On a brisk, chilly night in the city, as urban landscapes began to twinkle and buzz with festive preparations, St. Vincent Street was bustling with eager concertgoers. They were all heading towards the renowned King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, eager to witness the much-anticipated, sold-out Spear of Destiny gig. The evening buzzed with excitement as the band made their special comeback after Kirk Brandon’s hospitalisation earlier in the year. Despite the cold, a lineup of dedicated fans had comfortably settled outside of King Tuts, eagerly awaiting entry into the warmly lit venue.

Derek Forbes and the Dark took the stage, immediately commanding attention and warming the atmosphere with their powerful presence. Derek Forbes, a former member of Glasgow’s beloved band Simple Minds, didn’t waste a moment and jumped right into the set with a gripping bass line from the famed song ‘Waterfront’. As he strummed each bass chord, emotions seemed to overflow from the instrument itself, speaking volumes about Derek’s mastery and emotional connection with his music. The audience resonated well with his on-point and enthusiastic vocals, enthusiastically singing along to the classic song, visibly pleased with his performance.

Derek introduced each song in their repertoire, cleverly weaving tales about their creation to give new fans intriguing insights and a glimpse into the song’s history. The set list featured Classic Minds hits like ‘Celebrate’, ‘Love Song’, and ‘Changeling’, with the brilliant ‘I Travel’ especially delighting the audience at King Tuts. He finished the set with ‘New Gold Dream’, followed by ‘The American’, and concluded with the instrumental ‘Theme of Great Cities’. The audience embarked on a nostalgic journey, wholeheartedly applauding Derek Forbes and the Dark for their thrilling performance before they exited the stage.

As the lights dimmed at the venue, a gust of electrifying energy swept through the crowd, signalling it was time for Spear of Destiny, the headline band, to take over the stage. The intro music started playing, building up the anticipation until Kirk Brandon, the lead vocalist, dramatically emerged into view. The first notes of their popular track ‘Rocket Ship’ reverberated through the excited audience, creating an overwhelming wave of exhilaration. The crowd roared their approval when they followed up with ‘Strangers in Our Town’. Brandon’s vocals were exceptional; he sounded amazing and appeared in great form despite the events of the past year. Kirk and the rest of the band delivered an outstanding performance right from the start as he strummed the opening chords of the SOD’s classic, ‘The Wheel’. It was evident that Spear of Destiny was at the top of their game, capturing the hearts of their fans.

The set by Spear of Destiny was an impressive mix of classic songs over a few decades, a testament to the band’s long-lasting appeal and consistent talent. The classic selections included “Grapes of Wrath,” “Embassy Song,” and the hauntingly excellent “Aria of the Devil,” showcasing the band’s variety and dynamic range. Kirk, engaging effortlessly with the audience, was in stellar form, delivering a robust performance to the devoted fans in Glasgow. The throwback continued with “Flying Scotsman,” a fan favourite that has steadfastly stood the test of time. However, the highlight of the night was the performance of “The Hop,” a celebrated classic from the “Theatre of Hate” era, bringing sheer delight to the fans and making the night a memorable one.

The concert reached its zenith as the band flawlessly executed “Never Take Me Alive,” creating an atmosphere that was nothing short of electrifying. Building on this momentum, they switched to the anthemic “Land of Shame,” their powerful performance effectively taking the roof off the venue. The poignant strains of “Soldier Soldier” wrapped up the main part of the show before the band took a well-deserved break. Returning to the stage rejuvenated, they launched into the much-loved “Radio Radio,” with the Glasgow audience responding in turn with an impassioned sing-along. The performance reached new heights with the rendition of “Rainmaker,” with the words of the song sparking a visible connection between the band and their audience and the music resonating throughout the venue. As the night drew to a close, “Liberator” served as the perfect finale. Kirk and Spear of Destiny had indeed liberated the Glasgow venue that night, leaving an indelible impression on all present.

The resounding beats and soulful melodies of Kirk Brandon’s music filled Glasgow’s King Tut’s last night, marking the special return of the esteemed musician to the city. Brandon was not alone, as Derek Forbes complemented him, adding an additional layer of enchantment to an already exhilarating night. With a catalogue of music spanning across decades, both Brandon and Forbes managed to transport their audience through an enticing journey of nostalgia, mesmerising new fans, and rekindling the passion of the old ones. The unmistakable energy pulsating throughout the famous venue was indicative of the sold-out event’s success, cementing this unforgettable night into Glasgow’s rich musical history.

Review by Karen Edmond & Photographs by James Edmond 

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