Iron Maiden

www.ironmaiden.com

S.E.C.C., Glasgow

The SECC is easier to get to than I feared, despite the freezing fog, my blocked windscreen washer jets and as a result a dangerously dirty windscreen. I arrived just in time for the support, Funeral For A Friend, to ring out their few final chords, thank the crowd and exit stage left. Half-an-hour later Maiden stormed the stage, which looked something like a castle, guarded left and right by Grim Reaper-like figures. The Dance of Death entourage was in town.

Maiden played an amazing set that lasted two hours, covering tracks from most, if not all, of the their 13 studio albums. Highlights for me included Paschendale (when the speakers blew and we were plunged into silence, apart from the enormous cheer from the crowd!), Can I Play With Madness, Dance of Death, Journeyman (an acoustic encore), and of course Iron Maiden and Run To The Hills.

Surprisingly, when I emerged into the chilly Glasgow evening outside my ears weren’t ringing as much as I had expected. (I didn’t wear ear plugs to this gig as they muffled the sound far more than in a smaller venue.) Enormous thanks for an incredible evening to Messrs Harris, Murray, Smith, Dickenson, McBrain and Gers.

That’s another legendary band I’ve wanted to see live under the belt. Who’ll be next? Voivod? Celtic Frost? Prong?

Anthrax 1 and 2

www.anthrax.com

Barrowlands, Glasgow, March 2003
The Garage, Glasgow, 1 July 2003

I saw Anthrax twice this year. The first gig was meant to be at The Garage, in Glasgow, but was moved to The Barrowlands; the second was supposed to be at The Barrowlands, but was moved to The Garage, which had me driving around Glasgow’s maze of one-way streets in frustration.

Both gigs rocked. Of course! Twenty years down the line and Anthrax are an amazingly tight unit. Dressed in matching tour shirts, with the Anthrax ‘A’ logo on the front, and their name and team number, representing the number of years they’ve been in the band, on the back. Charlie Benante sat at the back behind the drums pounding as though his life depended on it (which I suppose it does!), new-boy guitarist Rob Caggiano was well received and astounded us with his licks, Frank Bello gurned and leapt around the stage like a maniac, while stalwart Scott NOT Ian stood resolutely still, a face with attitude, a thrash god (that was until the encores when he lightened up and had some fun, sometimes at John Bush’s expense!). And John Bush, vocalist extrordinaire – oh! to have a voice that sounds like you munch gravel for breakfast! The Garage gig concluded with Bush leaping off the speakers (a mean feat given the low ceiling) into the crowd, and a rendition of I Am The Law, a song they omitted during their March visit.

There is no crowd like a Glasgow metal concert crowd. They rule!

Fish

www.the-company.com

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline

I’ve seen Fish a couple of times now, once at Shepherd’s Bush Empire (12 June 1997) and once doing an in-store promotion at Virgin or HMV Edinburgh. But I’ve never been to a concert where half the audience sat during the entire show!

It’s been said before that a Fish gig is like “being entertained by a boisterous host at a particularly loud private party.” (Graeme Smith, S1play) and this gig was no different, with Fish at one point dangling his legs over the edge of the stage offering his bottle of wine to members of the crowd on the front row. “I don’t want it coming back with floaters!”

Bruce Watson was playing guitar, he formerly of Big Country (another band I saw, in St Andrews on 15 May 1990), as was Frank Usher, a longtime friend and guitarist with Mr Derek W. Dick.

Other gigs

Megadeth (16 July 2001, The Astoria, London)

Kings X (16 April 1999, Strawberry Fields, Glasgow)

Roger Taylor (24 March 1999, Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh)

Delirious? (22 February 1999, The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh)

Clash of the Titans: Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies (12 October 1990, Edinburgh Exhibition and Trade Centre, Ingleston)

Fish (12 June 1997, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London)

Big Country (15 May 1990, Student Union, St Andrews)

Metallica (plus Warrior Soul) (26 May 1990, SECC, Glasgow)

Slayer (plus Nuclear Assault) (18 September 1988, Playhouse, Edinburgh)