Reviewed by Johnny Organ. Photography Pamela Gibson
It's a drizzly night in Glasgow with an icy cold wind that seems to find the back of my neck and send freezing chills down my spine as I wait outside The Classic Grand. The tickets read that the venue doors would open at 7:30pm. Yet Jokerface insisted on their Facebook page that the printed time was wrong, that the doors open at 7pm with the first band of the evening, 12AM, would be onstage at 7:30pm. By 7:15pm, I'm freezing my tits off and debating whether to nip next door to McDonalds to unnecessarily gorge on its tasteless burgers and central heating. My recent visit to the bathroom scales dictates I continue to freeze for another 15 minutes.
Jokerface were right about one thing though – 12AM started their set at 7:30pm and are onstage as we entered the room of the venue. I wonder how much of their set I missed when I was getting my pants and socks searched by the friendly bouncers. I wonder why some venues and/or promoters think it's a good idea for the paying public to miss part of the night's entertainment. I wonder why there's no central heating on in the building. I wonder how much a pint of Guinness is. Alas, I only find the answer to one of those questions.
Onstage, in front of an already decently sized crowd, 12AM rattle through cover versions of catchy, funky tracks by the likes of Amy Winehouse. They've only been rehearsing for six months. Man, they are young. And very talented. Tight and well-rehearsed. The two lead female vocals complement each other well, both naturally gifted singers, natural entertainers (especially the very enthusiastic bass player), they just lack the confidence that regular gigging brings. If they keep at this, and work in some of their own material into the set down the line, they'll be a band to definitely look out for in the future. Tonight, they got the crowd fired up for the next act to follow. Job done. This was an impressive beginning to the evening.
Next up, and without question my highlight of the evening, The Great Kull
(https://www.facebook.com/thegreatkull). A band oozing in confidence and ability. These guys know how to rawk. A delightful fusion of 70s and 80s metal and Seattle grunge with modern sensibilities. Lead singer Jamie is my kind of front man. Confident with little ego. Energetic and enthusiastic with a fantastic voice for the band's genre. Honestly, this bloke is some chanter. His interactions with the crowd are always successful in raising the noise and verve of the room. This is a band that demands a mosh pit. These guys should be playing in front of huge crowd. Hopefully they will one day. Hopefully I'll be there to see it. They've a new fan in me. I'll be checking them out regularly
And last, but by no means least, Jokerface
(https://www.facebook.com/JokerfaceGlasgowsBestRockTrio). A three-piece band that wears it's heart on its sleeve. An amalgamation of three/four chord punk rockers such as The Ramones, Offspring and Bad Religion. These guys are no spring chickens but punk rock doesn't care about age - attitude and energy are all that matters and these guys have teenage rebellious rock in abundance. But...They seemed a little under rehearsed or were testing out some new material and it showed. At one point the lead singer had someone in the crowd hold up the lyrics for him to read as he sang! It was still a superb performance though. Although I think It would have been better if they played second on the night. The three-piece sound seemed a little muted after the huge sound The Great Kull had filled the room with.
The sound tech at The Classic Grand also deserves a special mention. The levels were superb for all three bands, leaving them to worry only about performing and entertaining the receptive crowd. Technically? This was a masterclass from everyone involved. I can't believe they charged only £3 a ticket. The best value gig I've been to in a long time!