Saturday 5th Of March 2016
Sound: Atmosphere: Performance:
The anticipation for this one had been building for some time and was guaranteed to be a winner from the offset. A bill of musical delights featuring a plethora of all that is great on the Scottish Contemporary Performance Arts Scene. Held at the iconic Barowland Dance Hall in Glasgow, for each of the bands (& a capacity audience) this was going to be a night that would leave people saying “They were there” for a long time to come. The whole show was put together without corporate backing, designed to promote and raise funds for The Clutha Trust. A charity that raises funds for underprivileged & disadvantaged young people, set up in memory of those who lost their lives in the helicopter crash of 2013, tonight they donated all funds to Sarcoma UK. There is nae a muso in Scotland that this tragedy didnae effect. So, for Divine to be invited along to review this groundbreaking prestigious event, it was nothing less than an honor.
The Barrowland is steeped in Rock n Roll history, its sprung dance floor has held the audiences of so many legends. Being the first time Divine had set foot in the place, it was a bit of a wow moment in itself. The first band of the night, a female duo called The Twistettes, fronted by Jo D’Arc on vocals/bass and Nikky D’Arc on drums. Divine was excited, and the first dance of the evening was secured. Original Punk Rock Girl Power, that had Divine Pogoing like he was 19 not nearly 49.The Twistettes thrilled me. Securing the band as one of Divine’s favorites and a new fan of this art rock brilliance was born. Drum N Bass never looked so good.
Next up, Have Mercy Las Vegas, a band that stem from the same Edenfold as Divine, a band that have gone from strength to strength in recent times, recently securing a new management deal, which only invigorated the confidence of the performance that was to be delivered. By this time, the Barrowland Ballroom was filling to capacity and its brilliant sprung dancefloor had us all dancing to the folk-rock excellence. Everyone was so excited, the audience massive, friendly and very good looking. Another band on this bill of brilliance that will be soon performing on stages as big and brilliant as this one on a regular basis.
The next band on stage, Jamie and Shoony. A band of lads from Edinburgh that have been thrilling Divine for years now. With Jamie’s command and evolving stage presence, this young star always gives 101% and performs with the whole of his being. The magic of Shoony’s guitar playing held me tonight. I was transfixed. Having watched the rise of this true musical force, Divine felt a lump in his throat because I knew that this gig was a dream come true for them, adding more confidence to the performance that was delivered. Aye they fucking had it & the capacity audience in the palms of their hands. It was at this stage I took the opportunity to appreciate from different corners of this massive venue, to listen to how well J&S suited arenas. Mark Divine’s words, Jamie and Shoony are a celebrity force in the making.
The electricity in The Barrowland Ballroom was reaching ecstatic levels as Mark McGhee walked on stage, followed by his band of merry musos, each of them growing legends in their own write. Gordy Duncan, one of Divine’s fave drummers of all time, completing the rhythm section with Jo D’Arc on Bass, Robbie Gunn on lead guitar and electronic touches and flourish’s by the very wonderful Jess Aslan. The roar that greeted the Girobabies from the audience ensured confidence in this performance from the offset. We were treated to a full rendition of The Girobabies new Album (Who stole) Utopia. This masterclass of Punk Rock fineness launched into a blistering set, that was both exciting and exhilarating. Closing the performance with the audience favorite, Jeremy Kyle (Fucked My Wife)… with audience participation shaking the rafters.
For the crescendo of the night’s Delights, the 15-strong Angel Army, Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5, took to the stage to conduct proceedings. The Master of Proceedings took us all on a journey of musical adventure, packed with audience participation and joyful groove. With health and safety worrying antics, crowd surfing, handstands on speaker stacks, falling off inflatable crocodiles, the Mustards always deliver true soul. With beautiful harmonies from The Yellow Goddess’s Little Wing and Full Fathom, & lead vocals by Colonel John Thomas McMustard, our hosts for the night captivated the audience with their tried and tested formula.
As part of the performance the Mustards held a raffle for a signed guitar autographed by all the bands who performed tonight, proceeds of course going to the Clutha Trust. After the raffle, Still Game star, Gavin Mitchell who plays the character, Boaby The Barman, came on stage to induct David Bowie into The Barrowland Ballroom’s hall of fame. Now as you may or may not know, Divine is a Bowie Nun. Bowie being the only man that Divine would have had sex with. He’s been my God since I was a teenager. So tonight’s induction was a moment that will be with me for a long time.
This magnificent evening was brought to a close with a solo performance, a rendition of Life On Mars, written by Bowie from the album Hunky Dory and tonights closing number. Played on electric piano by the very talented Eli Stewart. Divine and the capacity audience joined young Ellie in celebrating this beautiful song. The tears were streaming down Divines face. what a beautiful way to end this night of quality entertainment. A night of charitable Grace. As Bowie Sang “We can be hero’s just for one day” I know he was looking down giving the thumbs up.
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert