Photo Credit Stephen Wilson
Nine Below Zero, St Lukes, Glasgow 1st October 2021
R&B LEGENDS NINE BELOW ZERO RAISE GLASGOW TEMPERATURE TO BOILING POINT
Dennis Greaves and his merry men (and a woman) shoved their fuel-less van all the way up the M74 to Scotland, to fill up with diesel and play a couple of gigs, starting with Glasgow’s St Lukes venue, an Irn Bru bottle’s throw round the corner from the famous Barrowland Ballroom, and what a performance they gave the packed audience. Backed by the latest incarnation of 70s icons Eddie and the Hot Rods, those who had braved the cold October evening to come out and hear some live music were in for a treat from the get go.
Canvey Island rockers Eddie and the Hot Rods had a handful of chart singles in the mid to late 70s and have had more line ups than a Sunday rugby team, but those who took the stage on Friday still gave a decent account of the old original band’s repertoire. Running through a set including classics Teenage Depression, Do Anything You Wanna Do, Wooly Bully and a cover of the Van Morrison penned Gloria, they had the toes tapping away and the voices tuned up ahead of the main act, and left the stage to a huge applause that original singer Barrie Masters would have been proud of.
And on to Nine Below Zero. They gained popularity in the early Eighties, mainly due to the Mod Revival at the time in the UK, and slotted nicely into the genre thanks to the success of bands like The Jam, The Vapours and Secret Affair. Most well-known by folk of that generation for their appearance on the first episode of BBC tv’s The Young Ones , tonight would see a hark back to their second album Don’t Point Your Finger from 1981, and a set to satisfy the most picky blues fan.
Opening with Zebulon and One Way Street, a rousing cover of The Four Tops classic I Cant Help Myself thrown in for good measure followed, as the band hit top gear. Also showcasing tracks from the bands most recent record Avalanche, the newer songs slotted in perfectly with the old classics, and had the venue rocking to its foundations. One of several highlights included 11 + 11, made famous on that Young Ones episode, and to quote front man Greaves, its great to hear a Scottish audience singing along in a Cockney accent, and he was spot on.
An encore including Three Times Enough and closing with Austerity Blues, the show was done, the band took their bows and the fans shuffled off into the night. The heyday of the Mod Revival may well have been over 40 years past, but bands like Nine Below Zero, Secret Affair, The Vapours and Bruce Foxton’s From The Jam show there is still a huge appeal for the music, and goes to prove great music is timeless, an argument strengthened by this evenings crowd of all ages. Tonight was a fabulous trip back in time, and long may these nights continue. Get the dancing shoes dusted off and catch the band live, it’s a great night out.
Review & Photographs by Stephen Wilson