Back in 1975 the world was a very different place, Glasgow was a gritty dark place known for gang fights and violence…The Tubes were emerging onto a largely stale pre punk music scene with a massive boot in the gonads with a bombastic pair of high heeled platform boots!!! Their self titled debut also featured their legendary debut single ‘White Punks On Dope’ which was adopted by many as a punk classic…weird really as they are as far from punk as you can get. 40 years on and the Tubes and Glasgow come together in one Europe’s most respected seats of learning …The Art School in Glasgow, the city now a very different place so will Tubes have matured into a an arty rock band or will the still be as mental as they ever were?
The current five-man line-up of The Tubes features four original members – Fee Waybill (lead vocals), Roger Steen (guitar), Rick Anderson (bass) and Prairie Prince (drums), plus David Medd (keyboards), the latter who’s played with the band since 2006.The August UK 2015 tour celebrates the band’s 40th Anniversary.
They did not disappoint…. They slaughtered a well-known local venue they played in previously, massacred smart car drivers, loved the venue and promised to come back in ten years and still managed to perform one the best gigs Glasgow has witnessed in years. Front man Fee Waybill entertained the crowd with explicit anecdotes whilst morphing into a variety of weird and whacky stage persona’s, 5 costume changes for songs Mr Hate, Mondo Bondage, Up From The Deep, White Punks On Dope and finally for the encore She’s A Beauty …. art? rock? didn’t really matter !! these guys in their sixties reinstalled my faith in live music whilst creating the finest live shows you’ll ever witness. Yes explicit and yes wildly over the top but hell it is The Tubes…. two hours of fine music mixed in with theatricals that would curl your toes but nobody in the room would have it any other way, Mondo Bondo saw the house lights dim thankfully as Waybill appeared on stage with crotch less leather chaps and a studded leather jock strap but the climax of the show was the appearance of Quay Lewd the infamous character in foot high platform boots famous for the appearance on the Old Grey Whistle test wrecking the set whist performing White Punks on Dope. Tonight’s appearance was no less controversial..with Lewd ending up on his arse and struggling to regain his posture!!! All done in the best possible taste of course… Waybill left the stage still in character informing the audience he was off to be sick!!!
Theatricals aside they are a great band, instrumentally excellent, tight as a drum and very capable musicians and delivering an excellent gig and with Leeds, Edinburgh and Wolverhampton left on the tour you’d be mad to miss them…..
All pix © Stuart Westwood Photography 2015 Full gallery here www.amazingmusicpix.com