Barrowland Ballroom Reviews

The Almighty 

1 May 1996

 

The Almighty w/ 3 Colours Red

So, finally, here it was. The Almighty on their "Just Say Goodbye Tour". It certainly was a sad day.

Opening up were new Brit-Rockers 3 Colours Red, to a half empty Barrowland. This meant that it wasn't their best reception ever, but they used every note to win more people over. Their style of punk/pop/rock has been done before by bands such as the Wild hearts, but the songs were good and easy to listen to, making their set quite enjoyable. The lack of audience participation down the front was a downer though, and during the only attempt at crowd surfing, there was so much clear space that the guy who gave him a lift up had to carry him to the barrier. Alternative, but original.

After 3 Colours Red's departure, it was back to music from DJ Diamond Dave. It was nice to hear popular rock music being played, instead of an unknown album with disgraceful sound. Everything from new stuff to `Run to the Hills` appeared, and there was even some pogoing to the Sex Pistols. In between, Diamond Dave was winding up the crowd in the slowly filling ballroom, giving a time countdown to The Almighty.

Finally, half way through Iggy Pop's `Lust For Life` came the announcement everyone was waiting for. "Glasgow, would you please welcome, for the last time in Scotland... ever... The ALMIGHTY!!!!" The end had begun!

By this time, there was no holding the crowd back. The opener was `Wild and Wonderful` spiced up for '96. Every word was sang, especially the chorus, 'You drive me fuckin` crazy...`, where it seemed Ricky Warwick was being drowned out by the crowd. Without pause, they flew straight into new hit `Do You Understand`. It was fast and furious and went down just as well. That was a good sign. Then came a short barrage of hits off of `Crank` which induced serious slamming and moshing down the front. `Wrench` in particular created a constant bounce which didn't slow, despite an extended version. It was about this point my voice just croaked as I was spitting out the lyrics louder and with more venom than it could take. I kept on trying though.

The band kept pulling hits off all their albums, and every song went down like it was the best song ever, although, `Addiction` and other songs off `Powertrippin` were greeted like long lost friends. It was true class.

In between songs, the crowd were amazing. Whenever there was the slightest break, chants of "Al-Fuckin`-Mighty" started up, and the band were clearly touched by the hometown crowd. At one point, Warwick announced, "I'd like to tell you lot how fuckin` brilliant you are, but you already know that!!!"

Another classic quote was, "Did any of you see the Roswell thing on TV? I believe there's been aliens on this planet for a long time now, living amongst us. How else can you explain John Major and Virginia Bottomley!!!" before going into `All Sussed Out`. Eventually, `Jonestown Mind` was unleashed, and the ferocity of the band and the crowd was incredibly high. How Warwick's guitar strings survived to this point after having the life punched out them I'll never know. No wonder there was a break after this.

With another opportunity for the fans to use their voice, the first few versions of 'Flower of Scotland started up. And mixed in with a lot more 'Al-Fuckin-Mighties`, my voice was virtually dead. After a short time, the show continued. The pace of the first hour was kept though, and even a b-side was sung by the crowd as if it was top 10 hit. That said it all.

The final song in this batch was `Jesus Loves You But I Don`t`, which is my personal favourite. It was the only time the pace slowed, but it's such an amazing song, and with the backing of the audience it was excellent. As the song came to its loud and powerful climax, it was a truly spiritual moment.

So, it was time for another encore break, and the songs began again. This must have been one of the best audiences ever ( and it was only three quarters full, cos it's exam time here just now ). When the band returned, a Scotland t-shirt was thrown on stage, and Ricky Warwick held it high over his face as 'Flower of Scotland' was sung, perhaps as it was just too emotional to look at us, or maybe he just didn't have the energy to go any higher.

All that was left was a final goodbye speech, and a rendition of the Clash's `I Fought the Law`. We wanted more, but that was that. Overall, it was pretty amazing. Excellent sound, a half decent light show and sky high energy levels. I can't find any faults, and if you think I'm biased cos` I believe The Almighty are one of the best bands Scotland's produced, everyone else around me jumped to every song and sang every single lyric too, so I'm not alone.

As for the future, I've heard Ricky Warwick has already arranged a new project. Let's hope Stumpy the drummer will stay in rock too, cos he's definitely one of the best. His drumming is even more special when you consider he does backing vocals too. It's a miracle he's still alive. Bassist, Floyd London has been getting more involved with lead vocals, so he probably has something planned, and Wayne's World star and guitarist Pete Freisen has brought a lot to the band since he joined in `92 and I hope he does well.

So the Almighty are gone, and as my t-shirt says... Almighty - RIP - 1988-1996

Written by Steven McCarran

 

 

 

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