Righto folks, first of all, let me say this was not a planned live review, and as such the normal practise of taking notes, securing set lists and the like were not carried out. However, in light of the current troubled times facing many touring bands, and the good things I saw there last night, I could not help but sit down and type.
Those who are not familiar with the venue Nice ‘N’ Sleazy, and why should you be, it is most definitely the latter, residing on Glasgow’s once notorious Sauchiehall Street, and home to the sort of toilets that have quoted in so many Coronavirus memes of late (more of that later), underneath which is the sort of sweat pit venue that is the beating heart and soul of the underground music scene, a place simultaneously stifling but with freezing pockets of icy breezes, the walls seemingly held together with a combination of gaffer tape and dried lager. As such, with its tiny capacity, it is amazing to think that such a stalwart of the heavy music scene, Mr Nick Oliveri (if you don’t know who he is, well, look it up) and The Mondo Generator would be playing, but care of Dead Haus and Red Crust Promotions, it came to pass.
First to hit the stage in a whirlwind of hair, anger, and Buckfast were local two piece noise merchants Acid Cannibals. I can’t say I’d heard of them before, but by crikey they made an impression. With a drummer who was channelling his inner Animal with a flying red mane and a guitarist/vocalist firing out riffs from his guitar like a machine gun loaded with bullets of hate, their full throttle assault on the ears was both bludgeoning and hypnotic, interspersed with apparently improvised verses of poetry bellowed about and dedicated to the venue, the enthusiastic audience, and the following acts. I couldn’t tell you a single name of any of the tracks played, but on the basis of this one performance, I can tell you I will be looking them out, and recommend you do too.
Next up, after a rapid change over, came the far more mellow and altogether less pugnacious Alunah. A band I have followed and championed for many years (see Ave Noctum Passim), the departure of founder members Sophie and Dave day and their replacement by Siân Greenaway on vocals and Dean Ashton on guitars has changed the direction of the band from folk based doom, and towards a more Gothic hard rock style, something that clearly plays to the strengths of the new members, and as such the band very much concentrated on new material. Opening with ‘Scorpio Rising’ a yet to be released number, the new style was immediately apparent, the engine room of the band, Daniel Burchmore on bass and Jake Mason on drums, powering forward rockier beats through which Miss Greenaway shimmied whilst weaving her siren vocals. More new numbers like ‘Dead Woman Walking’ followed, as well as emerging favourites like ‘Hunt’ from the most recent album ‘Violet Hour’ and set closer the eponymous title track showing that Alunah have transitioned into their new incarnation seamlessly into a live force to be reckoned with.
Another swift changeover we move to Mondo Generator, and the excitement levels of the audience palpably raised as the star of the show and native Californian appeared on stage from out of the Glasgow cold like a latter day Michelin Man, slowly emerging from beneath layers of hats, coats and scarves, before grabbing his bass and bringing the noise. QOTSA cover ‘Six-Shooter’ fired out with far more speed and anger than the original, itself swiftly kicked aside with a high laced DM boot by the speed and fury of new album title track ‘Fuck It’. Between shots of tequila with the band, none of which seemed to affect the sheer dexterity of Mr Oliveri’s playing or his compatriots, track after track was fired out in a fusillade of hardcore edged anger. Mixed in with the new were classics from his back catalogue, like ‘Allen’s Wrench’ and ‘Green Machine’, the latter in particular having the band almost drowned out by the singing from the crowd, eliciting Cheshire Cat grins from on stage. With supposedly just a one-hour set, there was very little in between song banter, each second being dedicated to getting more music in, and each song played with more pace and venom than ever appeared on the original recordings.
At the end of the set Nick then announced that the tour was coming to an abrupt end at that venue, a result of the current health crisis, and when he said he felt privileged to have spent it with that night’s audience, it honestly felt genuine, and by way of thanks that one hour set grew and grew with the likes of ‘Molten Universe’ and ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar…’ coming by way of encore. Indeed, when all had supposedly been played, and the house lights went up, it was clear that audience wanted more, and Mondo Generator obliged by playing on. I’d like to say what the tracks were, but as I said, I’d not been taking notes, and the track listing taped to the monitors had long since been exhausted by then.
When the music was over, to help out the band and show their appreciation, folks were hitting the merch stand and telling the overwhelmed lady behind the table to either keep the change, or plain and simply handing over money, something that may not offset the financial damage caused by a curtailed tour, but is the sort of gesture that sort of support that the underground scene needs, and proof that not everyone who goes to concerts lives to lig and download freebies. Let’s keep that momentum going by supporting the acts that are so beloved by the site you are reading by buying merchandise and music from the bands so that they will be able to hit the road again once in the future.