Hard rock outfit The Glitterati are sole support band on W.A.S.P.'s UK tour and appear promptly on stage at their scheduled time of 7:15pm to a half full venue. With tonight being my first live experience of the London based quintet (albeit originally from Leeds) I had expected something more glam oriented, particularly with their adopted moniker. However, the mainly up tempo blues-tinged guitar led vibe present throughout each of their compositions harks back to the classic retro-rock of the genre's greats such as Aerosmith, Skid Row, and even AC/DC, although with a rawer 'British' edge which lends each of their compositions a discernible punkier element. And they deliver a wildly energetic show to match the dynamic of their compelling musical discharge. New single 'Fight Fight Fight', released only a few days ago, is an infectious quasi-stomp number that sits comfortably alongside older material from the band's eponymously titled 2005 debut album and, as their set progresses, a predominantly static audience gradually warm to their performance with the first real crowd movement of the night. Frontman Paul Gautrey is perhaps the main focal point of the band as he enthusiastically leaps around the stage while simultaneously delivering every lyric through a powerful voice, while his fellow musicians also maintain high levels of energy in their individual performances. As they wrap up their set a little before 7:45pm, they have clearly won over a number of the die-hard W.A.S.P. fans in attendance judging by loud cheering from the audience as they exit the stage. A lively and impressive start to the evening, The Glitterati are all about good old fashioned, unpretentious hard rock revelry, at least as witnessed this evening in Nottingham.
Saturday 28th November 2009
Rock City in Nottingham, UK
During the half hour between The Glitterati and W.A.S.P.'s set times, the venue fills up to the point where it becomes completely rammed with, what must be, a near-capacity crowd. And it's one hell of a pumped up audience as the mere sight of any movement on the stage, be it a roadie or whoever, engenders loud cheers. When the lights' eventually dim and intro music plays through the PA, Blackie Lawless and co casually walk out on stage to be greeted by literally deafening screams. One would expect a rapturous reception as such for a band of this calibre, although I had no idea W.A.S.P.'s popularity was currently so rife in this country. Launching into 'On Your Knees' from their 1984 self-titled debut album, swiftly followed by 1989 track 'The Real Me', the legendary American rock-metallers - or rather their post-2006 incarnation which now includes drummer Mike Dupke, guitarist Doug Blair and, since 1997, bassist Mike Duda - mean business from the off in what is one of the most energetically powerful performances I've ever witnessed on Rock City's stage. Classic after classic, including 'L.O.V.E. Machine', 'Hellion', 'The Idol', 'Chainsaw Charlie...', 'Wild Child', 'Arena of Pleasure' and 'Doctor Rockter' are played in quick succession and with boundless energy, as the large audience reciprocate with wide displays of banging heads, fists pumping the air and sing-a-longs en masse. It's party time in Nottingham! The two tracks aired ('Crazy' and 'Babylon's Burning') from latest release, the mightily impressive 'Babylon', also receive a similarly enthusiastic crowd response, and are worthy live additions to the band's arsenal of strong material. With Rock City's recently installed new PA system, W.A.S.P. are afforded a very loud, resonant, and pleasingly clear sound throughout the duration of their set, and certainly one of the best I've heard in the venue (I have since discovered the mixing desk itself cost around fifty five thousand quid, so certainly no expense spared there!). With projected images behind Dupke's kit, old videos and concert footage from the band's lengthy history provide an effective backdrop to their performance, and also a nice contraposition between W.A.S.P. of yore as the likes of Chris Holmes, the original 'mean motherfucking man', occasionally appear on screen, with W.A.S.P. of today. And they can still rock with the best of them, as proved by their performance tonight. Encores of 'Heaven's Hung in Black' and 'Blind in Texas' wrap up what has been a rather fine performance at 9:50pm, an hour and a half after they took to the stage. Incredibly impressive.
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Reviews and Photography by Mark Holmes
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