Who’s The Tribute Band??!! – By Keith Stodart
April 3, 2003
Just when you think the Love train has gone for a while, it rolls right in for another whistle stop tour. I’m on the good old GNER train on my way up to Glasgow for tonight’s gig. Couldn’t make the Scala gig last night mainly due to financial restrictions following January’s FC2003 gigs. My body and my wallet are only just starting to get back into order, but it was worth it.
I’m meeting one of my usual partners in crime Paul (Barr) who sadly was made redundant last week but I’m sure that this will be at the back of his mind by the time we settle down for a few beers prior to the show. Mike’s asked me to give him a call when I arrive in town as we’ve planned to hook up for a few “cool ones” after the sound check.
I look forward to this show firstly as it’s a bit of a bonus following the January tour but secondly, and most importantly; it’s in anew venue in Glasgow, the Academy. It’s been a long time since a decent live venue has opened up in Glasgow and it’s quite fitting that one of the first groups to play there will be Arthur Lee and Love. Arthur ha a hard core following in this neck of the woods and I expect to see more than a few familiar faces as well as the usual smattering of celebrities tonight.
The train arrives half an hour late but no problem as Paul picks me up from the station, I almost lose my wallet as I drop it in the car park and don’t notice it till we are getting into Paul’s car. (Thanks to the lovely woman who picked it up. There are honest people left in this world)
We travel back to Paul’s so I can drop off my gear and as it’s pouring with rain we decide to open a can and wait for a break in the weather. Five minutes later it’s stopped so we leave one can and drink the other walking down to the pub (a couples of alkies methinks)
We’re off down the West End of Glasgow to a Belgian bar called Brel, we’re meeting my brother and one of Paul’s mates Gerry there for a couple of pre-gig drinks. After they arrive we don’t hang around much and get a taxi straight to the venue via KFC (why I ask myself?) so we can meet Mike.
Mike meets us outside and him and the “Four Musketeers” head to a nearby pub called the Glaswegian. It’s basic but serves the purpose although Gerry’s a bit cheesed off as it’s a Rangers (Glasgow) pub and he’s a Celtic fan. Anyway there’s a bonus for Mike as Eastenders is being shown on the big screen. Mr.Randle says he’s taking easy before the gig and so he orders a half pint (probably sees the company he’s in) but we soon progress him onto a pint.
There’s a couple of fans going to the gig in the bar and while Mike’s away having a leak one guy comes up and asks if we’re with the band, he’s going to the gig and he’s heard that Arthur is playing with some Love tribute band!!! what time is Arthur on? while trying to hold back the laughs and keep a straight face we tell him to ask the guy standing behind him, Mike’s just returned. I tell him that Mike will be available for karaoke in the bar after the gig.
We finish our beers and head up to the Academy, Mike’s goes to get ready for the show and we go to the bar (naturally). As I expected there’s a few familiar faces around and one guy standing at the bar turns to his friends and says “there’s the guy from the website” pointing at me, fame at last. I chat for a while to Susan and her friends from Greenock then we head down the front in preparation for the main and event. The Academy looks good and I look forward to seeing a few more bands in here.
The band enters to rapturous applause; Arthur and the boys are always welcome in Glasgow. They rip through a few songs buy themselves then the orchestra arrives for the FC set. When the trumpet solo kicks I on Alone Again Or the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and the crowd goes wild. The venue only opened last week but it sure is getting a good christening here.
As the band move through the set I feel myself getting carried away again and it’s not long before I’m merrily dancing away I look behind me and there’s Susan and her friends dancing, it’s one of those nights again. Before we know it the gigs ending but not before another rousing version of Singing Cowboy, I’m sure this songs gets better every time I hear it .It actually starts to remind me of Sympathy for the Devil as they crowd yell You OO, You OO to Arthur’s taunts. Arthur’s really enjoying himself and he has a smile as wide as the Clyde and he shakes the maracas (I have to mention here that they are new ones just bought today a some b******stole his others last night from the Scala gig, who ever you are you should return them. There’s souvenirs and there’s souvenirs but that’s bang out of order!!)
After the show we hang around outside waiting for Mike and we meet another of Paul’s mates Tafty (Sheer Taft) and also bump into Ray McGinlay from Teenage Fanclub, he’s with his wife Sharon and another couple; they’ve just been at the gig. Sharon informs us it’s her birthday (what a present, Arthur in Glasgow). I think Ray’s looking for a quite night but we drag them off to the Variety Bar in Sauchiehall Street. Double Bushmills for Randle as we get the drinks in.
There’s already quite a crowd of us in the pub when the Swedish contingent arrive but unfortunately it’s past last orders and they can’t get a drink. Plan B comes into action, well actually there wasn’t a plan B but it is students night on a Tuesday in Glasgow so we end up in a club called Blanket, as we miraculously appear to have a load of half price tickets from somewhere and it’s open to 3am. Sharon appears to be enjoying her birthday, although that was yesterday.
The music in the main room in this place is crap but there’s a smaller room playing retro stuff so we move in there. Soon most of the folk in the room leave and for a while we have the place to ourselves, it’s probably our dancing skills or possibly the fact that we’re over 18.A good time is being had by all and the Swedish lads are trying their best to get to know the local females. It won’t be this in the morning though as I’m sure there will be a few sore heads and a few people of work sick.
The night ends and we bid our fond farewells, just for a change Mike heads off for a kebab. Another rock and roll night courtesy of Love.
I don’t know how everyone else fared but Paul and I get a taxi and stumble back to his flat, my brother gets a £30 taxi home and as far as we know Gerry’s going into work late.
Sharon I hope you enjoyed your birthday courtesy of Love and us reprobates, Billy and Fiona from Edinburgh I hope you got home safely and to anyone else that was at that gig in the words of Arthur himself “Love one another”
all Pix by Keith Stodart