On an unusually mild, bright early Spring evening in our wee neck of the woods off I set to what, according to the poster promises to be a great night of good old fashioned rock n roll..
As the lights go down, the opening band Massive Wagons take to the stage for the first ever time in Belfast. The smallish crowd of early fans are not quite sure what to expect, but as the first chunky riffs of ‘Shit Sweet Death’ blast through the PA the quartet of tight, energetic lads from Carnforth, England, immediately win a few more fans. Their front man, Baz, really knows how to use the stage spinning the mic stand around as if it is weightless. He can also work the fastly growing crowd until they are eating out of his hand.
Their music is in your face hard rock and roll moving through their set list and banter you can tell they are passionate about their music. ‘Tokyo’, the new single, has the growing crowd nodding their heads like the wee dogs you used to get in cars. These lads are tighter than a badger’s ass and, as they introduce their last song, ‘Red Dress’, it’s safe to say they have a new fan base in our wee town.
Set List : Shit Sweet Death / SWT / Welcome To The World / Tokyo / Fight The System / Red Dress
Next to take to the stage are hometown boys Screaming Eagles with their high energy bluesy rock and roll. First song, ‘All The Way’ showcases another quartet of tight, energetic guys. Frontman Chris works his less in your face magic on the loyal fans they have acquired here. The song ‘Screaming Eagles’ lets everyone present who and what this band are. Sliding smoothly through their set list with high energy and banter the crowd are dancing away, including myself. The musical style is good old fashioned feel good party music.
In between songs, Chris takes a big swig from his trademark Bucky bottle, banters the crowd – and then they blast into their version of ‘Roadhouse’ by The Doors, which they totally make their own. ‘Blood’ sees the band up the ante in their performance. Chris’s passion for performing live is really showcased: it just floods out of him, he owns every song he sings (even if it’s not one of his). The crowd were hungry and Screaming Eagles delivered as only they can.
Set List: All The Way / Screaming Eagles / Ready For The Fall / Hungry For More / Roadhouse / Blood / Rock N Roll Soul.
So, two great performances from the support bands and there is high anticipation in the near capacity crowd for the headliners, fresh from their triumphant appearance at Hard Rock Hell in north Wales the previous night, The Quireboys. As the band take to the stage, Spike almost falls over the mic stand, letting the faithful fans know his in his usual form – and they know it’s gonna be one of those nights!
‘Black Mariah’ fills the room and everyone pushes the little bit forward as they slide straight into ‘Too Much Of A Good Thing’ and the party begins again. Spike is on fire tonight and he’s having fun playing on the fact the there is a hometown boy on stage, in the guise of Keith Weir. This band have stood the test of time and are proving why they have with tight musical skill and fun.
Spike’s banter is just as big a part of their show as the music and as he asks the crowd “Where’s the bar, I’m only drinking Coca Cola…I tell you a lie…” Laughter fills the room and gets louder when he orders a Guinness. ‘There She Goes Again’ has the fans going wild. The age group is very mixed with young and slightly not so young (like myself lol) dancing like crazy in the limited space they have, as ‘This Is Rock n Roll’ is served Quireboys sleaze style. Next up is a new song ‘Gracie B’, which Spike introduces as being about “the 60’s… Mods and Rockers… that’s when fighting was fun”.
Flying through their set list as only they can, and the crowd lapping up every minute of it: Spike strikes again while introducing ‘Mona Lisa Smiled’: “We’ve only got an hour and 15 minutes… what happens here after does it turn into somewhere over the rainbow?” (referring to the early curfew of the venue). Nevertheless, he flirts with the audience and has the biggest smile on his face singing this track. ‘Hey You’ brings the first be sing-a-long from the crowd and the band are loving it. As Spike finally gets his Guinness he pulls out his harp and screams “What time is it… It’s party time” as the band blast into ‘7 O’Clock as the crowd beg for more and go wild. Finishing, Spike shouts “Good night, god bless ya, CHEERS EVERYBODY”; the younger members start to leave but the die hard fans know there’s more to come – and so they file back on for the encore and deliver exactly what the fans want.
So the evening of great performances from three great bands draws to a close and it was precisely what it promised to be. An evening of great music, great craic and fantastic good old rock n fucking roll.
Setlist: Black Mariah / Too Much Of A Good Thing / Misled / The Finer Stuff / There She Goes Again / Gracie B / This Is Rock N Roll / Mona Lisa Smiled / Tramps And Thieves / Hey You / Sweet Mary Ann / 7 O’Clock
Encore: I Don’t Love You Anymore / Don’t Bite The Hand
- Photographs by the author.
- All content © PlanetMosh 2016. Not to be reproduced in part or whole without prior permission.