There can be few more iconic venues in the UK than Liverpool’s Cavern Club, steeped in musical history that is rivalled by even fewer, even if it is musical history that has been pulled down brick by brick, moved and reassembled in its present location.
Descending the stairs into the venue you can’t help but get that tingle that tells you you’re in somewhere special, and I might add roasting hot with a couple of hundred people’s body heat rising the short distance to the ceiling, and no further causing the slightest movement or exertion to mean your clothing becomes firmly stuck to your skin.
Tribute bands always divide opinion amongst the faithful and if truth be told, me personally, but there are a few that can make you sit up and take notice, and AC/DC UK fall firmly into that elite band of bands that, when watching them, give you the sense that they truly believe in and indeed love what they’re doing. Graham Harker (Angus) is such a focal point visually and doesn’t put a foot (or should I say duckwalk) wrong for the whole near two hour long set and is as close to the real Angus as you’ll get. Gareth Tookey on vocals carries everything along superbly, knowing when (like Brian Johnson) to take control of the crowd and when to stand back. The band line up is completed by Steve Taylor on bass, Darren Ward on drums and on rhythm guitar Angus Young’s replacement (yes really) for the last few weeks who’s name I didn’t manage to get.
The set itself as you might expect is jam packed with hit after hit, and I asked Graham Harker after the show how difficult it was to put a set list together from such a huge back catalogue. ‘You can’t win’ says Graham, ‘everyone wants something different, I even had someone ask me tonight to play The Razor’s Edge.’
The tracks they do play don’t disappoint. There are the standard, ‘Rosie’, ’Back In Black’, ‘T.N.T.’, etc but a few welcome surprises too, in the form of ‘Stiff Upper Lip’, and the rarely played ‘Bonny’ all performed with a passion and understanding that not many bands could pull off. I asked Graham how he felt about the show and with a genuine smile on his face he replied ‘Superb, we played here last year and the crowd were great then and they were again tonight but you can’t help but enjoy playing here because it’s such an iconic venue’.
As for touring he was really enthusiastic, ‘We’ll be over in Holland again in December and February as part of the Legends Tour which we’re really looking forward to’. They do indeed tour hard, every month of this calendar year in fact.
As the venue staff were ushering myself and the last few stragglers out gone midnight, I really felt as if I’d seen a ‘proper’ AC/DC gig, no frills, no nonsense Rock ‘n’ Roll played how it should be played and long may that continue.