"It's a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people" - Woody Guthrie
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Sunday, 2 May 2010
Release The Pressure Tour Part 15: Glasgow - ABC2 30th April 2010
It was nice to see a few faces that we know at the Glasgow show, but due to being hampered by my inability to move so freely I didn't get hardly anytime to really chat with the likes of Shirley, Jo & Caroline, Jamie, James and Steven. This little disappointment though was softened by the fact that I met a lad called Graeme Aitken, a major Alarm fan and a huge fan of many of the bands that I grew up listening to. He told me to look out for him as he had an Alarm CD for me (A Live in London EP and a 1983 show at Nightmoves in Glasgow). It was funny because the place where we found a seat was sitting right next to him and his wife!
There was meant to be another support band on the bill but for some reason they had not appeared. Not to worry though because at 8pm on stage stepped Willie Nile and he blew us all away with a nice short & sharp set that had us longing for more (I spoke to him afterwards and he said he is hoping to be back in the UK in October with a band). Willie Nile is a really great song writer. I purchased a couple of his albums last week on Amazon and was totally blown away by just how good he is. He has to be New York's biggest secret. I cannot for the life of me remember a support act that I have enjoyed as much as I did his set.
Willie Nile - one of the best NYC artists I've ever seen.
9PM The Alarm enter the stage. One thing is apparent from the place where we are seated is that I would be unable to get many decent photos. Taking pictures at shows is part of my enjoyment of music and often I feel the more I am into the sounds the more pictures I take. So feeling rather frustrated at my inability to take any decent shots I decided to try and just enter into the spirit of the event and enjoy the music.
The Alarm Set List: Direct Action, Absolute Reality, Alarm Calling, Marching On My Town, Rain in the Summertime, Change III, Where were You Hiding, Drunk & Disorderly, Blaze of Glory, Release the Pressure, Strength, Rescue Me, 45RPM, 68 Guns. Encore: (Mike Solo) The Deceiver, The Stand, Majority. (With the Band) Walk Forever By My Side, Spirit of 76, One Guitar (with Willie Nile) and Love Hope & Strength.
After seeing all the videos from previous shows on the tour I knew what to expect from The Alarm. Their performance was tight and Smiley certainly is a great drummer (though I'm not convinced by a few folks I've heard that he should have the drum stool full time!). The addition of Mark Taylor on the keyboards brought some nice tone on songs like 'Strength' and 'The Drunk and Disorderly'. James and Craig as usual were coolness personified. As for Mike, well he is just a ball of energy. Loads of us always say we wonder where he gets it from and tonight he was no different. He flew around the stage like a man possessed. Jumping into the crowd, doing Townsend like whirling and attacking familiar songs as if they were urgent messages he needed to convey.
If there is any criticism of the performance it is that I would have loved to hear more of the songs from the new project. Only four songs from 'Direct Action' have been present the whole tour and it would be great to see them adding great tunes like 'Higher Call', 'Plastic Carrier Bags' 'Loaded' and 'Milk and Opportunity' into the mix.
Due to the non appearance of the other support band The Alarm had a little bit more time on their hands before what has become the customary kick out at 10.30pm. So after a rousing '68 Guns' Mike came on stage on his own and played through 'The Deceiver', 'The Stand' and 'Majority' before Mark Taylor joined him on a beautiful 'Walk Forever By My Side' - which the Glasgow crowd sung with great gusto. The band returned and 'Spirit of 76' followed. Willie Nile came back on stage and joined the band for a full on version of 'One Guitar' with both Mike and Willie sharing lead vocal duties. 'Love, Hope & Strength' ended the show.
All in all it was a great performance but as I said it would have been nicer to hear a bit more of the newer album.