Live at Cockpit on Tuesday, 5th April 2005
Firstly an apology. I'm going to get a bit nostalgic in this review. Please bear with me.
Back in the crazy days of the Leeds Music Scene (circa 2001) I saw a band play several awesome gigs at The Well. They were called Mariko and even to this day (four years on!) they are still the best unsigned band I have ever seen play in Leeds. Unfortunately they never made the big time. Probably because nobody with any clout seemed interested in music from this city then. Therefore it's no surprise that we lost them to the big smoke of London.
Now in 2005 things have changed round here quite dramatically. Leeds suddenly seems to be the centre of the music universe with our bands regularly gracing the pages of the NME and the broadcasts of Radio One. Many of those bands (Kaiser Chiefs/Parva, Duels/SammyUSA) were all doing the rounds under one guise or another back in 2001 along with the mighty Mariko and to me, they just couldn't compare.
So tonight then I've got a big grin on my face because the boys that were Mariko, the boys who always had the real talent, are back home. It's just this time they are dirtier, scarier and have more balls than ever. This my friends is The Glitterati. God bless rock 'n' roll!
When The Glitterati step out on stage you just know it's going be mental. This is the first time that I've seen Paul, John and the lads for years and Christ, they look like they've been living off a diet of smack since they stepped off the southbound GNER. Paul, decked out in spangly waistcoat and scarlet tie looks, now looks like a young Ronnie Wood. Tattoos across his waist and a barnet of ripped up hair he's really living the rock 'n' roll lifestyle to the extreme.
John, alongside him, looks just as he always did. With a cig dripping of his mouth (it may have been the same one from four years back!) this man is a potential iconic guitar hero for a million teenagers. It's like he was born with a Les Paul in his hands. The other lads. Well, lets just say they've obviously been having a good time.
Clearly a band where the style is just as important as the music, The Glitterati have an awesome look. Whether it's their own choice or record exec refined its hard to tell, but who cares. They look ace and they sound even better. Some would suggest they are cock-rock. Those that would suggest such a thing obviously missed Hurricane Party.
Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Saxon, GnR, Whitesnake, Def Leppard. What do they all have in common? Big hair and leather trousers that's what. Oh, and Hurricane Party want to be all of them. These lads have obviously been asleep since they played bit-parts in Wayne's World 2.
Under their 3ft mullets they play cock-rock by numbers and it's great. Usually I hate this kind of stuff but you can't help enjoying a band who probably thought that Spinal Tapp was a serious rock documentary. They look it, they play it and they live it. They're real wild stallions. More subtle than The Darkness they are comedy genius and quality classic rock tunes all at once.
But the experience of Hurricane Party leaves me little to say about The Black Velvets. By comparison they are dull. A bit like The Music with some Lenny Kravitz riffs thrown in, they plod around in circles looking for tunes. The singer threatens to be the new Ian Curtis but it just never happens. Being sandwiched in-between Hurricane Party and The Glitterati was always going to be tough. They're a bit like David Batty playing alongside Gazza and Le Tiss in the old England team. He's a good strong player but you just want him to pass the ball to someone with a bit of skill and class. Which thankfully The Black Velvets eventually do.
So back to The Glitterati. Their tunes are cracking. It's the first time I've heard them so it's difficult to tell whether there's an 'End of the Week' or an 'Ugly Boring' in there but from what I can tell they're not far off. The rest of the crowd are singing with them and that's good enough for me.
Every time Paul screams a vocal down his mic I expect him to drive his stand into the drum kit and every time John bends a note you think he's going to snap the neck off his Gibson. The set ends in a buzz of power chords, screams and rapturous applause. Not since the first time I saw Oasis play in 1994 have I wanted to be in a band so much.
The Glitterati. Think of them what you will. I think they're awesome. Maybe one day the world will too. Cock-rock? Cock-off!