On paper this gig looked like an a strange pairing… The Stranglers and Simple Minds on the same billing at Scotland’s newest venue The SSE Hydro!!! But delve into their pasts and both bands have a surprisingly lot in common, both cutting their musical teeth on the pub punk circuits (Simple Minds were Johnny and The Self Abusers in a previous incarnation), both having huge hits during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and both still playing and releasing new material but that’s where the similarities end!!!
An early start for The Stranglers saw hundreds of disgruntled Strangler’s fan still queuing during their first 3 songs a nd saw a fair amount of them leaving after the band finished…..lesson for tonight..never mess with The Stranglers fans!!!
Despite the shenanigans at the start the cathedral like interior of the Hydro was buzzing as the house lights dimmed and ‘Theme For Great Cities’ thundered through the massive PA ramping up the tension. The current line up filed onto the stage and took a bow accepting the thunderous applause then exploding into ‘Waterfront’ with its now iconic bass line, Jim Kerr appears on stage and immediately strikes his signature pose….arms and hands everywhere.
Billed as the ‘Big Music’ tour their set had a distinct lack of songs from the new album ‘Big Music’ only two ‘Honest Town’ and ‘Big Music’ which is a real shame because its an excellent album!! This was more like a greatest hits to appeal to their hometown Glasgow fans… That aside it was an extremely good gig with something for everybody early stuff like ‘Celebrate’ ‘New Gold Dream’ and ‘Someone Somewhere In Summertime’ to their massive hits…’Alive and Kicking’ wher Kerr exclaims sarcastically it’s the best lyrics they have ever written…la…lalalala…lalalala.
Good interaction with the crowd and the band…Jim Kerr in particular made for an enjoyable gig with both band and crowd having a riot of a time…fans being transported back in time o this musical time machine to an era when the music was the only thing in their lives that mattered… Maybe not one for the more hardcore fans of the very early stuff but hey you cant please everybody only the thousands gathered hear tonight