to be good if not better than their impressive self-titled debut album.


The band also managed to slip in a couple of covers including Velvet Revolver's 'Slither' which saw bass player Richard Walsh briefly taking centre stage during the intro and a well executed cover of Thin Lizzy's 'Don't Believe A Word'. A trio of covers was completed with Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Fortunate Son' towards the end of their set.

Of course the band make the best use they can of their debut album filling out the rest of their set with some fan favourites judging by the noise from the audience. The solid drum beat of sticks man Kevin Mackie during 'Food For The Crows' is joined by an enigmatic performance from Storrie who gave his performance everything as he commanded centre stage. Storrie's intro to new single 'Pressing Down' (the official video of which can be seen below), was unfortunatley lost somewhere in the mix but once the track got going the vocals were thankfully present - loud and clear. A popular track by all accounts as those down the front nodded along whilst Storrie paced the stage as he spat out the lyrics flanked by the Walsh brothers who stood resolutely on either side of the stage.


The heavy rock groove of 'FTJ' too, had the audience down the front nodding along whilst the was the more up-tempo 'Not Your Slave' was in comparison to some of the other slower and moody numbers in the set. Mackie really showed his worth on the latter track as he pounded out the solid beat and the reception at the end shows it's another popular number with the audience.

One of the loudest cheers of the night went to set closer 'Superhero' for which the band released as a single late last year. It's a bit of fun lyrically and the audience seemed to well versed with it as they sang along to the chorus without Storrie having to do much encouraging. Overall it was a solid number to end on, and it really was a highlight to their set.

You can see the official video for 'Pressing Down' here:

Stoneface Set List:
Spitting Blood
Food For The Crows
Pressing Down
A Step To The End
Don't Believe A Word
Lost Without You
50 Foot Drop
Not Your Slave
Fortunate Son

Stoneface are:
Stewart Storrie – Vocals
Grant Walsh – Guitar
Richard Walsh – Bass Guitar
Kevin Mackie – Drums

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