Saturday, 5 November 2011

Ian Gillan Band Glasgow 1977

Ian Gillan Band Glasgow 1977
6th October 1977

Glasgow Apollo

A quick return to Scotland for the Ian Gillan Band; this time promoting the release of their Scarabus album.  But this tour also served as the local finals of some national talent contest called Sound Spectacular ’77 which, and I am hoping I am not just making this up, was sponsored by Us deodorant.  Quite what Ian Gillan made of all this, I am unsure.

It was just M and I on this trip, and we dutifully sat through the half-dozen or so talented hopefuls who were each given 10 minutes or so to impress.  I can recall none of the bands other than Edinburgh based Bee Bee Cee, who had been punting themselves as an anarchic punk-rock band, but in truth were more pub-rock.  During their short set, they succeeded in pissing off a number of the audience who stood up towards the end of their last number (a Rolling Stones cover – some punks!), and extravagantly gave them the fingers.  The vocalist responded by incorporating a number of expletives into the song lyrics, and a great time was had by all.

The Ian Gillan Band came on and pretty much played the same set as we had witnessed in Edinburgh six months previously.  Money Lender (or it could have been Over the Hill) was dropped to make way for three new songs, and there may have been a brief Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley as an encore, but it was effectively a case of déjà vu. 

Not that I minded, I was still entranced by the Clear Air Turbulence album at the time, although Scarabus, when I eventually could afford it, was a bitter disappointment.  A set of shorter songs, it gave Colin Towns and Ray Fenwick little room for expression so they, and the rhythm section, seemed to attempt to compromise by cramming as many notes into each three minute track  as possible.  I suppose the band, as seasoned session musicians relished the challenge, but it was just a bit too busy for my juvenile tastes.  And thirty-odd years on, I still think much of it is just soulless, showing-off.  The title track and Mercury High are the only real successes IMO. 

Set List

(This is from the Manchester gig, on the following evening)

Clear Air Turbulence
Over the Hill
Child in Time
Mercury High
What’s Your Game
Tryin' to Get to You
Twin Exhausted
Smoke on the Water.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley

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